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)
I enjoyed this book a lot. While the majority of great writing appeared in the first 3/4 of the book, the ending felt a little rushed and scattered. Still a wonderful read for those who enjoy this genre
Had trouble getting into the story, but I kept listening because the narrator is incredible, his voice pretty much made it come alive. It became impossible to stop and at the end, I realized I loved it
I was mesmerized by the writers style and wording. What an opening! If you liked Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, you will love this book. My favorite of the year it came out.
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, but perhaps more magical and more mundane.
Tsukiko, she was a facinating enigma, sad yet alive.
Writers tend to put or a lot of crap before being published with something this well written. Clearly this was a better effort than many well known writers. IF she keeps up this quality she will be a name on the lips of many movie producers.
This is my favorite book! I even have a tattoo inspired by.
If you're a fan of magic challenges and romance you need to listen to this book.
Avid reader all of my life! Favorite author: Stephen King. Favorite book: Hyperion.
The author's prose is so rich and beautifully descriptive that the reader absolutely feels transported into the tale of a fantastical night circus that takes place in the late 1800s/early 1900s.
The story is about a couple of elderly magicians who hold a sort of contest between their respective protégés. The contest continues until a winner is determined, and then another contest is begun with new protégés.
A young girl, Cecilia, and a young boy, Marco are picked as the next protégés in the latest contest. The two, along with the rest of the circus, travel about the world putting on incredible shows, but only at night. The author's description of the magical talents and various spectacles that the two magicians showcase is superb and entrancing. You feel as if you are right there watching the magical displays. The sheer mastery that this author has with words is enough of a reason to get this book.
Regarding the narration, I am very ambivalent about the choice. First, the narrator is clear, concise, crisp. He delivers a very polished read. However, there is narration and then there is voice acting. If this book were judged solely upon narration, he does a fine job. As for voice acting, his elderly speaking voice, while fine for the elderly magicians, is quite jarring for the young Cecilia and young Marco. It simply took me out of the story again and again. I would liken it to watching a TV where lines keep going across the picture, or the picture keeps getting distorted and jagged at odd intervals. The narrator's voice is entirely "miscast" when reading for the younger characters. In fact, at the end of the novel, where he's reading for the young Cecilia, he sounds like an old woman. It's just, quite frankly, jarring.
Aside from that, the book is written so well that it was easy for me to overlook what I felt was a poor casting of narrator and simply allow myself to be transported into an excellently written tale.
I enjoyed this but it was a little slower paced than I would like. The characters were interesting and the plot was easy to follow. Kind of reminded me of "Big Fish".
I read this book for my book club. reading the description it had a lot of promise. there are a few issues though.
the main issue is the timeline. not only does it jump around in years but the ages of the characters she notes and the years she dates don't add up. also reading it on audible is hard to keep up with the years switching.
There's a few instances where she doesn't do a good job of supporting the characters. in fact I was halfway through when I realized that the of the names being used, though all described the same, were different people.
in the end, it was anti climatic and very disappointing. as well I was shocked at the similarities between this and elements of cirque de freak.
overall I was very disappointing at the waste of such potential.
i have listened to this one 3x now! it is high among my favorites. the descriptions of the circus ate mental eye candy. can almost smell the circus it is so well described.
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