The Night Circus

a novel

Hardcover, 387 pages

English language

Published Nov. 6, 2011 by Doubleday.

ISBN:
9780385534635

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (64 reviews)

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands. True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates …

24 editions

Review of 'The Night Circus' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Originally Posted: August 29, 2014

Posted Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Actual Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


I have found that one of the most satisfying feelings in the world is coming upon a book which helps you rediscover what it is that you love about reading and Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus was able to do that for me. What I love most about this novel is that while it is a love story, it isn't strictly a love story. There are so many other elements and factors in play - other people who are ultimately affected by this unseen battle being waged between Celia and Marco. Morgenstern’s style of writing in this novel is just as magical as the characters and the world she created. I admit that I had difficulty with the style at first, I kept wanting to experience everything from either Celia or …

Review of 'The Night Circus' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

DNF at 59%



I started out liking the book. The descriptions of the agic and the circus seemed promising, and the jumping around in time wasn't that hard to follow. But as the story wore on, it seemed the more words I read, the less got described. There was no in depth descriptions of the magic beyond what we learn in the beginning. And at more than halfway through the story, neither the reader nor the main characters are at all aware of how this game they are playing is supposed to work, all because their abusive parent-figures won't tell them. And even the READER doesn't get to know why. No one is privy to any vital information except two very deeply unlikable characters who quickly become boring in their mysteriousness.



This book is billed as a romance, which is my least favorite genre, I only picked it up because …

Review of 'The Night Circus' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

The characters aren't particularly complex or fleshed out, and because of the time dilation associated with the circus there's no urgency. But the sensory imagery is incredibly rich, and in that regard the impoverished characterization and lack of urgency contribute to The Night Circus's "photo album" quality -- readers get to wander through a particularly gorgeous photo album, but it belongs to a stranger so there's only a loose sense of how the photos fit together. (Thus the frequent comparison to Steven Millhauser?)

Review of 'The Night Circus' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

This was probably not the wisest reaching choice after finishing The Ocean at the End of the Lane because I had just gotten my head straight again when I dove headfirst into this one.

The entire time I was reading this book, I viscerally wanted to see the circus in real life, and was actually sad when I remembered this was fiction and the Night Circus does not exist. The imagery in this book was some of the most amazing I can remember reading. Baz Luhrmann was directing the scenes in my brain.

I had competing wants while reading this - I wanted to speed through it and take gigantic bites, while at the same slowing down so I can savor it. I will definitely be re-reading this one.

I nearly did not finish this book because the foreshadowing of a Terrible End was so strong and I wanted to …

Review of 'The Night Circus' on 'Storygraph'

4 stars

The Night Circus was a delightful read. I was quickly drawn in by the characters and the magic and Erin Morgenstern did a wonderful job of introducing the circus before it even existed in the main plot. I enjoyed how this established continuity through the book and really heightened the feeling of the circus' presence. After reading The Night Circus, it feels almost as though I have been there and the feeling I still carry is like a faded memory. I would definitely recommend this book as a quick read, because it was not an easy story to put down once I was immersed in it.

Review of 'The Night Circus' on 'Storygraph'

5 stars

Oh this book is lovely. It's deep and well-paced and has some of the most vivid imagery I've read in a long time. I swear I could smell the popcorn and hear the violins and taste the chocolate mice (though that might have been this fever helping out).

The book follows a classic magician's duel that is played out through the construction of a fantastical circus. The two unwilling combatants are tied into the game at a very young age by their respective teachers, who have an ancient but amiable vendetta. That's where the book starts, and it only becomes more convoluted from there. It's definitely a novel about characters—the combatants, the performers, the circus followers, and the circus itself (and it's an elegant monochrome cirque du soleil sort of circus, look for tumblers and illusionists and living statues here, not clowns and rainbow-bright colors).

I haven't read the cover …

Review of 'The Night Circus' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

The atmosphere and imagery for this dream like novel is spectacular. The Night Circus reminds me of that TV show Carnivàle; full of unimaginable wonder, mystery and a circus of wonder. At times this book also reminds me of a Neil Gaiman book playful with some dramatic surrealism thrown in for good measure. While everything from the illusions, circus exhibitions and even the clocks seem so unreal and unimaginable, Erin Morgenstern skilfully describes everything so well that you can picture it; even if you can’t make sense of it.

The Night Circus is a fairy tale of a circus in Victorian London that is full of magic when the sun sets till the sun rises in the morning. It has magic, romance, mystery and constant excitement. Morgenstern times the scene changes so well that while you want to know more, you are eager to find out what will happen next. …

Review of 'The Night Circus' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

When I read the description of this book as a "Romeo & Juliet" love story that takes place in a fantastical circus, I thought, "Cool! Sounds perfect!" When I found out it was being read by Jim Dale (the popular narrator of the Harry Potter books) I downloaded it right away.

Unfortunately, this book did not live up to the hype. I was very disappointed since the story is so original in an industry that keeps chugging out the same ol' romance and/or murder mystery by the same authors. But for me, there was too much time spent on describing the circus instead of developing the characters. Celia and Marcus were barely in the same room for most of the story, and then all of the sudden they realize they're in love? I didn't buy it. I will say that I loved the author's description of the circus in spite …

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