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The Night Circus Audiobook

The Night Circus

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Publisher's Summary

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 of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

©2011 Erin Morgenstern (P)2011 Random House

What the Critics Say

"The Night Circus made me happy. Playful and intensely imaginative, Erin Morgenstern has created the circus I have always longed for, and she has populated it with dueling love-struck magicians, precocious kittens, hyper-elegant displays of beauty, and complicated clocks. This is a marvelous book." (Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler's Wife)

"Self-assured, entertaining debut that blends genres and crosses continents in quest of magic…. Generous in its vision and fun to read. Likely to be a big book—and, soon, a big movie, with all the franchise trimmings." (Kirkus Reviews)

"Debut author Morgenstern doesn't miss a beat in this smashing tale of greed, fate, and love... a giant, magical story destined for bestsellerdom. This is an electric debut on par with Special Topics in Calamity Physics." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (11728 )
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4.2 (10528 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 09-28-12
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 09-28-12 Member Since 2016

    I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "The Circus is Coming!"

    Within moments of beginning this recording my toes began curling with pleasure and I felt cozy comforters being tucked in around me. This is an extraordinary story with extraordinary narration. Some might describe this story as dark, but a story which is uniformly uplifting can not be dark. Some describe the story as a romance, but a romance is seldom as nuanced. Is it a fantasy? Is it an allegory? Is it a retelling? It does not really matter, for this is a very good story. There is little action and little romance but a bouquet of delightful imagery. I found the story evoking archetypal memories that were familiar and comforting. If you prefer a fast moving story with lots of action, this is not the book for you. I loved the images, the slow even pace, and especially the circus. I suspect this book has forever changed the way I will feel whenever I think of a circus.

    22 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie SPRING, TX, United States 02-01-12
    Stephanie SPRING, TX, United States 02-01-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Excrutiatingly slow"

    I really wanted to like this book, but it was excruciatingly slow! I listened to it on Audible and the book was broken into two 7-hour parts. When I finally got to the second part, the action got started, but by then I was just ready for it to be over.

    I really had a problem with Jim Dale's narration, too. I loved him reading the Harry Potter series, but for some reason he read this one in a sing-songy voice where every sentence, whether declarative, exclamatory, or interrogative, sounded like a question. At one point while listening in the car I actually yelled at my radio, "Shut up!!" and hit the off button.

    Add to that the book was written in the present tense which also left me on edge, and this was not an enjoyable experience. Ok, I'm done with the whining and I'm on to the next book as quickly as I can!

    17 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leah Oakland, CA, United States 10-24-11
    Leah Oakland, CA, United States 10-24-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Disapointed"

    This was disappointing, I guess just not my style. I accidentally skipped ahead 3 hours and didn't even notice for another hour. It just wasn't a clear story or really all that compelling.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States 10-23-11
    Mark Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States 10-23-11 Member Since 2005
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    "Sadly Overrated"

    The advance hype drowned out the experience. It was weak story with little character developoment. It turned out to be just an average book read by a brilliant narrator.

    25 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Brunswick, ME, United States 09-22-11
    Christopher Brunswick, ME, United States 09-22-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Fascination."
    Any additional comments?

    Beautiful in its delicate intimacy. The prose draws one in with a structure that evades the jarring bullishness of "sudden action" fiction. Instead the author lets the story build slowly; "action" is treated with the same tempo as any other scene. As one listens, it is easy feel a little lost in the maze of time lines, characters, places and and emotions, but I think that is what the author had in mind. A book that tells a dream like story in a way that makes you the reader, or listener in this case, feel like you are witnessing the events in a dream. Each description is so detailed yet is only a snapshot of a given view, as if you focused for only a moment on one object in time and space and then moved on into the next. This book is uncommon in its power to antagonize the imagination to "see" the images in the same way we see images in a dream. The story line itself was a touch to well known for me, as a codification of Shakespearean tragedy, Greek, and Modernistic redemptive tragedy and I could see the tales that the author drew from to form the basis of this work. The story does travel at one speed never going faster or slower from beginning to end, yet that was what was intended to maintain that dream-like feeling. This is an excellent snowy night book, or a nice glass of mulled cider on the porch in Autumn kinda day.
    A word about Jim Dale. I wonder if I was not the only one who had a few minutes disorientation when I heard Hermione Granger's "voice" come from Celia Bowen's mouth. Or Albus's voice from Alexander. The voices were well chosen and Jim went to the extremes of his talent to maintain the beauty and power of the dream. I don't think anyone could have done this story better....well maybe lLoyd James or Gerard Doyle could have given it a good run. You will have to forgive me because Jim narrated the Potter series and for over 200 hours I heard Celia's voice used for Hermione, it takes a little bit to transition :) Well done Jim!

    72 of 89 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua Shapiro 07-13-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Yikes"

    This book has two serious issues:

    1. All characters and their relationships are very flat. The author fails to "Show, don't tell", so we just have to take her word for it that people are very in love.

    2. The plot is incomprehensible. Magic is a key element in this book, but the parts of the plot that depend on it are almost entirely unexplained. Most of the book is supposed to be about a magic competition and magic circus, but both characters and the reader are left in the dark as to how any of this works.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynne United States 03-02-15
    Lynne United States 03-02-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Hands down, the best book I've listened to..."

    ... in a very long time. I've recommended it to everyone I know and haven't gotten a single response other than that they loved it - and it doesn't matter whether they like war stories and Westerns (my husband) or Lord of the Rings (my son) or Tuesdays with Morrie (my daughter) or PD James novels (my mom). Now, how can you resist a book that has that kind of following?

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ginny 10-31-14
    Ginny 10-31-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "disappointing at best"
    Would you try another book from Erin Morgenstern and/or Jim Dale?

    I got this because of the reviews and the fact that Jim Dale is amazing- Jim Dale is still amazing but he can only do so much with a story that is so muddled as to be beyond understanding.


    What could Erin Morgenstern have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    unknown


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Jim was the saving grace of this book though I could not recommend it


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    disappointment


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica 01-09-13
    Jessica 01-09-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Wow!"

    When this book came out the reviews were good, but it was because Jim Dale narrated it that made me buy it. I bought it and let it "sit" until now. I'm not a huge fan of period books, that's my only excuse for why I let it sit for so long (Diana Gabaldon being the exception). I'm kicking myself for not listening to it until now. It is awesome! It's very well written. Morgenstern does such an amazing job of describing everything in such a way that it is not tedious and also makes you feel like you're there. At times I swear I could smell popcorn and caramel. I didn't catch on that it was going back and forth in time right away, but I caught on fairly quickly. The narration only makes the book that much more amazing, as I think Jim Dale would be magic reading the yellow pages. An excellent book.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel AUSTIN, TX, United States 10-08-11
    Daniel AUSTIN, TX, United States 10-08-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good performance but unengaging story"
    Would you try another book from Erin Morgenstern and/or Jim Dale?

    I adore Jim Dale, but I would pass on another book by Erin Morgenstern.


    What was most disappointing about Erin Morgenstern’s story?

    I had little sense of why any of the characters took their actions beyond the fact that the plot required it. The romantic connections seemed random and disconnected from any sort of prior understanding of the characters. There was a distinct lack of narrative tension throughout the books; virtually everything described was


    What does Jim Dale bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Jim Dale does his ordinary unbelievable job at voicing different characters and turning a piece of prose into a true performance.


    Any additional comments?

    I had heard the author interviewed about how Harry Potter had brought a renaissance of fantasy that adults could find interesting and I am a true Harry Potter fanatic, but I probably would've liked this book a lot more when I was 12 or 13.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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