The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Published by Random House LLC on 2011-09-13
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Source: Goodreads First Reads
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 by Erin Morgenstern is like something you just take pleasure in looking at or watching, enjoying and appreciating just the simple beauty of it because it is there That is something that I haven’t run across much with books.
I also love the flow of prose in this. It’s not face paced, it just takes you on a meandering stroll through a magical and mysterious world. The setting of the Night Circus is just … Magical. It appears in the night, and has never before seen, and quite unexplainable wonders. A true air of mystery surrounds the place.
There can be magic in words that captures the imagination to a higher level than normal. Part of the beauty of this book is that experience. Morgenstern guides us very well, but it’s up to us to see the real magic in the circus. I just don’t see how this could be replicated in film, or images as it strips the reader (or viewer) of filling in the blanks, deciding for them self how to view these things. Pretty much, I feel the beauty of the book is caused by the prose and the response it invokes from the reader. Place a static/defined image in front of me, even if it encapsulates and portrays every detail mentioned, it won’t live up to the experience of reading the book.
But despite the beauty of the writing, there is also quite a dark side to this book as well. Honestly, I was a little surprised at how dark of a turn it took. Some books you expect that. If you pick up an Abercrombie book, or a story about a child trained assassin or something with a title containing the word ‘Blood’ or ‘War’ or anything like that, you expect it. But this story, the cover, the title, the way the prose was written, it was a little more surprising. But that made me love the story more.
There are parallel stories going on, each centering on one of three characters. I love this aspect, as we the reader, are waiting to figure out how and when will they merge. You can speculate, but you can never really know for sure until you read on.
One thing about this book that I was, at best, indifferent about, is the chronology. It frequently jumps around to different time frames. I would often have to look back and see what the date was at the beginning of a chapter in order to keep track of the timeline/order of events. I couldn’t decide how I felt about the time jumping so much. I enjoyed the story, so I’m not sure I feel like I can complain. I would just occasionally find myself unclear about the sequence of events (without flipping back to the beginning of the chapter). Ideally, I would rather have not had to do that, but then, it was also simple enough a thing that it was alright.
My only real complaint about the book is that I feel the ending is weak. This is my personal opinion; it may come down to reader preference, as I know some readers were incredibly satisfied with it. Regardless of what I thought of the ending, I do think the book is worth reading because everyone should get to experience the magic of the Night Circus.