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57 Reviews
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Magical debut
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...
Published on Oct. 3 2011 by Luanne Ollivier

versus
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unique, but somewhat disappointed
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...
Published on Oct. 20 2011 by Valerie Christie


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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unique, but somewhat disappointed, Oct. 20 2011
By 
Valerie Christie (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Night Circus (Hardcover)
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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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The spell wore off, April 2 2012
By 
Tony Chu (Toronto, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Night Circus (Hardcover)
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 - See all my reviews
(#1 HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Night Circus (Hardcover)
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. They stand silently together as the ship drifts toward the endless horizon."

Where the book fell from a five to a four for me was in the pacing and character development. The first half of the book moved a little too slow for me. I did end up putting it down for a few days. When I picked it back up, the second half moved much faster, with more action and consequences happening.

Although Celia and Marco are the main protagonists, there are many, many others integral to The Night Circus. Celia and Marco remained for me attractions - I never became truly invested in their love story or struggles, despite the fairy tale feeling of it all. I found myself drawn to many of the other players, especially Bailey. His character is more tangible and I was able to believe him in him more. This could simply reflect the pragmatic nature of this reader.

The Night Circus is a intriguing, inventive foray into a magical world that, deep down, every one of us wishes existed. A very strong debut novel. And a bit of a magical time for Morgenstern - movie rights to The Night Circus have been sold to Summit Entertainment - who also brought you the Twilight movies. It will interesting to see what movie magic can do to reproduce The Night Circus.
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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
This review is from: The Night Circus (Paperback)
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.

Whatever.

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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SO creative!!!!!!!, Oct. 31 2012
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This review is from: The Night Circus (Hardcover)
I am blown away with your creative imagination, Erin !!!!!!!! I LOVED this book and have recommended it to SO many who also LOVE it!!!!! EXCELLENT and HIGHLY recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intoxicating Blend of Historical Fiction and Fantasy, Oct. 23 2012
By 
John Kwok (New York, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Night Circus (Hardcover)
An intoxicating blend of historical fiction and fantasy, "The Night Circus" is one of the most impressive literary debuts I have read recently, marking the advent of an important new voice in fantasy and mainstream literary fiction; Erin Morgenstern. It is a boldly imaginative work encompassing fantasy, romance and historical fiction by someone who is both a great storyteller and an exceptional prose stylist. Compellingly readable and impossible to put down, Morgenstern takes readers on a whirlwind journey spanning across two continents and decades of time within the tents of the mysterious and magical Le Cirque de Reves with a most compelling cast of characters ranging from its eccentric owner Chandresh Christoph Levevre to its most devoted fan and clockmaker Friedrick Stefan Thiessen, and last, but not least, the contortionist, fortune-teller and magicians of the circus itself. This is an epic tale of love and a titanic battle of wits between two young illusionists, Celia Bowen and Marco Alasdair, engaged in a relentless competition of magic overseen by their enigmatic, mercurial masters; a game in which only one of them can survive, a game witnessed by the entire circus and its fans, as they conjure exceptional feats of magic, and a game which defines their lives and threatens their unexpected, quite passionate, love for each other. A game which is the latest in a series of competitions that have lasted for decades, between Celia's father, Hector Bowen, the magician Prospero the Enchanter, and the elusive, enigmatic man in the grey suit. With "The Night Circus", Morgenstern has written a tale as captivating and mesmerizing as any written by the likes of Ray Bradbury, Neil Gaiman, Ursula Le Guin, China Mieville, and Haruki Murakami; it is indeed a work of genius which will be compared favorably with theirs as an instant classic of fantasy and mainstream literature.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great winter read in front of a roaring fire, Jan. 15 2012
By 
Neko (Ottawa, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Night Circus (Hardcover)
This believable magical tale kept me entertained for hours. I didn't give it 5 stars because I initially had problems trying to keep the order of events sorted out. Read and remember the dates at the beginning of each chapter or you are rapidly going to get confused. I know I did! Other than that the novel drew me into a mystical world where fabrics change colour on a whim, birds transform into hats and two lonely people find happiness. The text is rich in imagery and the characters are touchingly real. A lovely read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Whimsical, May 26 2014
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This review is from: The Night Circus (Paperback)
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...
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I have every read, April 8 2014
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This review is from: The Night Circus (Hardcover)
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 story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Two ruthless masters, two rivals who were pledged together from a young age, only one can be the winner…, April 6 2014
By 
This review is from: The Night Circus (Paperback)
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 the circus only takes place at night and no one knows when it will arrive or when it leaves. Every tent flap you lift brings you into a realm more enchanting than the next.

However all is not as magical as it seems behind the scenes of Le Cirque de Rêves, for the circus is only a platform for a duel being played out between two rivals. A duel that is a game of wits and imagination. From a young age Celia and Marcus have been trained by their respective masters for this challenge, however no one expected them to fall hopelessly in love with each other and from that moment on everything changes…

The Night Circus is simply amazing, a must read. I’m an avid reader and I read this book in 24 hours. This book is a page turner, once you start you won’t be able to put it down. A stellar debut novel for Erin Morgenstern. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. Read this book, you won’t regret it!
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The Night Circus
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Hardcover - Sept. 13 2011)
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