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The Night Circus Paperback – 24 May 2012
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"Lush, evocative, dreamlike...a magical, coming-of-age story" (Sunday Times)
"Dark and dreamy; a captivating love story" (Stylist Magazine)
"Deliciously inventive... Don't imagine this is a light, frothy tale. For all her humorous touches, Morgernstern...has produced something darker than night" (Mary Crockett Scotsman)
"Dazzling" (Marie Claire)
"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)
"An extraordinary blend of dream and nightmare will take you on a magical journey" (Viv Groskop Red Magazine)
"Charming, magical, mysterious, enthralling" (Daily Mirror)
"Lushly imagined, extremely charming and very, very readable" (Scotland on Sunday)
"The Night Circus made me happy. Playful and intensely imaginative, Erin Morgenstern has created the circus I have always longed for. This is a marvelous book" (Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler's Wife)
"Morgenstern displays a conjurer's dexterity as she develops her tale, and you'd need a heart of stone not to melt at the melodramatic denouement" (Daily Mail)
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 lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
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The wonderful description of the circus clock conjured up the most powerful visual image for me and while others were not as strongly drawn they were nevertheless entertaining. As to the two characters at the centre of the plot, somehow their 'love' story seemed a bit thin and superfluous and I would have enjoyed the magical pop-up circus just as much without them. In fact, for me, the only characters who had real substance were the twins and Bailey, the rest were very much a supporting cast.
I loved the idea of this circus and could visit it again and again, it doesn't hurt to escape sometimes.
It took me till about three quarters of the way through to work out what was niggling at me about the book - no emotions are described in relation to any of the characters. They're not described as 'sad', 'frightened' or 'jealous'. We're told what they do but not what they feel. A bit weird. Does the author write without empathy for her characters on purpose?
I enjoyed the book, despite how the above might sound. The author's imagination and vivid descriptions of the scenes are luscious, straight out of dreams and fantasies. I'd recommend it for this despite the niggles mentioned above.
The great part of this novel is the circus and the descriptions of it. It could imagine myself wandering through the tents and deciding which one to explore - that is the beautiful fairy tale side to the book.
The author then seems to have made a decision to make the fairy tale suitable for adults by wrapping the circus in an overcomplicated plot which twists around and ends up achieving nothing at all.
Structurally, the book works with the chapters jumping forward gradually, although I was never quite sure why Bailey's story had to run in a different time.
I just got bored with the relationship between Marco and Celia which is a major part of the plot. If you love each other then you find a way, if you don't then you have to do something else. All the ethereal histrionics really didn't add anything to the novel.
There is good in this book (I admired the way that the author handled the cross over from fantasy to the real world without any worries about rules) but I couldn't find any connection and didn't really care what happened to the circus or its character. Without the engagement then the book failed for me.
I can see why this tale of a magical circus has captured the hearts of many; unfortunately I’m not one of them. Erin Morgenstern’s writing is evocative and the story is full of intrigue, but it left me feeling underwhelmed. There are elements of the story I loved, but it didn’t feel like a finished novel. I would have preferred the plot to be a bit tighter.
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