The Night Circus is and isn't about a circus. It is more about magic than anything else. It is a wondrous tale of a magical competition and an impossible love story.
I didn't really know if this was a book that I would want to read or not. I had seen it several times, but had no idea what it was really about and I only read it for my book group. That being said, this book is excellent. It is very different than most books that I read so it was a nice change of pace.
The story line and writing are unique and intriguing and leave so much to the imagination. I found the beginning to be a bit slow and vague, but it quickly picked up. The story is written in a way that reminded me of the movie Memento. It did take a minute to get used to, but once you start following the dates it all makes sense. There were many times when I wondered what something had to do with the story, but it all makes sense eventually.
The characters in this story are all unique and great. My favorites were the main characters, Marco and Celia. All of the supporting characters are great and each add a special touch to the story making them all essential.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it to everyone.
Review first published on my blog: http://memoriesfrombooks.blogspot.com/2011/11/night-circus.html
The Night Circus is a first novel and a flight of imagination. It is a book of magic, fantasy, and romance. It is the story of Marco and Celia, bound together together in a competition by their guardians before they are even aware of themselves or each other. It is also the story of all those who surround them and effect their competition and a story of the circus itself.
Marco is an orphan adopted by a man known as Alexander. Celia is the daughter of the magician known as Prospero. Alexander and Prospero train their charges to duel in a competition of magical skills in which there can only be one survivor. The reason for the competition between the two is eventually explained towards the end of the book. However, it is not crucial to the book. Wondering about it simply adds to the mystery of the book.
The venue for the challenge is Le Cirque de Reves - The Circus of Dreams - a magical place of black and white unlike any circus I've ever seen. Marco and Celia do not completely know the terms of the game and fall in love. They fight against their destiny of competition. This desire grows stronger especially as the competition effects more and more people. The book builds to a magical conclusion.
"The circus arrives without warning." This is the statement with which the book starts. The book captured me and drew me in without warning. The story moves in circles, parts flowing into each other, much as the descriptions of the circular pathways of the circus. It kept me wondering what was coming around the next curve. The book creates vivid images of the circus and the acts within it. While reading, I thought this would make a wonderful movie. Apparently, others agree with me. Movie rights for the book have already been sold.
The imagery of the book is beautiful. The story is fanciful and beyond belief, yet you believe in it anyways. It does not lend itself to be easily described and must be read to be experienced. I found myself absorbed and had a hard time putting the book down. A great first book. I can't wait to see the movie and see what comes next from Erin Morgenstern.
Don't waste your time. It is dull, monotonous, mundane, and just plain boring. The concept is a good idea, a magical circus and its opponents, but it doesn't deliver the goods. The writing is confusing, too many characters to keep track of, and a lot of back in forth in time. I never took so long to complete a book. I even read two other books inbetween because it was so boring. It got one star because the descriptions were good and the idea was great, but it fell flat and disappointing.
My book club read this book also. Out of the 12 of us only 3 really liked the book! The rest of us felt the story line was disjointed. The characters were never strongly developed, and the book was more about someone's weird dream world where time is the background to the age-old feud of good versus evil. Having said that, I am among the 9 who felt this book though creative really lacked the ingredients for a good read.
This book is more of an atmospheric experience than anything else. It is a complete fantasy of magic, beauty, and underlying darker things.