I simply loved this book, and Jim Dale is a master stroke as well. The world of the book was painted with such a delicate brush I saw each jaw dropping moment.
Ah, this might have been a great story, but it was hard to tell from the dead, flat tone of the narrator. The only time he showed any spirit was when narrating the voices of children. Blechhh.
... it's a place of magical delights and both the writing and the narration give you the experience of being there. OK OK ... sometimes the story seemed to forget where it was and got lost in its love of its details ... and OK OK ... sometimes you could see the author imagining which actress was playing Celia ..
But if you are drawn to this type of novel, you will not regret buying this one.
The story of two magicians as they compete and fall love in the venue of a circus, and the repercussions that their competition and love have on those around them. Ms. Morgenstern has a delicious style of writing that captivates the mind and the senses. Too often in the fantasy genre, we have authors who have wonderful ideas but their writing is so drab that it looses the reader, and on the other end we have authors who use the language masterfully but have ridiculous ideas. Ms. Morgenstern combines both lush writing with fresh new ideas in the tired and overworked genre of fantasy. I think my favorite aspect to her ideas is that doesn't over explain the magic, she allows it to stay mysterious and mystical without explaining the mechanics. In many a novel, the author spends so much time explaining the mechanics of the magic, it stops being magic and becomes a sad science. Ms. Morgenstern, in the tradition of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, creates a world where magic exists but we are not expected to understand it's workings, just to be enchanted by it.
There are many good things about this book, not the least of which being the lush writing that puts the reader in the middle of a magical circus. Unfortunately, though, the love story is totally unconvincing. The scenes between the lovers read like a portion of Twilight - the characters fall in love before you know it and say really, really painfully hokey things. The characters' motivations are swept into "because they're so totally in love and dedicated to each other," which isn't compelling at all. Still, a good story; a solid 3.
I tend to chose audiobooks more by the reader than the book/story (although this is not to say that the story does not count). Jim Dale is my favourite reader and hence why I bought "The Night Circus". The story is very good - not excellent nor very complex. It has vague similarities to "Harry Potter" (and given that Dale also read those, it makes the similarities seem greater). I would definitely recommend this book for those who enjoy fantastical fiction. Though keep in mind that "The Night Circus" seems to be more adolescent fiction.....not anything near the fantastical fiction of Le Guin!!!
There more to this story than the 1st read may render, because a deeper meaning constantly tugged at me, as the characters & storyline walked a metaphysical tightrope. I plan on reading this again, to grasp the deeper meaning, because there is one! This book was DESTINED for narration by Jim Dale. The narrator transported me to the Victorian era and kept me UP ALL NIGHT, because I couldn't put it down. After a second read, I may change this to a 5-star rating, but as it stands - it's a 4.5 in my book!
I love mysteries in the style of P.D. James, Rex Stout, Elizabeth Peters, Dave Duncan, etc. I love sci fi written by Issac Asimov (the robot books), Douglas Adams, Jack McDevitt (Alex Benedict series) and Susan Collins. I love fantasy written by Terry Pratchett, and Kim Harrison. I love Kate Morton. I don't like graphic descriptions of violence.
I stopped listening to this book after only a few chapters. I found the description of Prospero's abusive behavior toward his very young daughter too disturbing for me to continue. But late one night with nothing else to read, I picked it up again. There were no more such incidents and I didn't stop again until I had finished it. In such an amazing book, filled with tenderness, kindness, and beauty, those two passages are like razor blades hidden in Halloween candy. I will certainly think of them when I pick up the next book (which I will certainly do) by this amazing author and hope..... Jim Dale as always in amazing!
I must protest the assumption that everyone who writes reviews should also be a Facebook member -- that is unfortunately the only way to replace the horrible profile icon with a picture. Not cool.
Morgenstern brought me to the Night Circus using all of my senses. I could feel the cold of the ice garden, I could taste the circus food and having grown up around antique clocks I enjoyed visualizing the many clocks. The characters were complex with some dark and some with wonderful fantasy. I wanted both Marco and Celia to succeed. I will look for more books by this author.