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
"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)
Was dubious about this storyline at first, I normally do not read/listen to fantasy books, but this story was fantastical and expertly read. The reader was fabulous and lent each character their own special voice.
I'm a corporate training consultant and adjunct professor who loves to read! I'm always looking for the next big thing.
First, let's get one thing out there: Jim Dale is a genius as a narrator. There's simply no one better! So, now, on to the book. I really liked the story; however, I wanted to know more about the circus acts and other performers. There was a lot of emphasis on the love story, which wasn't a bad thing. I was just hoping to learn more about some of the other very, very interesting characters. In many ways, I hope that Erin Morgenstern will write a sequel to this book in which more time will be spent on the other characters.
Say something about yourself!
We loved this book and wish it was longer. Several times we just looked at each other and said " No way! , Wait rewind, I need to hear that again" We really liked all the love stories within the book, big and small, but wished every story was expanded. We feel that so much could have been added , an easy second book or even more. We find ourselves looking and hoping for the real night circus to visit our town soon, but still nothing.
We couldn't help but want to know how all the characters are doing now after the book ended. Naturally we've made our own story after the book that helps with the lingering feeling that we're missing out on a world we only got to visit in The Night Circus, just the way all great stories do.
The only downside really was the jumping around of perspective from different characters by dates, Sometimes the same event was told from several points of view and the only heads up was the reading of a date and place, often times every date/ place was identical. Oh well, we got it all in the end. You'll see.
This book rates high on my list.
The literary visuals are wonderful! What an imagination this writer has!
I enjoy the ending.
I think you have to have patience to listen to this book. After hours of waiting for something to happen I decided hitting "pause" was the most exciting part of the experience.
The story unfolds in a late 19th century setting, interspersed with magical elements. This creates a wonderful tension between the rationality of the time and... the circus. The descriptions are beautiful and really puts you right in the middle of that world. The characters are the same way. They are mysterious in an ice-berg kinda way. The problem is: at some point the steam is running out. The characters turn from mysterious into shallow as you don't learn very much about them. The final chapters were actually quite boring and the conclusion not memorable. Jim Dale's narration is perfect - it fits the book just perfectly. I recommend the book overall, though. The first half is so good that it makes up for the weaker finish.
Joan from Baltimore
The Night Circus is an excellent audiobook and is among my Top 10 favorites. The narration by Jim Dale places in the Top 10 on its very own. The book itself breaks the rules of fictional structure and characters. The structure is episodic, through the lens of the different major characters. It bounces back and forth through time with all the timelines coalescing at the end. This has been unnerving for some listeners, according to other reviews. However, for me, the structure was magical like the book. The characters are also created differently. They are like ghosts: transparent and insubstantial.
I came to her through my love for Audrey Niffenegger's books: The Time Traveller's Wife and, especially, Their Fearful Symmetry.
Jim Dale and Roy Dotrice are the best narrators in the business. Jim Dale's ability to create specific character voices for every person in the book is appreciated. He acts the book, rather than simply reading it with some inflection.
The book is not for people who are more comfortable with a beginning, middle, end structure, with an emphasis on conclusion. This book is much more ambivalent than that, which I enjoy.
This book has so many incredible visual moments that make your really feel like your at the circus.
I loved the part where Cecilia is trying out for circus and turns her coat into birds. So mytical and sound like cheap parlor trick until you find out more.
All the voices are so great! He really gives it this air or mystery.
Of course when Cecilia takes Marco to the other side to be together forever.
I'm going to suggest it to many friends. Just a real pleasure to listen to.
Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus was an absolute treat! The story is captivating and daring, pushing the boundaries of magic and fantasy into a world of impossible and magical dreams. Celia and Marco's star-crossed love affair is a timeless theme, so eloquently played out as the illusionists crash together and cannot be pulled apart. Jim Dale does a fantastic narration and his character voices are distinct and endearing. I'm really going to be hard-pressed to find a book that will even come close to this.
Jim Dale's voice and cadence is perfect for such a story. It was haunting and captivating all at once.
Again, his cadence and voice deviations are pitch perfect. The pauses are
Poppet. She encompassed the energy, mystery and hope of the circus.
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