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The Night Circus (Vintage Magic) [Kindle Edition]

Erin Morgenstern
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,101 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. The black sign, painted in white letters that hangs upon the gates, reads:

Opens at Nightfall

Closes at Dawn

As the sun disappears beyond the horizon, all over the tents small lights begin to flicker, as though the entirety of the circus is covered in particularly bright fireflies. When the tents are all aglow, sparkling against the night sky, the sign appears.

Le Cirque des Rêves

The Circus of Dreams.

Now the circus is open.

Now you may enter.

Product Description


'lush, evocative, dreamlike prose, with all the sights and scents of the circus... Morgenstern's writing, when it comes to magical creations, is delectable, addictive stuff ... The Night Circus is an accomplished and refreshingly unusual debut, which leaves a tang of smoky caramel in the air as it ends, and an undeniable urge to go to the circus.' --The Sunday Times

`Set at the turn of the 19th century, The Night Circus follows this travelling circus and its cast of acrobats, contortionists, snake-charmers and fortune-tellers, In its big tops most tricks are just that; sleights of hand and feats of skill. But the real story lies in those which are not. Behind the illusions of two young magicians, Celia and Marco, genuine magic is being performed... It's a great concept drawing on a fabulous tradition. From the writings of Dickens to the paintings of Toulouse-Lautrec, to Angela Carter's masterpiece, Nights at the Circus, the big top has been a source of continual fascination, tapped for its inherent romance, childhood sense of wonder, constrained anarchism and latent sexuality ... roll up, roll up, the circus is in town.' --Seven

`This must be one of the most beautiful novels of the year. Its die-cut cover, black-edged pages and intricate endpapers attest to the publisher's hopes that Erin Morgenstern's magically minded debut will secure the vast audience left bereft by the conclusion of the Harry Potter chronicles.' --The Observer

`It's full of love, magic and perilous rivalry, as two enchanters compete in a mysterious fin-de-siecle showdown. An astonishingly deft triumph of imagination that's painted with captivating realism'. --Easy Living

"An extraordinary blend of dream and nightmare will take you on a magical journey." --Red Magazine

'this tale of two magicians who fall in love is being touted as the new Harry Potter - and the event book of the year.' --Grazia

'Extraordinary, atmospheric, mind-spinning story.' --Woman and Home

'Crackling with sensual storytelling, this transports you to the many tents of Les Cirque des Reves.... what is extraordinary about this book is how the rhythm of the writing itself enchants the reader.' --Sainsbury Magazine


A "Globe and Mail" Best Book
"A book that stops you in your tracks, a book [that]... tears you open and leaves you gasping.... A book that makes the hair on your arms stand on end, and that has you picking up the phone or sending a text to tell everyone you know, 'You have to read this.'... One of those rare, wonderful, transcendent books that, upon finishing, you want to immediately start again.... The Night Circus welcomes all visitors."
--"The Globe and Mail"
"It's a world whose mystique and enigma is hard to shake off, and that invites multiple visits."
--"National Post"
"Magical. Enchanting. Spellbinding. Mesmerizing. Morgenstern - in much the same way as her cast of magicians and performers might - builds a fantastic creation out of words and spells and ink and paper and the power of imagination. And like her colorful characters, she's not dealing in illusions and sleight of hand. This is real magic."
--"The Seattle Times"
"So should you read Erin Morgenstern's debut novel, The Night Circus? The short answer: Yes. The book is engaging and magical, entrancing the reader every step of the way."
--"The Huffington Post"
..".deliciously inventive..."
--"The Scotsman"
"Read The Night Circus and be mystified, finish it, as breathless as an aerialist, and you'll want to start again... you won't want to miss this amazing book."
--"The Missourian"
"With a showman's flourish in an opening paragraph, author Morgenstern invites readers into a mesmerizing 19th-century world where everything and nothing is real, and even the characters don't know the difference. There are shivers here, as well as a story of betrayal, mistrust, love and horrifying secrets. I was captivated by this darkly stunning debut novel from an author who bears watching, and there's no way you should miss it, either. So step right up, ladies and gentlemen, and be amazed at what you'll find between these fiendish covers. For you, The Night

Product details

More About the Author

Erin Morgenstern is a writer and a multimedia artist who describes all her work as "fairy tales in one way or another." She has a degree in Theatre from Smith College, an ever-growing collection of jewelry made from skeleton keys, and a cat on her lap. She lives in Massachusetts. THE NIGHT CIRCUS is her first novel.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
213 of 223 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely Captivating 5 Oct. 2011
By Sarah (Feeling Fictional) TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Sometimes a book comes along that will captivate you from the very first page and doesn't let go until you've finished reading it, for me The Night Circus was one of those books. In fact, when I reached the end I was very tempted to turn back to the first page and start reading it again. This has to be the most impressive debut I've read in a long time and I can't wait to see what Erin Morgenstern comes up with next, she has a rich imagination and a beautiful writing style that I'm sure will only improve in future books.

The story of The Night Circus begins with two magicians who both have different ideas on the best way to train an apprentice in the art of magic. They agree to a challenge and decide to pit their trainees against each other in a game that will take years to complete, a challenge that only one of them will survive. Le Cirque des Reves (The Circus of Dreams) becomes the setting for his duel with Celia and Marco the unwitting pawns in the game with neither of them knowing the rules or even who their opponent is. The plot meanders towards the finish line but this book is all about the journey, the circus itself is a wonderful place to spend time in and is so beautifully described that it's like you're really there. You can see the acrobats and illusionists, you'll smell and taste the popcorn and caramel, you will walk through the labyrinth, spend time in the ice garden and possibly even make a wish at the wishing tree. I don't think I've ever been so fully transported into another world.

The circus wouldn't be the same without it's fantastic cast of characters, everyone from the performers to the reveurs (people who are so captivated by the circus that they follow it from town to town) have their role to play.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Lady Fancifull TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There is nothing i can say about The Night Circus that other 5 star reviewers have not already said, but nonetheless feel a need to add my appreciation of this fantastical, immersive book to the rest of the songs of praise and delight.

If you like the darkly glittering world of the magic realism of adult myth and magic a la Angela Carter, chances are this first book (alas, there are no more to read, as yet!) by Erin Morgenstern will snap you into its beautifully formed world and not let go.

As I read this period late Victorian story with shifting time scales and locations, a story of two rival magicians, one working from the outside in, and one from the inside out, to dislocate reality, I was reminded of Carter, of Prospero's fantastic island (one magician is indeed called Prospero the Enchanter - though his daughter firmly resists being called Miranda), but also, increasingly of the fantastical, dreamy, yet perfectly physicalised world of Coleridge's poetic fragment.

This is a world to wonder at, delight in, and even more, to yearn to find. Morgenstern describes the phyysical world of the circus in precise and sumptuous detail, so it feels as if it must be real.

Her story, in many ways, is a simple one - two professional opponents engaged in a game and conflict against each other, stopping at nothing to win. However, the opponents are magicians, disguising what they do as 'stage magic' and illusion, though in fact, this is glittering magick - think Christopher Priest The Prestige (GOLLANCZ S.F.), though with a feminine, more sensual and delicate sensibility.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book arrived with no warning... 25 Oct. 2012
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Sometimes, once in a while, you will pick up a book on a whim and it will work its way so thoroughly into your heart you won't understand how you went so long without.

The Night Circus is such a book. I promise you it will weave its way into your thoughts and dreams. It is one of the most lyrical books I have ever read. The prose is so beautiful and the whole book has a wonderfully dreamlike quality. I don't want to talk to much about the plot or the characters because Morgenstern introduces both so perfectly and delicately that to give you a synopsis would ruin it. So I'm going to need you to go on a little faith here from one book lover to another. This is a novel worth every page. I defy you not to become a rêveur yourself by the end. You'll understand what I mean.

This a book waiting to be fallen in love with and re-read over and over again.
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91 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Step Right Up! 15 Sept. 2011
"The circus arrives without warning.

No announcements precede it, no paper notices on downtown posts and billboards, no mentions or advertisements in local newspapers. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not."

So our story begins - the circus just appearing out of the ether as did my advance review copy of this debut novel, much to my delight. The UK edition looks stunning with black edged paper and end papers illustrated with a pattern of bowlers and top hats. This is a feast for the eyes which is perhaps not surprising as the author is an artist but will the inside match the luxurious facade?

This is an odd review for me as, amid all my oohing and ahhing, I was all too aware of how some of my bookish friends would absolutely hate this book and would be cringing from the opening pages. So, best to get that elephant out of the room before I go any further! If you don't like magical realism, if you're not a fan of meandering narratives, if you prefer action, if you don't like novels written in the present tense, if you don't like fantasy then there's nothing for you here. However, if, like me, you do like a bit of escapism, you like to slip into another world, if you enjoy visual stimulation, then step right up!

The story is perhaps the least important element of The Night Circus, that role being reserved for the circus itself but yes, there is an underlying narrative, the story of two gifted young illusionists, Celia and Marco, being pitted against each other in a lengthy battle the rules of which are vague. Le Cirque de Reves (the Circus of Dreams) is the battlefield and it soon attracts a faithful following of "reveurs" (dreamers) who follow its progress from town to town, continent to continent by means of a shadowy underground movement.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The best book I have read for a while.
Published 32 minutes ago by jo soylev
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm like my mum was
I am confused with this book. When I read the synopsis, I thought that it would be another 'hate' discussion (it's for a Reading Group). Read more
Published 1 day ago by Johnny Mac
4.0 out of 5 stars Twists and turns
Great read, did not want to put it down. Loved the vividness of the descriptions of both the circus and the characters
Published 1 day ago by Charlee
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
Unique, beautifully written and really exercises your imagination. The theme is daring and contemporary despite it taking place in the e past century. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Miss Patricia F S Durao
5.0 out of 5 stars The Night Circus
Beautifully written, this book will no doubt become a classic and will probably become a Hollywood blockbuster although of course the film could never be as exceptionally detailed... Read more
Published 5 days ago by miss lucy c amos
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece
I must read hundreds of books a year and this one is hands up one of the best top 3 I have ever read in my whole life.
Mystery, love, suspense, magic, sci-fi..... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book for Babybats
I absolutely adored this book. I'll admit it's probably not for you if you like singular plotlines, a focus on romance, or get little enjoyment from journey focused fantasy. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Zoe Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars OK but prepare for disappointment
Heard the hype. Read the book. It was not a page turner for me. I never really identified with any of the characters, they lacked depth. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Rain Forest
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Not my usual reading but enjoying book.
Published 9 days ago by M. Rogan
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly magical
Celia and Marcus are in training to compete against each other in a contest of circus magic. Circus magic that is very real indeed. Neither knows who their opponent will be. Read more
Published 9 days ago by elizabeth
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