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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 (6294 )
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4 star
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3 star
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4.1 (5588 )
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Story
4.5 (5592 )
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Lisa Oakland, CA, United States 05-09-12
    Lisa Oakland, CA, United States 05-09-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    75
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    "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
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    32
    2
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    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
    99
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    174
    77
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    FOLLOWING
    8
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    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
    23
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    49
    19
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    2
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    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
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    43
    8
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    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
  •  
    odin Bellingham, WA, United States 10-25-11
    odin Bellingham, WA, United States 10-25-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    97
    5
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    0
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    "Blah Blah Endless Description Blah"

    The reader was excellent. As for the content, this was a short story padded out to a novel by endless descriptive prose of "excellent perfect this" and "amazing stupendous that" which, when strung together for hours amounted to pure torture. Sadly, the story was just good enough that I wanted to know the ending, which is actually the worst of all possible outcomes because instead of shutting it off and deleting the files, I had to suffer for what seemed like years, in great frustration and consternation.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    chas solvang, CA, United States 10-24-11
    chas solvang, CA, United States 10-24-11 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
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    "Wonderous Tale"

    I read a lot of books and this is one of the best in this genre. A little bit of Gaiman, Bradbury and some Rowings! What a great tale and super delivery. I did not want it to end and wanted to spend more time w/ the characters and the intrigue, not to mention the core of the story, the love of the two magicians! Reminds me a bit of "Stardust". I think its a good read for kids to adults w/ a whimsical bone. Super narration by a reader that in the past has done mostly children s books. I appreciated his characterization of all the parts! Good work. My only disappointment is that its over and it will be several years before I can read it again! Thanks again for the wonderful time at the "Night Circus"! Chuck

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fairfieldwizard Jacksonville 10-24-11
    Fairfieldwizard Jacksonville 10-24-11 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    30
    ratings
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    100
    8
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    "Vibrant imagery brought to live in silken tones"

    Although I'm not an ardent fan of fantasy, this story pulled me in with its grounding in reality and human emotion. The touches of fantasy provide an interesting subtext to a rich experience of inner sight and sound. I found the story to be a vicarious adventure of the "what if" variety - having myself, never quite fit into the banal real world. I would rank this story easily within the category of soon-to-be classics.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erika San Diego, CA United States 10-24-11
    Erika San Diego, CA United States 10-24-11 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
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    46
    5
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    0
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    "Almost Trancendent. I wish the circus was real!!!"

    I got this book on a whim because it was on the audible home page and they recommended it. From the description it sounded like a Romeo and Juliet story for circus folk. It is not that at all and I am so glad for it! The story went in a completely different direction than expected and kept me guessing all the way through.

    I was pleasantly surprised at the way the story is told. It switches back and forth between times by a couple of years which is a bit difficult to handle in an audio book since you can't flip the pages easily back to see when the last time was. But you can figure out when you are by what's happening.

    There are a few surprises in the book and shocking moments but mostly this book is a very slow paced book. But the slow pace gives you the pleasant feeling as if you are walking through the circus yourself and you really get to immerse yourself in the characters' lives.

    I thought the circus would be creepy or something because usually they are in books and movies but it's the complete opposite. It's the nicest most pleasant circus there ever was.

    I use the word Pleasant a lot because that's the closest I can get to describing how this book feels. Everyone in the book is basically a nice person. Even the jerks in the book aren't that bad.

    The description of the circus makes you feel as if you are actually there and Jim Dale brings it to life so well. His performance was outstanding except that his Indian accent sounded almost Scottish. Beautifully read otherwise.

    I just finished this book after listening to part 2 for 5 hours straight and I'm still on an audiobook high from the feeling of this book. I might start from Part 1 again so I can go back to the circus and be with the characters again. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants an almost trancendent experiece.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah BUTLER, PA, United States 10-24-11
    Sarah BUTLER, PA, United States 10-24-11 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Magic, love and caramel."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Night Circus to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the book want to own a print edition now.


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

    Poppet and Widget were definitely my favorites, but I could listen to Jim Dale narrate anything.


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

    I wanted to read this book in one sitting and then immediately listen to it again.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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