BOOK REVIEW: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus by Erin MorgensternThe Night Circus
By Erin Morgenstern
Completed February 8, 2012

Step right up, ladies and gentlemen! Come closer to learn more about a true visual spectacle – a mind twister of a book – The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. No bearded ladies or five-legged goats – just a book that bends your imagination and senses.

Yes, it’s a circus book, and certainly we’ve had our share of circus stories lately. While most books focus on the oddities, The Night Circus offers up something more. It’s a veritable feast for your senses. Your mind’s eye will almost tire from the stimulation. Your nose will go into overtime imagining the aromas. And your skin will tingle from conjuring the sensations of the circus. (Has anyone bought the movie rights yet? Tim Burton, this has your name written all over it!)

It’s what The Night Circus does to the corners of your imagination, though, that makes this book a pleasure to read. Erin Morgenstern’s debut is not without flaws. Overall, though, she accomplishes a tremendous feat: to drop the reader into the story, fully immersed like a live witness to the story’s events.

I was less impressed with the love story angle of The Night Circus – it almost felt contrived, not as natural as the rest of the moving parts of the story. I was never convinced that the main characters, Marco and Celia, had a relationship that could sustain beyond the competition.  Star-crossed beautiful lovers from competing sides is the oldest trick in the book – and overplayed. Many will disagree with me, and that’s okay. Perhaps I’ve become old and unromantic.

Circus fiction can read like a three-ring circus, but that’s not the case with this book. Just like the circus, The Night Circus is full of magic and would make for a great book club discussion – and an even better movie. I recommend it to any reader who likes to journey to the unbelievable – even just once in a while. (  )


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. BermudaOnion
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 03:59:06

    This book has gotten so much hype, I’m waiting for things to settle down before I read it.


  2. Pragya
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 07:17:21

    Ah, everyone’s read this. I need to read it soon.


  3. Tina Valdes
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 21:54:38

    Love your review, Jill! I almost bought this earlier in the week, but decided to wait. Should have gotten it.

    I’m a sucker for love stories (even the sappy, overdone ones), so add that with the circus element, and I’ll be in hog heaven 🙂


  4. Aths
    Feb 11, 2012 @ 10:54:21

    I enjoyed this book quite a lot mainly for all the imaginative things that the author cooked up – the various tents and tricks. The romance did feel too silly to me, but the rest of the book made up for it.


  5. Andi (Estella's Revenge)
    Feb 13, 2012 @ 00:32:37

    Glad you liked it! I fell in love with it last year. I agree that the love story was my least favorite part. The atmosphere was awesome!


  6. Vasilly
    Feb 14, 2012 @ 12:15:53

    I loved this book and I agree with you on the lovers angle. I didn’t believe it or care about it but everything else was perfect.


  7. Marg
    Feb 14, 2012 @ 13:13:27

    I just read this a couple of weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed it! It does deserve the hype!


  8. Buried In Print
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 04:44:58

    I’ve heard it said that the circus itself is the book’s main character; I’m not rushing to read this one, but I think I’ll enjoy it at some point, because I really do like that idea.


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