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The Night Circus

by Erin Morgenstern

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
13,5841114319 (4.06)1 / 1068
Waging a fierce competition for which they have trained since childhood, circus magicians Celia and Marco unexpectedly fall in love with each other and share a fantastical romance that manifests in fateful ways.
  1. 7410
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (historycycles, BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Magical rivalries are at the heart of these unconventional Fantasy novels, which play out over decades and against elaborate, atmospheric 19th-century backdrops. Their initially relaxed pacing gains momentum as the various narrative threads dramatically converge.… (more)
  2. 321
    Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (JGKC)
  3. 230
    The Prestige by Christopher Priest (shelfoflisa, 47degreesnorth)
    shelfoflisa: Another tale of duelling victorian magicians
  4. 3921
    Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (Oryan685)
  5. 172
    Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (Larkken)
    Larkken: Each detail a dreamlike world overlapping but hidden from the real world to most people.
  6. 2111
    The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (LDVoorberg)
    LDVoorberg: Fantasy with enough reality to make it seem plausible
  7. 167
    The Magicians by Lev Grossman (Anonymous user)
  8. 71
    Little, Big by John Crowley (ktbarnes)
    ktbarnes: Both have magical realism, with a fairytale feel
  9. 50
    Od Magic by Patricia A. McKillip (amysisson)
    amysisson: Both are fantasy about magic and performance, with lovely writing.
  10. 62
    The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly (bluenotebookonline)
  11. 30
    The Merro Tree by Katie Waitman (amysisson)
    amysisson: Both are about the magic of performance, and have colorful performer characters, although one is science fiction and the other is fantasy.
  12. 30
    Touch by Alexi Zentner (JessiAdams)
    JessiAdams: Both books have a similiar combination of realism and fantasy with similiar imagery. Wish I could describe it better, but I can't. Both of these books just FEEL the same.
  13. 64
    Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin (TomWaitsTables)
  14. 20
    Mr. Vertigo by Paul Auster (tandah)
  15. 10
    The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan (vwinsloe)
    vwinsloe: Everyone loves a fantastical circus.
  16. 21
    Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Beautiful type of fairy tale
  17. 21
    Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor (tralliott)
  18. 10
    When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore (kgriffith)
    kgriffith: Magical realism, beautiful prose, setting as a character/catalyst
  19. 10
    Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter (mzonderm)
  20. 00
    The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (Kata18)
    Kata18: Both books feel a little like a dream with a touch of magic that's not quite explained.

(see all 25 recommendations)

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» See also 1068 mentions

English (1,102)  Dutch (4)  German (4)  Chinese (1)  Finnish (1)  Swedish (1)  Greek (1)  Italian (1)  Danish (1)  Turkish (1)  All languages (1,117)
Showing 1-5 of 1102 (next | show all)
Blog review: https://trishadoeseverythingbutstudy2.wordpress.com/2020/12/31/my-october-in-boo...

Well, I didn't hate it, but it was a close thing.

The main problem with this book is that it's f*cking long. It might not be the longest book I've read (hello Priory Of The Orange Tree which I preferred to this one), but it was just long.

The writing is beautiful. No doubt of it. But it requires you to be paying complete attention, which is not possible for me if I'm already bored by the nothing-makes-any-sense-right-now. You need to be reading between the lines, and then between the lines you've already read between, so it's just so complicated. Half of the time I was like, do I even know this character? Where did you come from? Aren't you supposed to be a teenager? Aren't you already born? Where are half the characters? Do I know you, or are you another one of the characters I've already confused with another? What does that mean? What does that mean? Is that character dead? Did I miss a few chapters or something?

It's like if you skip two words in a sentence, and you have to keep scratching your head trying to figure out whether you've heard of that word or not. I'm seriously glad I had the ebook, so I could search for a phrase that was supposed to be important.

After you get past all the confusion, this book is really good. Like some of the best fiction I've ever read. I liked the romance, but not as much as I should have. I mainly just loved Bailey's perspective, because that was making the most sense to me, probably because that was the only perspective where a single character was not present in multiple timelines.

I have this problem, I miss chapter titles. It's an unconscious habit, but I always skip chapter titles, since I'm really focused on the story. In this book, that habit came back to bite me. The problem, you see, is in the fact that years, are only mentioned in chapter titles. So, you miss the chapter title, you're fumbling around for quite a while, trying to figure out why something hasn't already happened.

The reason this got 3 stars instead of two, was that ending. Not the last chapter, that one was okay, but I loved the chapter before last.The one with Widget being the one telling the story, and that too to Alexander(I think). I had goosebumps throughout that chapter, and the ones before that one too. The relighting, the Marco and Celia finally having a happy ending; I was really close to crying.

Overall a nice book. Just not for me to love. I recommend it to people who have lots of patience, can keep track of multiple timelines, do not get confused easily, can read between the lines, can infer stuff not said, but understood, and who like beautiful writing that paints wonderful pictures in your head. ( )
  trisha_tomy | Jun 1, 2021 |
I wish this story was about four times as long. I wanted to see more context and progress in the time jumps between different portions of the story. It was tough for me to follow or care about the overall progress of the plot when the scenes were presented so much out of order. ( )
  wishanem | May 27, 2021 |
Oh man, I liked this book so much. The descriptions and the characters and the storytelling, in general, made me very happy. it reminded me of [b:The Bear and the Nightingale|25489134|The Bear and the Nightingale|Katherine Arden|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1470731420s/25489134.jpg|45268929] in the way it was told - vivid descriptions and lots of characters which were slowly revealed. I got a little choked up when the last words were spoken simply because it was over.

I did have a hard time keeping the years straight at some points but toward the last third of the book or so, I figured out that I needed to pay closer attention to it and then I was good to go.

Beautiful book. ( )
  amcheri | May 25, 2021 |
Two duelling magicians each pits a chosen student against the other's student with the Night Circus as the arena for the game to play out.

Wonderfully atmospheric storytelling, pulling the reader along easily to the point that even the occasional anachronism really doesn't matter. All the stars. ( )
  Robertgreaves | May 17, 2021 |
This book started out so well, and started getting so good, but the ending really flopped for me. I felt it lacked the magic and mystery that most of the book had and honestly made the whole three days I spent reading it feel a little wasted. ( )
  JustGerry | May 14, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 1102 (next | show all)
Morgenstern’s wonderful novel is made all the more enchanting by top-notch narration from the incomparable Jim Dale.
I am a reader who should have hated this novel; yet I found it enchanting, and affecting, too, in spite of its sentimental ending. Morgenstern's patient, lucid construction of her circus – of its creators and performers and followers – makes for a world of illusion more real than that of many a realist fiction. There is a matter-of-factness about the magicians' magic, a consistency about the parameters of the circus world, that succeeds both in itself and as a comment upon the need for and nature of illusion in general. While the novel's occasional philosophical gestures seem glib ("You are no longer quite certain which side of the fence is the dream"), the book enacts its worldview more satisfyingly than could any summary or statement. Rather than forcing its readers to be prisoners in someone else's imagination, Morgenstern's imaginary circus invites readers to join in an exploration of the possible.
Underneath the icy polish of her prose, Morgenstern well understands what makes The Night Circus tick: that Marco and Celia, whether in competition or in love, are part of a wider world they must engage with but also transcend. It’s a world whose mystique and enigma is hard to shake off, and that invites multiple visits.
The Night Circus is one of those books. One of those rare, wonderful, transcendent books that, upon finishing, you want to immediately start again.
The book itself looks beautiful but creaky plotting and lifeless characters leave The Night Circus less than enchanting
added by ncgraham | editThe Observer, Olivia Laing (Sep 11, 2011)

» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Morgenstern, Erinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dale, JimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fontana, JohnCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Forrester, KateCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jakobeit, BrigitteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Koay, Pei LoiDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Magrì, MarinellaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Musselwhite, HelenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.
--Oscar Wilde, 1888
First words
The circus arrives without warning.
Follow your dreams, Bailey, she says. Be they Harvard or something else entirely. No matter what that father of yours says, or how loudly he might say it. He forgets that he was someone's dream once himself.
Children are dragged away with promises that they may return the next evening, though the circus will not be there the next evening and later those children will feel slighted and betrayed.
You are no longer quite certain which side of the fence is the dream.
I do not like being left in the dark. I am not particularly fond of believing in impossible things.
You're not destined or chosen, I wish I could tell you that you were if that would make it easier, but it's not true. You're in the right place at the right time, and you care enough to do what needs to be done. Sometimes that's enough.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Waging a fierce competition for which they have trained since childhood, circus magicians Celia and Marco unexpectedly fall in love with each other and share a fantastical romance that manifests in fateful ways.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
A circus known as Le Cirque des Reves features two illusionists, Celia and Marco, who are unknowingly competing in a game to which they have been irrevocably bound by their mercurial masters, and as the two fall deeply and passionately in love with each other, their masters intervene with dangerous consequences.
Haiku summary
Magicians in love
Forced to duel at the circus
Put on a great show.
Where a boy bears lovers' dreams
with a seer of stars
and night goes on forever.
A light and airy
feast for the senses. But wait,
darkness lurks beneath.

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