The 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. ( )