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The Night Circus [Paperback]

4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unique, but somewhat disappointed Oct. 20 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book was recommended to me by Amazon. After looking at the 5 or 6 ratings/reviews that raved about this book I bought it instantly. I feel somewhat torn in my overall opinion of the book. It was without a doubt a very unique idea and that is part of the reasons that i did like this book. The author does a fabulous job creating the circus and does in fact make you wish that it would come and visit your town! However, I found it increasingly frustrating as the book goes on. The dates for each chapter in the book seem to jump all over the place and I found it quite annoying to try and follow. This combined with so many questions surrounding the actual competition and some of the characters made it difficult for me to stay interested at certain points in the book. Sometimes when i picked it up i really enjoyed it and other times I could have set it right back down. I didn't particularly care for the ending.. I guess i was expecting more, but I absolutely adored the first chapter "Anticipation". After reading the entire book this is still my favourite part and the one thing keeping me from donating the book to the local library. I don't dislike the book but, but I don't think I will read it again (well, maybe the first chapter!! )

I do wish I had enjoyed it as much as everyone else on here seems to have.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The spell wore off April 2 2012
By Tony Chu TOP 1000 REVIEWER
I'm afraid I don't quite agree with most of the reviewers here. Granted, the book's concept is magical and the circus does seem compelling at first. But I got tired of the slow pace of developments, and the jumping around of the timeline, and ultimately the writing style (which seemed designed to describe things beautifully but not actually reveal much).

Somewhere around the middle of this book I realized I didn't really care what happened to the two main characters, and I lost interest in making the effort to piece together what was really going on. The whole premise that was ruling their lives seemed a bit pathetic and I ended up feeling that the ending didn't really matter to me.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Magical debut Oct. 3 2011
By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is certainly creating some buzz lately. So, I was excited to receive a copy and see what all the talk was about.

"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.

Le Cirque des Réves
(The Circus of Dreams)
Opens at Nightfall
Closes at Dawn."

But what visitors don't know is that the circus is a venue for a game. A game between two enigmatic magicians (although they are much more than simple magicians) of indeterminate age and otherworldly skills. Each has chosen a player and trained them for many years. And now that the circus is open, the game begins. The young players, Celia and Marco, are not even sure of the rules, how a winner will be dictated or what the playing should even consist of. And so we follow the circus, the game and the lives of everyone touched by the magic.

Where Morgenstern absolutely excels is in imagination. She has conjured up fanciful, magical places and times. Her prose are rich and lush, painting very vivid images. I often found myself rereading these passages and imagining what one of the attractions would be like. For the attractions at the Cirque des Réves are unlike any other. Each tent contains an unfathomable wonder that you may have only dreamed of.

I loved the following imagery - books as both vehicle and voyage.

"When she opens her eyes, they are standing on the quarterdeck of a ship in the middle of the ocean. Only the ship is made of books, it's sails thousands of overlapping pages, and the sea it floats upon is dark black ink.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this. Love. Oct. 23 2012
I'm guilty of it, you're probably guilty of it - I buy books based on the cover. Look, I know. I'm a librarian. I get it. That's not HOW you should choose a book. There are better ways. I'm also guilty of NOT buying books based on the cover, and missed out on one of my favourite series for years because of it.


At any rate - I was wandering around the book store, and the cover caught my eye - I was burned out from a consulting gig, I wanted something with a bit more ... something ... then the urban fantasy I've been burning through, and a bit less substance than the Biography I've been warily eyeing and knowing I should just start already. My roommate finished it before I got around to it on the pile of books to read and her liking it is generally a good sign that it's something I'll like.

This book took me forever to read. I read it pretty much a chapter at a time (which is very, VERY unlike me) and it took a solid month for me to finish. The thing is, it's not because I didn't like it. I get why there were mixed reviews of it, and I get why there was a love/hate relationship with it a lot of readers seemed to have. It's a bit of a slow book, and very layered - you need to pay attention to a lot of subtleties, or you're just going to get bored.

I, personally wasn't bored. I am firmly on the camp that this is one of the best books since ever, and I'm planning to recommend this book a lot, to (almost) everyone. The imagery of the Circus was beautiful and made me wish there was something like it - it brought back that childhood memory of the fantasy and whimsy of the Circus' we went to as kids, the same Circus' that going to as grown ups lost a bit of their magic to adult eyes. The book is high magical realism and I would say even if you end up on the not liking it, it is well worth a read.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
I swear, this book is magic. Truly magical and mysterious. The atmosphere of this book is one of a kind that I have never read in any other. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Readandbejoyful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous & Vivid
Unexpected and intriguing, Erin Morgenstern has created a world within and around our world that forces you to admire the beauty of her story. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Robyn Yoshimaru
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is truly magical! Once you get past ...
This book is truly magical! Once you get past the first few chapters you will be intrigued by the characters and the circus connections.
Published 29 days ago by Linda Lummiss
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't see how I would enjoy this. Drawn in and went for the ride
Couldn't see how I would enjoy this. Drawn in and went for the ride. I think all of us,deep down , know the magic and mystery of the big top. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Shirley Bergen
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Different kind of love story with many mystical themes.
Published 1 month ago by Anne Neil
5.0 out of 5 stars Whimsical
One of the best books I've read... downloaded it in Italian to learn and I'm planning on reading it at least 10 more times...
Published 3 months ago by sophie melanson
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I have every read
This is one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read. It's a bit of a strange premise but the book sucks you in and makes you feel like you are completely within the... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Msjto
5.0 out of 5 stars Two ruthless masters, two rivals who were pledged together from a...
The Night Circus brings you into the midst of a universe of dreams. A place where the smell of caramel wafts through the air and the lights glow magically under the night sky, for... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Marie
5.0 out of 5 stars arrived in good quality
the book arrived sooner than i expected! i'm really glad that it did because it was a gift for a friend for christmas. didn't get a chance to look at it closely.
Published 7 months ago by Zeyang Chai
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for anyone
The writing of this book is beautifully descriptive! I was immersed in the story right away and have even done my own sketches and paintings for certain scenes as they were so... Read more
Published 8 months ago by RiverFront
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