The Night Circus Paperback – Jul 3 2012
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A Globe and Mail Best Book
"A book that stops you in your tracks, a book [that]… tears you open and leaves you gasping…. A book that makes the hair on your arms stand on end, and that has you picking up the phone or sending a text to tell everyone you know, 'You have to read this.'… One of those rare, wonderful, transcendent books that, upon finishing, you want to immediately start again…. The Night Circus welcomes all visitors."
—The Globe and Mail
"It's a world whose mystique and enigma is hard to shake off, and that invites multiple visits."
"Magical. Enchanting. Spellbinding. Mesmerizing. Morgenstern - in much the same way as her cast of magicians and performers might - builds a fantastic creation out of words and spells and ink and paper and the power of imagination. And like her colorful characters, she's not dealing in illusions and sleight of hand. This is real magic."
—The Seattle Times
"So should you read Erin Morgenstern's debut novel, The Night Circus? The short answer: Yes. The book is engaging and magical, entrancing the reader every step of the way."
—The Huffington Post
"Read The Night Circus and be mystified, finish it, as breathless as an aerialist, and you'll want to start again… you won't want to miss this amazing book."
"With a showman's flourish in an opening paragraph, author Morgenstern invites readers into a mesmerizing 19th-century world where everything and nothing is real, and even the characters don't know the difference. There are shivers here, as well as a story of betrayal, mistrust, love and horrifying secrets. I was captivated by this darkly stunning debut novel from an author who bears watching, and there's no way you should miss it, either. So step right up, ladies and gentlemen, and be amazed at what you'll find between these fiendish covers. For you, The Night Circus conjures a most excellent read."
"Morgenstern manages to conjure up a love story for adults that feels luxuriously romantic. When Celia calls their circus a 'wonder and comfort and mystery all together,' she could have been talking about this book."
—The Washington Post
"…dark and extravagantly imagined… the author entices her audience and rewards its members with captivating pleasure… when this Circus leaves town, it trails a sense of smiling wonder in its wake."
"The Night Circus is quietly, enchantingly perfect. …reading this novel is like having a marvelous dream, in which you are asleep enough to believe everything that is happening, but awake enough to relish the experience and understand that it is magical. Morgenstern is an artist as well as a writer, and her novel is lusciously visual. Every scene is like a medieval painting, saturated with color and detail; each realistic facet only enhances the mystical strangeness of the whole.
"Morgenstern's novel feels crafted from the fabric of a dream, and the circus itself never fails to astound. For me, the only real disappointment was that I couldn't buy a ticket."
—Christian Science Monitor
"Prepare to be entranced by Erin Morgenstern's debut novel, The Night Circus."
"Startlingly inventive, haunting, and definitely strange, it's part love story, part fable, and a knockout debut… Morgenstern's book is so sparklingly alive, you swear the pages are breathing in your hands."
—The Boston Globe
"Enchanting… Move over, Twilight!"
"The Night Circus made me happy. Playful and intensely imaginative, Erin Morgenstern has created the circus I have always longed for and she has populated it with dueling love-struck magicians, precocious kittens, hyper-elegant displays of beauty and complicated clocks. This is a marvelous book."
—Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler's Wife
"Every once in awhile you find a novel so magical that there is no escaping its spell. The Night Circus is one of these rarities - engrossing, beautifully written and utterly enchanting. If you choose to read just one novel this year, this is it."
— Danielle Trussoni, author of Angelology
"A riveting debut. The Night Circuspulls 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
"Pure pleasure… Erin Morgenstern is a gifted, classic storyteller, a tale-teller, a spinner of the charmed and mesmerizing - I had many other things I was supposed to be doing, but the book kept drawing me back in and I tore through it. You can be certain this riveting debut will create a group of rêveurs all its own."
—Aimee Bender, author of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
"'Dark as soot and bright as sparks,' The Night Circus still holds me willingly captive in a world of almost unbearable beauty. This is a love story on a grand scale: it creates, it destroys, it ultimately transcends. Take a bow, Erin Morgenstern. This is one of the best books I have ever read."
— Brunonia Barry, author of The Lace Reader
"The Night Circus is a gorgeously imagined fable poised in the high latitudes of Hans Christian Anderson and Oscar Wilde, with a few degrees toward Hesse's 'Steppenwolf' for dangerous spice. The tale is masterfully written and invites allegorical interpretations even as its leisurely but persistent suspense gives it compelling charm. An enchanting read."
— Katherine Dunn, author of Geek Love
"Self-assured, entertaining debut novel that blends genres and crosses continents in quest of magic… Generous in its vision and fun to read. Likely to be a big book - and, soon, a big movie, with all the franchise trimmings."
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Debut author Morgenstern doesn't miss a beat in this smashing tale of greed, fate, and love set in a turn of the 20th-century circus… a giant, magical story destined for bestsellerdom. This is an electric debut."
From the Hardcover edition.
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 Massachusetts with her husband and two very fluffy cats.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
I do wish I had enjoyed it as much as everyone else on here seems to have.
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.
I was wrong. This book was absolutely fantastic. Possibly one of the best I've read. I'll apologize in advance, because this review will likely just be me talking about everything I loved about this book.
This book promises a lot. The summary is long and hints towards quite a few things that happen throughout the story. Much to my surprise, this wasn't even half of the points that make up this book. There are so many stories and characters and places, and they all revolve around this circus that appears at random and operates only when night has fallen. It should have made this a very dense, difficult read, and it really wasn't. I read this book in a matter of hours, despite the 500 pages.
The Good Points of The Night Circus:
The characters! This book wouldn't work if all of the characters weren't fully developed and put together in such a way that drives the story forward. You fall in love with them, get frustrated with them, want to smack them, and so on throughout the whole story. They actually feel real enough that you think you could do those things.
The visuals and atmosphere is absolutely incredible. The descriptions (something I tend to skip in other books) were gorgeous, and the feeling of excitement and wonder that the author creates made me long to go to this circus. This is, in part, aided by short sections that are dispersed throughout the book, written in second person, that describes your journey through the event and the different things you see.Read more ›
Erin Morgenstern did a fantastic job in creating a rich and palatable dream world in The Night Circus. It offers everything one could ask for in a novel: magic, romance, intrigue, rivalry. Her characters are unique and their lives keep you turning pages well into the night.
"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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Interesting read. You quickly get lost in the magic world. Hard to put it down once you start.Published 2 days ago by Barry
This was recommended to me if I enjoyed the Harry Potter series. While not at all alike, both demand that you suspend reality and open your imagination to what a 'magical' world... Read morePublished 2 months ago by cheryl mattice
One of my all-time favourite books. I hope they make it into a movie one day.Published 3 months ago by MacKenzie
SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW
I really enjoyed this book, and I LOVED the beautiful descriptions of the circus itself. Read more
Beautifully written, a story that let your imagination soar and give you beautiful dreams.Published 5 months ago by S. Finn
Just couldn't get into the book and gave it away before finishing it.Published 5 months ago by Doris
An amazing book that is beautifully written. You don't want to put it down, or for it to end. Would recommend it to anyone looking for an amazing read.Published 6 months ago by Connor McCarthy