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The Night Circus (Vintage Magic) [Paperback]

Erin Morgenstern
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (813 customer reviews)
RRP: £7.99
Price: £3.86 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

24 May 2012 Vintage Magic

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.

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The Night Circus (Vintage Magic) + Some Kind of Fairy Tale + Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (24 May 2012)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0099554798
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099554790
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (813 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Product Description


"This is a marvellous book. Playful and intensely imaginative, Erin Morgenstern has created the circus I have always longed for" (Audrey Niffenegger)

"The only response to this novel is simply: wow. It is a breathtaking feat of imagination, a flight of fancy that pulls you in and wraps you up in its spell" (The Times)

"Enchanting ... I was compelled by the world itself - by its saturated colours and textures, its unexpected smells and tastes. It is - a surprisingly rare thing in fiction - a strikingly beautiful world, in spite of its darkness" (Claire Messud Guardian)

"A riveting debut. The Night Circus pulls you into a world as dark as it is dazzling, fully-realized but still something out of a dream. You will not want to leave it" (Téa Obreht, author of The Tiger’s Wife)

"Dark and dreamy; a captivating love story" (Stylist)

Book Description

Longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2012 - a feast for the senses, a fantasia of magic, mischief and love, The Night Circus is an extraordinary blend of fantasy and reality that will dazzle readers young and old.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
175 of 184 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely Captivating 5 Oct 2011
By Sarah (Feeling Fictional) TOP 100 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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a classic, but a good read nevertheless. 24 Jan 2013
There are some great concepts in here, along with a few elements that could have made this a classic modern novel. However, it kind of peters out two thirds of the way through; never reaching any kind of apex, although all the indicators that it was coming were there. In a way it reminded me of listening to one of REM's lesser known numbers; the song keeps building up to that rock out moment which never arrives.

I also felt that a good few of the more dramatic moments were a bit heavy-handed and tended to come across in an almost soap opera like way; specifically, I found myself nearly rolling my eyes during some of the romantic subplot. Although, that might have just been my own cynical attitude coming through and not the writing.

All in all, The Night Circus is worth a read and I'm glad I picked it up. As I said before, some of the ideas are superb and there's enough going on to keep you interested, but it's by no means a classic.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing. 12 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The summary of the book really engaged me yet I was majorly disappointed when I began reading it. Not as interesting as it sounds and at times, downright mundane. Yes, the descriptions can be lovely but the main characters are very under-developed when compared with the background characters who are much more interesting.

I would not recommend it.
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47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dreamlike and gorgeous, but flawed 1 Dec 2011
I struggled to decide how many stars to give this book. On the one hand, I loved it. On the other, it fails as a story.

This is a story about the proteges of two magicians, bound by their mentors to play a mysterious game against each other. The playing area for the game is the Cirque des Reves - a circus which arrives and departs with no warning and only opens at night. Everything within the circus is black, white or shades of grey. There are acrobats, contortionists, big cat tamers, each the best of their kind, and a bonfire that burns pure white and never goes out. In one tent an illusionist - Celia, one of the players in the game - carries out impossible feats. In another a fortune teller (the lover of the other player, Marco) reads the cards for visitors. The circus is the brainchild of a group of eccentric and creative people who meet for wonderfully-described Midnight Dinners to plan it, but who find themselves unable to escape the pull of the dreamlike world they have created. As the circus travels, new tents appear, with Marco and Celia building tents for each other. They must play against each other, but they each are drawn to the mystery and beauty of each other's work, and eventually to each other.

If you read this book, it should be for the magical world of the circus. You feel as though you are really there, wandering through the circus, peering into the tents. You can feel the chilly night air, smell the smoke from the bonfire and taste the caramel apples. The short descriptions of individual tents scattered between the chapters are marvellous (the Pool of Tears, in particular, sticks in my mind).
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86 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best debut of 2011! 15 Sep 2011
Lucky enough to have read a proof copy of this title some weeks ago, I've been itching to tell you how good it is! If you want to be swept away then 'The Night Circus' will certainly snatch your imagination and take you on the most incrdible journey. Captivating and dreamlike, the tiny chapters will tempt you for hours on end.

I was seduced completely by the magic, the intrigue, the characters (none more impressive than the circus itself), the converging timelines of the plot, and a mix of chill air, caramel popcorn smells, dancing kittens, and the flap of black and white canvas. I read a lot, but its rare to find a book this special. Some books feel like more than books. Some books have jackets that may as well be false doors in the back of dusty old wardrobes, the way that they can instantly transport you to someplace magical. This is such a book.

Mooted to appeal to the Twilight generation (although this is much, much better) or even 'Harry Potter for grown ups', with film rights already snapped up before publication - I think this book has enough strength to be a smash hit in its own right. I hope it is. This is definately one to buy and keep and re-buy and gift to your friends...

When people drift away from reading as a habit, this is the kind of book i want to put into their hands to say "See? See what you're missing!?"

Bravo, Erin Morgenstern!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars takes a while
I liked that lots of stories intertwined, but wasn't very gripped until the end. The description of the circus and characters was beautiful.
Published 3 days ago by Kerry
3.0 out of 5 stars Weak storyline
Very descriptive writing and rather unusual style but weak storyline not for me, found it a chore to finish it.
Published 5 days ago by sarah h
5.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric
The writing was so descriptive it took me right there, to experience the emotions, almost to become at times the different characters.
Published 5 days ago by H Dickie
2.0 out of 5 stars Distant, Slow... and Unrewarding. Boring.
I've given 2 stars purely for the depth and conscious effort made by the author to create a very certain kind of book and the concept, which is actually very intriguing. Read more
Published 5 days ago by DJ
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical
Magical and enchanting book, very unusual. Highly recommended if you are looking for something out of the norm. Just stunning.
Published 7 days ago by Katherine May
5.0 out of 5 stars gripping
didnt think this was going to be my sort of book but it is so well written with an intriging story.
Published 9 days ago by charleyboy
5.0 out of 5 stars You will want to visit 'The Night Circus'
Very intriguing book, have not finished it yet but it makes me want to visit 'the Night circus'. Fantastic read love it.
Published 10 days ago by Michelle Farrow
5.0 out of 5 stars Mystical, magnificent and delicious
An enthralling read, with twits and turns at every point in the story, from every character. A truly beautifully written book.
Published 10 days ago by Hayley
3.0 out of 5 stars The Night Circus
I enjoyed it more than I expected but it did go on for too long. S different sort of book.
Published 11 days ago by Carolyn Phillips
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I had very high hopes from this book, the concept was unique and engaging but I got bored, the grounding for he concept became brittle and then chanting scene setting became... Read more
Published 13 days ago by Anne-Marie Upton
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