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The Night Circus | [Erin Morgenstern]

The Night Circus

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.
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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

4.1 (6416 )
5 star
 (3056)
4 star
 (1867)
3 star
 (961)
2 star
 (333)
1 star
 (199)
Overall
4.1 (5703 )
5 star
 (2710)
4 star
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3 star
 (850)
2 star
 (345)
1 star
 (200)
Story
4.4 (5708 )
5 star
 (3589)
4 star
 (1393)
3 star
 (514)
2 star
 (125)
1 star
 (87)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Yvette Z Vandermolen FPO, AP United States 05-03-13
    Yvette Z Vandermolen FPO, AP United States 05-03-13 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    60
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Harry Potter Rip-off"
    What would have made The Night Circus better?

    Actually including circus. I was hoping for creepy clowns, dark and scary carnival rides, strange characters and carnies. Instead, this book is blatantly riding the wizard-robe coattails of the Harry Potter series. Very boring story that goes nowhere. I was shocked to realize I had only listened to a couple hours -- felt more like a couple days of listening to a boring friend drone on about his lovelife.


    What was most disappointing about Erin Morgenstern’s story?

    No circus elements, just "magic."


    What didn’t you like about Jim Dale’s performance?

    Jim Dale is ALWAYS BRILLIANT! Unfortunately for this book, he is also the voice for the Harry Potter books in America, so I was constantly reminded of the better book series.


    What character would you cut from The Night Circus?

    The author of the book?


    Any additional comments?

    Don't waste credits on this crap. Get Howl's Moving Castle if you want to read magic. Still looking for the circus book I want to read.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca Oakland, ME, United States 03-25-13
    Rebecca Oakland, ME, United States 03-25-13 Member Since 2008
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "SO BORING!!!!"
    Would you try another book from Erin Morgenstern and/or Jim Dale?

    Jim Dale - Yes, Erin Morgenstern - NO!


    What was most disappointing about Erin Morgenstern’s story?

    How incredibly boring the book was


    Which character – as performed by Jim Dale – was your favorite?

    None - even with his fine performance, all of the characters were flat.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    No


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ingrid MILL VALLEY, CA, United States 11-28-12
    Ingrid MILL VALLEY, CA, United States 11-28-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Curiously written, entertaining and annoying"
    Would you listen to The Night Circus again? Why?

    No. The voice was annoying for me at times, although I understand it was narrated in the style of the writing...


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Irritating and fun all at the same time


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

    An immense ability with a range of tones and inflections


    Who was the most memorable character of The Night Circus and why?

    Celia Bowen


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    "unknown" Royal Oak, MI, United States 08-10-12
    "unknown" Royal Oak, MI, United States 08-10-12 Member Since 2011

    Female, love a good mystery, Victorian English literature and love to laugh (Dickens, Austen, Trollepe, Wodehouse, Gaskell, Elliot

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "didn't meet my expectation"

    The review of this book lead me to expect much; unfortunately, it did not meet them. I admit I care little for "fantasy" so perhaps I am not the best judge.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nesreen Katy, TX, United States 08-06-12
    Nesreen Katy, TX, United States 08-06-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Couldn't finish"
    Would you try another book from Erin Morgenstern and/or Jim Dale?

    I so wanted to like this book. It just droned on and on and on. I didnt' think Morgenstern would ever get to the point.
    I would try another book from Morgenstern. Her writing was wonderful.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The writing is absolutely wonderful. I REALLY wanted to like the story, but I just didn't.


    What about Jim Dale’s performance did you like?

    PHENOMENAL, as usual.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Narration was fabulous, writing was great.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Oakland, CA, United States 05-09-12
    Lisa Oakland, CA, United States 05-09-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    77
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lisa"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    This is not really a fair review because I couldn't get past the first few chapter of this book. Way too plotless and detail oriented. So with that said, I guess I am only reviewing the first few chapters, which were a labor I happily left behind.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Not sure yet. Thinking I would love an epic novel, maybe historical fiction. I do love this genre of books though, just find it hard to find a good one. When I do find a good one I tear through it.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Jim Dale’s performances?

    The narration wasn't specifically a problem for me.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather Lake Elsinore, CA, United States 05-04-12
    Heather Lake Elsinore, CA, United States 05-04-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    32
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Was sorry it was over!"
    Any additional comments?

    I loved this book! I loved the way it approached the subject on magic and if it is real or if it isn't. Looking for more by this author!!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna A Massachusetts 02-13-12
    Donna A Massachusetts 02-13-12 Member Since 2007

    DJA

    HELPFUL VOTES
    101
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    174
    77
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    8
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not sure what the excitement is about"

    I kept viewing all the exceptional reviews this book got and it was even recommended as good book to listen to - so I started this book with great expectation. I tried to like this book, really I did tried - I so wanted to like this book it was just way to weird for me. I am still typing to understand what all the hype was about ??? it was very detailed with lots and lots of descriptions ??? I think there was a whole chapter describing a clock that caused me to zone out.

    It is about a circus that suddenly arrives in a town without warning, a black and white circus one that is only open at night and is called Le Cirque des R??ves. The word R??ves translated to ???wake your dreams??? ??? a Circus for the imaginations. But the circus real purpose is the stage for the competition between 2 young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood strictly for this purpose where the winner is decided by who lived. Unfortunately they fall in love. I found these 2 characters quite uninteresting and did not feel I got to know who there were, I would describe this story more as a fantasy story and one I found quite dull.

    Since this was something I listen to ??? I really did not care for the narrator ??? I personally thought his voice was too ???old??? for most of the individuals in the book. He reminded me of the gentleman that read Wicked ??? which I did not like either.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marg224 USA 12-29-11
    Marg224 USA 12-29-11 Member Since 2012

    Sudo

    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    49
    19
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too long and drawn out"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No, mostly boring


    Would you recommend The Night Circus to your friends? Why or why not?

    No, mostly boring.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The first descriptions of the circus


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    Wasted credit and time in my opinion.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mona New York, NY, United States 12-06-11
    Mona New York, NY, United States 12-06-11 Member Since 2010

    I love audiobooks!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    43
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A haunting and mesmerizing fairy tale"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This a haunting, dark fairy tale. It's beautifully written and beautifully read. The book is filled with details which awaken all of the senses. For example, the Night Circus is usually described as smelling of smoke and caramel. In simple but powerful prose the author delineates a unique world. It's a magic circus which is only open at night and in which everything is colored black and white. A love story and competition between two magicians is a central part of the story, but around this main tale revolve other sideshows populated by fascinating and vivid characters with strange names. Most of the story takes place in North America and Europe at the turn of the century. The historical setting--in the past, but not the distant past--adds to the exotic appeal of the novel.


    What did you like best about this story?

    What's not to like? The prose is compelling, the sensory details are intoxicating. The central romance is appealing and dramatic. The characters are fascinating.


    Which character – as performed by Jim Dale – was your favorite?

    It's difficult to pinpoint my favorite character, as most of them were extremely colorful and eccentric. But I probably liked the Murray twins, Poppet and Widget, the best. The Irish accents Jim Dale gave them seemed very appropriate. By the way, he was the perfect reader for this novel.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, I was hooked. I couldn't put it down until it was done.


    Any additional comments?

    I gave the story four stars instead of five because the ending somehow seemed a bit contrived. But other than that, it is a masterpiece. I just don't get the negative reviews. Did they read the same book as I did?

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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