Review: The Night Circus

The Night Circus

The Night Circus
By Erin Morgenstern
(Doubleday, Hardcover, 9780385534635, September, 2011, 400pp.)

The Short of It:

This novel reminds me of everything wonderful. It’s dreamy, visually stimulating and a real treat for the senses.

The Rest of It:

There is a certain excitement that builds when a circus comes to town, but this is a special circus which comes without warning and only at night. Le Cirque des Rêves (The Circus of Dreams) is a dreamland full of magical experiences. It’s spun sugar, gossamer light…tasty upon the tongue, memorable beyond words. What the participants do not know, is that this is not make-believe magic. At the center of the circus, we have Celia and Marco. Both have been pitted against each other in a duel of sorts. Both possess special talents and one of them must come out on top. The circus is the venue. The performers are real. The choice of what you choose to experience, is yours.

The Night Circus is visually stunning, yet there are no illustrations upon its pages. I’ve never read a novel as atmospherically charged as this one and to think that the world Morgenstern creates, is created with words alone. Amazing. The story itself is somewhat unique and well-crafted but what put it over-the-top for me was just how far the imagination went. Each tent, in its black and white splendor, manages to take the reader to another place. There are tents with nothing but clouds, ice gardens, tiny little bottles of scents to spur memories. There are wonderful confections to enjoy and the sights and sounds of the circus are like nothing I’ve ever experienced. Every time I opened the book, I was mesmerized.

I know I haven’t said too much about the actual story, but you must experience this book yourself and me telling you about it will simply ruin it for you. All I can say is that it was one of those wonderful reads that you drop everything for. It didn’t matter what was going on in my house, The Night Circus had my full attention and I found myself doling it out to myself in little bits to make the experience last longer. You must read it!

And with that, I will leave you with a Pinterest board I stumbled upon. This reader created a board of images while reading the book. I did not discover it until after I finished reading it and I must say, she really captured the essence of the novel. Check it out here.

Source: Borrowed (but I will be buying my own copy soon).

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38 Responses

  1. OK, I’ve definitely got to read this one. That Pinterest board is very, very interesting. I recently saw Cirque du Soleil and while I know this is not the same, I’m kind of in Circus mode. LOL

  2. I have this sitting on my desk, waiting patiently. It’s one of my online book groups selections this month so I am hoping to get it read soon. That says something when you are sad to see a book end. Great review!

  3. I loved the link to the pininterest board. Thanks for sharing it with us Night Circus fans. Glad u loved this one as well Ti.

  4. I am so thrilled to hear that you loved this one as much as I did! It really was almost surreal in the way that it presented all of these images through words alone, and I felt that the author was very adept and creative in her creation of the very unusual aspects of the circus. Fantastic review today!

  5. Everyone loves this so much. I am always turned off by the idea of a circus, but maybe I should give this one a try!

  6. All these rave reviews..even from people who hate clowns (Diary of an Eccentric)…this must be a stunning novel….I guess I must just associate circus with clowns…are there clowns? I love the visuals you linked to that capture the essence of the Night Circus. I’ll have to borrow Anna’s copy of this one.

  7. Beautifully said…

    I am in awe of the Pinterest photos…those are amazing.

    This is the book we should have read together…darn…

    I read an article about this author reading from her book at a tour…she has a drama background and people were mesmerized by the way she read…

    I almost want to read this again…and I never do that!!

    • The images that that reader captured on her board, really captured what I felt while reading the book. Wouldn’t The Night Circus makes a wonderful pop-up book??

  8. I wasn’t wild about this book (I know, I’m in the minority), but that Pinterest board is amazing! Thanks for sharing it!

  9. The only thing keeping me from reading this book is because 2 billion people have already reviewed it. I know I would love it. I have the book. It is just that something is telling me to wait until the hype dies down. I’m probably going to kick myself afterwards. (Those pictures are amazing!)

  10. Ti, I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about this book and it is on my TBR, along with the new Murakami (which I can’t wait to read!!). I loved reading your post on The Night Circus, because now I’m more excited to read it – sounds like it is a book that truly makes reading a wonderful experience :)

    • I can’t wait for that new Murakami! Are you going to get it in hardcover or for your Kindle? I really want the book, but I know I am not going to cart around a 900+ page book.

  11. Well you definitely have me intrigued about this book! I think I need to add this one to my list.

  12. Sounds like you really loved this book! My review will be up in Fri. Sadly I thought it was just ok.

    • I feel the same way I felt with Harry Potter…I loved the world, not necessarily the story itself. So, I can see why some didn’t love it. Depends what you expected from it, I suppose.

  13. That Pinterest board is really cool! I am still waiting for my copy of The Night Circus to arrive but I hope to dive in as soon as it gets here!

  14. I’m a little nervous about this book because so many people have gushed over it. I may have to wait until some of the buzz dies down to read it.

  15. This is the second glowing review I’ve read of this one. I may have to buy it for my Kindle!

    • If you get it, you might want to buy it in book form. There are these wonderful, striped end papers that are just…well, they are just great. LOL. Kindle readers will miss out.

  16. I just feel like I have to read this book now. Everyone just goes on and on about how magical it feels. I must experience this for myself. And I understand I need to read the print version as well!

    That Pinterest page was so cool!

  17. Great review-I can’t wait to read this!! That pi retest board is so cool. I have a pinterest but I don’t know where people find so many cool pictures!

  18. I’ve read great things about this book (including your review), so it’s definitely one I have to add to my TBR stack! :)

  19. Love that Pinterest board! The book? Not as much as you did, but I completely agree with you, it painted beautiful pictures in your mind.

  20. I am so happy you loved THE NIGHT CIRCUS. It is such an extraordinary experience reading it. And thanks for the link to the Pinterest board. Amazing!!!!

  21. I’m so glad you enjoyed the book as much as I did. And thanks for leaving the link to the Pinterest board on my review. I loved those pictures!

  22. i’ve been hearing about this book from every direction! i haven’t picked it up yet but from the reviews i’ve heard, it’s a can’t-miss! as for pintrest, i love looking at all the nifty stuff. :)

  23. A lot of people have been reading this book. I need to check it out because I have heard almost all positive things bout it.

  24. I’m with Sandy and Kathy that I want the hype to die down a bit. Actually, I am hoping my book club will select it so I can stop waffling. The Pinterest board was a.maz.ing.

  25. I’m so happy to be back for this review. I can’t wait to read this one. I find circuses endlessly fascinating and creepy. Oh, and totally cool link. I missed you so much.

  26. I’ve walked by this one a couple of times and made myself keep going but you’ve convinced me that will power needs to be set aside!

  27. I can’t wait to read this book! I have my copy on my shelf but I haven’t got to it yet. Glad to hear that you liked it!

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