The Night Circus: Review

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Author: Erin Morgenstern

Publisher: Vintage

Summary: 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 Nightfalll

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 R�ves

The Circus of Dreams.

Now the circus is open.

Now you may enter.

Review: This book is a spectacle. A marvellous, delightful spectacle. It is possibly the most beautifully written book I’ve ever had the privilege of reading. That being said the book is not without it’s flaws. 

There is nothing particularly original about the plot, in the most basic sense it’s very much Romeo and Juliet set in a magical circus except Romeo and Juliet are in a challenge that will end when one of them dies. So…slightly different but not all that new.

The characters for me are a bit of a mixed bag. The main characters are Celia Bowen and Marco Alisdair and I had some mixed feelings for them. I adored Celia. If the entire book had been about her dealing with her father and learning how to master her powers I would have gladly read it. She is an incredibly strong, wonderful character and I almost wish the focus had been entirely on her. Marco, did not interest me in the way Celia did. When he was alone I found his plot line a bit dull but I was completely in love when he interacted in Celia. Together, they were superb.  Morgenstern wrote their love story in such a way that even though they are very rarely together you very much know that they are deeply in love with each other. A talent not all writers could pull off. 

Morgenstern also gave the supporting characters a lot of page time, I guess you could call it, and it was lovely to see how they interacted with each other and how they fared with the challenge that they were involved-yet-not-quiet-involved in. I would actually read spin off or prequels about all of them but especially about Widget and Poppet and Hector Bowen and Alexander. 

As for the writing itself, there is a lot of description which is usually not my cup of tea. I like some detail but I find that in most cases superfluous detail can slow the book down. Sometimes that does occur here but I couldn’t care less because the descriptions in this book, especially when describing the circus and the costumes is perfect. Decadent, enchanting, sublime. Just incredible and worth every additional second of reading. 

One thing that sort of made the book a bit difficult for me is that it occurs out of chronological order. There are times when it’s confusing because you’re not sure what’s happening or what’s already happened, however in the last few chapters it becomes clear that the book had to be written this way and then you appreciate it a lot more.

Aesthetically, the cover of this book is without a doubt the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. It’s enchanting and perfect and people should nearly buy it just for the cover. 

This book has also ruined the circus for me because I know no circus will ever live up to Le Cirque de Reves. I do kind of want to see this book as a film because the cinematography would be breathtaking but I fear it could never it justice. 

Overall, this book was dazzling. It’s is enchanting, remarkable and just divine. Well worth a read.

4/5

 

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