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)
Second, only after the Harry Potter series of course, I't easy to get lost in the story and find yourself unaware of what's going on around you. The only reason I did not give full 5 stars is because I'm not finished yet.
I'm not finished it yet, only about half way through. So far I've enjoyed the chapters about Bailey and the nights spent at the circus
He had a distinct voice for each character, much like in the HP audiobooks, I wish I knew him, I would just listen to him talk for hours over tea
So far it is one of the best audiobooks I've listened to. Being a student it's hard to find the time for read simply for leisure and this book has been on my list for months, I'm glad to be able to finally hear the story,
A great listen! Jim Dale is amazing and brings the words to life.
A truly magical book. I got completely lost in the circus and fell in love with the characters.
It matched the pompous style of the book.
It's perfect for the fans of the "50 shades" trilogy. It is slightly better, though, because it has been written using more than 200 words, the book is also slightly more imaginative. It is not sexually explicit at all, but has the same degree of cloying drama and clichés.
This book is mostly hype and promise, but doesn't deliver AT ALL. Although it took me about 5 hrs to actually be sort of intrigued (nothing of clear connection really happens for about 1/3 of the story)--it's easy to get hoodwinked by the concept and imaginative visuals into eventually thinking that you might be reading a clever, intricately-constructed story that you should trust until further notice. There is this illusion that the author knows exactly what she's doing and you just need to trust her. I started to be suspicious hour 10 that things were not going to come together, but I chose to trustingly persevere, and was sorry I did.
But by the end, it's no longer okay that the promises of conflict and mystery of romance are without a great deal of substance and were never going to pay off. You realize that interesting characters and plot *elements* are never enough if there's no solid plot. And you realize that, with the exception of one of the antagonists (who really ceases to have any pull on the story after the beginning), the characters who have a major stake in the supposed plot are actually quite flat. And when the illusion dies away, you're left with two hardly unique things: 1) a *relatively* fascinating film concept that will seduce and score millions if the director and screenwriters make up their own plot based on the book elements and 2) yet another promising book concept that could have possibly been great with a good editor and some major, major revisions (or should I say--another 6 months for the author to actually figure out a plot?!). Do we live in a world where movie ideas are more important than carefully-worked out book plots? Yes, we do. (Don't get me started on Cloud Atlas, which Audible wouldn't let me write a review on b/c I returned it--great way to keep out bad reviews, no?)
I won't give the ending away, but it's so incredibly weak, you don't realize the climax has actually happened until the very very end when certain characters are philosophizing about semi-interesting (but irrelevant-to-what-really-happened) ideas about reality and magic that ultimately fall flat b/c there's no story to give them meaning or substance. When you finally realize what you're expected to be satisfied with, the entirety of the build-up you trusted was going to pay off just crumbles. I will say that I was sad to see it crumble. I so wanted these fascinating and promising elements to actually be put together deftly and with purpose. This book wants to be deep--and could have been--but it's very, very shallow. And the moral of this publishing story is that ideas and characters and visuals are not enough. They're enough for a great film option, but it takes a lot more for a book to be great.
Possibly, if she put more work and time into her next book...but only after reading more actual-reader reviews ahead of time to see if she's figured out how to work out a plot better. I should have been more suspicious about the discrepancies between the gushing praise and marketing hoopla around this book and the objective disappointment that many everyday but discerning readers were expressing about it.
I loved Jim Dale's Harry Potter performances...but this book isn't a children's book and doesn't suit him--I got the feeling he didn't care much for it (which I don't blame him for) but was attempting to make it better by way of performance. And he does succeed in that--from what I've seen since finishing this, the book in print is WAY painful to read as it's full of poorly-constructed and clunky sentences and awkward dialog. This Audible performance probably improves the actual book by 50%--I don't think I could have gotten past the terrible sentences and poor pacing if not for this. So if you must set yourself up for disappointment by reading this book, consider listening instead.
Jim Dale makes the book so much more comprehensible and enhances the visual descriptions to the extent that I feel I should give his performance 5 stars, but I can't help but mention that some of his voice characterizations are a problem. For example, Marco, who is in his late 20s, sounds exactly like Dumbledore (a very old wizard) for most of the book--and by the end of the story, it's incredibly wrong and annoying as he sounds like an crotchety, wheezing old dude proclaiming his love to a 20 yr old. The teenage Murray twins still sound like goofy 5-yr-olds even though they're only small kids for a short time in the story. (And you'll find a few of his other HP voices appear miscast--Celia sounds like Hermione for awhile until he settles on a more unique voice, which seems a bit thoughtless.) Also, he sometimes tries to insert drama/import where there's very little drama/import, and that generally comes off as cheese. I question whether he was the right narrator for this story after all. Honestly, I think a British female narrator would have worked better.
Vast disappointment. And a little anger when I realize how much this author was paid for the book (and the movie option). Apparently ideas matter more than story these days...
I strongly recommend reading some other negative reviews on other sites as anyone who rated this under a three and returned it didn't get to write a review. That way you'll be able to see what category of readers you match up with better and have a better idea of whether or not this will be worth your money and 14 hours of your time.
I think I was more excited to listen to Jim Dale narrate than I was for the story. He did the Harry Potter audiobooks, and does a great job narrating The Night Circus. It's a good story about magic and imagination.
I think I might actully listen to this again. I almost never do that, but I fell in love with some of the characters. I'll admit I was worried about how it would end, but I was happy with how it was handled. The tripping back and forth through the two timelines at first was a stressor, but over time I learned why it was there, and it ceased to be a bother, but a guiding star.
Oh so many. I think though that it would be Poppet. Part of me would like one day to see it continued on with her tale.
At the party as her dress shifted to green.
Isabel's readings, her being set free, Bailey's debate to stay or go.
Loved it. And I am not normally a fan of stories not set in the current day or near future. The imagery was stunning. The characters, at least one, will appeal to you- and you will want to continue on to see does their tale go the way you think it does...
Well worth a listen.
The description of the attractions at the Circus are so creative and make you want to see them yourselves.
The tournament that the main characters partake in, it's a true tale of the fates meeting in a contest of skill.
The Asian character who almost seems like some sort of spiritual visor for the main characters is very attractive and mysterious.
I did find myself listening to it when time allowed me to, wanting more time in the day and excuses to listen.
Was pulled in by the sample and never looked back.
The Night Circus was a great feeling for my inner child. I found myself wanting to go to that circus. Trying to figure out if a circus like that could really exist. The author’s descriptions were a feast for the mind. I also loved the story, it was fresh and intriguing without undue violence. Lastly, is Jim Dale. Always a brilliant reader does not disappoint in this book.
I never read the print version, but I have no intention to after listening to the audio edition. The story and the narrator were so great together that I wouldn't want to taint my experience with the book by reading it.
I really enjoyed listening to Jim Dale's performance because I felt like I was being told a fantastic story by a grandfather like figure. His performance really sucked me in.
When the sun goes down, the magic starts
It's an exciting story from a different time, a magical time!
Great story, and Jim Dale, the narrator, does a great job.
No, I have not. But I will read more of his work
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