Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Wednesday, January 18, 2012 with 9 comments
The Night CircusTitle:  The Night Circus
Author:  Erin Morgenstern
Series:  n/a
Publisher:  Doubleday
Publication Date:  September 13, 2011
Source:  purchased
Links:  Amazon | Goodreads
Rating:  Photobucket

From Goodreads:

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

The Night Circus is as achingly beautiful in its descriptiveness as it is eerie in its setting. You'll be riveted by the magicians' duel and captivated by the circus, as well as its inhabitants. This story is heartbreaking in its loveliness and lovely in its heartbreak.

The events surrounding The Night Circus encompass the late 1800s and early 1900s, and the depiction of the time period feels very authentic, right down to Marco's bowler hat. The circus itself is created as an arena for the young magicians to showcase their talents and prove themselves the more worthy opponent. It is described in beautiful, flowing prose, and at times, I was so engrossed in the author's lovely words that I forgot to properly visualize what I was reading. This novel begs to be read slowly and with focus in order to attain the maximum visual effect. The author incorporated breath-taking imagery as described not only by the patrons of the circus but also from the point-of-view of those whose lives ARE the circus. Though the story is shown from many different vantage points in order to show the many facets of the circus, it was most entertaining to read how the circus was viewed from both sides of the gate.

As lovely and unique as the circus is, though, the characters are even more engaging. From the devious masters instructing Celia and Marco to the woeful magicians themselves, there are no bit players. They are all bound to the circus, and as such, they are bound to each other. The story may focus on the young magicians and their struggles and loves, but anyone attached to the circus quickly finds themselves attached to Marco and Celia's story, as well. The characterization in this novel is phenomenal. By the time each character's story has been told, you may have the urge to don your red scarf and run away with the Reveurs in order to spend more time with them at The Night Circus.

This is a story not to be rushed through. It should be read at night…preferably under a blanket of stars. It is a story for dreamers, for those who refuse to grow old. It is a story so incredibly delightful that I wish it were true.


  1. I was already looking forward to this book because of the positive reviews and it was amongst the first that I bought for my Kindle.

    Your review is definitely making me look forward to it.


  2. I keep seeing more and more about this book! I'll have to add it to my list!

  3. Are you ready for some cover commentary? I know you are! lol, I think I'm going to use this label that you gave my cover rants and start every review with some "cover commentary"

    So do you have Nick Jr? If not, this might go right over your head, but between shows because there are no real commercial on that channel, they play some weird shit.. And there's a circus song, with a dad and an abnormally muscle fill child riding trying to walk on stilts. anyway, I always think about that when I see this cover.

    I tried to find a video of it.. or even a pic.. but I couldn't. sniffles. next time that shit comes on, I'm whipping my phone out and recording it for you! lol

    I love the kind of book you sit back and read slowly.. no rush, just taking it all in.. I'm nervous about the whole circus stuff though. I'm not scared of clowns, I just don't like that elephants pee when you ride them.

  4. OH, and great review.. I feel so silly blabbing on to people about how their reviews are great, because that's what everyone always says..

    Well, duh your reviews are great, I wouldn't be here reading them if they sucked ass. ya know? lol. I do love your reviews though.. so there, I said it..

    whewww, it's tough being serious.

  5. Boo...the reply feature still isn't working for me. :(

    Theta & Kristin - You guys should totally check this one's one of my favorite reads from last year!

    April - Dude, you should totally have a tag for "cover commentary"! You do it so well! :)
    I have a 3yo...OF COURSE I have Nick Jr. It's the only thing that keeps me sane sometimes. LOL. And I know exactly which little "commercial" you're talking about...I hate it: Papa Moco Jumbie. I'd much rather the moose be singing about his dislike of candy corn. :P But it's still better than that damned Fresh Beat Band. Blech.

    It's not like a real circus, so don't fret. No peeing elephants...I don't even remember elephants being there. It was more a visuals thing than an animals thing. So read it. :)

    1. I guess that the fate of my next read is going to be The Night Circus following your response.

      Thanks for helping me make up my mind.

  6. Omg, you are so awesome! I knew there was a reason I liked you.. we dont mind the fresh beat band too much. Brian and I make fun of it all the time.. I love how stuff just magically flies apart.

    Aubrey used to always watch kai lan. have you ever seen the snow episode? not the snow coaster, but the one where they slay ride. I love when they are saying snow in chinese, it sounds so much like shit.. and then they are saying lulu has a bucket of shit.. gets me everytime. I laugh hysterically. It's the little things that excite me.

    I'll definitely read this book sometime, just based on all the great things I have been seeing about it. :) If there are elephants peeing I'm gonna kill you though! lol

  7. Katie loves Kai Lan, but I don't remember the "shit" episode. Gah...bucket of shit...that's greatness. I might just have to look that one up for the laughs.

    Well, I didn't *promise* no peeing elephants...

  8. This book has been waiting patiently on my bookshelf. After this amazing review, it won't have to wait much longer. Great job! <3


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