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)
This is my new favorite book! The story started out a bit slow. When it picked up, it took flight! I couldn't stop listening. The narration was perfect. I can't wait to see what Erin Morgenstern comes out with next!
I love a good story no matter what kind it is, and to me a good story is more that just good grammar, tight structure, colorful characters, or intricate plots. A good story makes a reader care about it.
I love stories about magic. I love stories about wizards. The Harry Potter series has been an all-time favorite listen of mine for the last five or six years, and in it magic is a way of life, clever in its execution. The Dresden Files is perhaps the best urban fantasy series I read, and the magic here is impressive, overwhelming, and as varied as it is powerful. In "The Night Circus," however, magic has never been so....well, magical! It is innocent, creative, and beautiful; it is deep, mysterious, and powerful.
To boil it down to its most basic level, the story is nothing more than a battle between two opposing forces with the innocent caught in between. But this far from a common tale and far from conventional ideas. The fight is between two masters of different styles of magic, forever dueling to see which is the best. The weapons are their two students, unknown to each other, ignorant of the rules, and unaware of the stakes. The battleground is the Night Circus itself, each contestant adding another circus attraction more elaborate and marvelous than the last in a challenge of one-upsmanship. Caught in the middle are the patrons of the Night Circus who come for an evening of entertainment but find themselves entranced by the grandeur and wonder of the magic they only secretly believed was real. The tension rises as it becomes increasingly clear how the fight must inevitably be decided and the cost of winning and losing is understood.
There is little action to speak of. There are no epic showdowns between characters filled with the power to sunder the earth. There are no wands waved or staves whirled overhead to direct dazzling energies of destruction. But the conflict is still just as terrible and dangerous. Erin Morgenstern has created a truly enchanting world and Jim Dale's narration transported me directly into the heart of the Night Circus. Like so many who had visited the place in the book, I too wanted to wander from tent to tent and marvel at the wonders I know I would find. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well-crafted and well-told story, regardless if they like stories about magic or not.
This book was truly magical and fun. I really enjoyed recognizing much the symbolism and foreshadowing but it was not too obscure or too in your face. I would recommend this book to anyone.
The descriptions of the The Night Circus were sumptuous and fantastic. I loved the details of about the circus acts and the worlds contained within the tents. I felt the chapters told as if you were at the circus were a bit annoying and disruptive, but on the whole I enjoyed this book and loved Jim Dale's narration.
I have not ready the print version
Each time we see how Celia and Marco create things in the circus for one-another.
I really enjoyed Celia - I loved her natural ability and grace and identified with her insecurities.
Very much - I'd turn the story on even if I only had a few minutes to listen, and it distracted me from things I should have been doing.
A well crafted story with interesting characters. I felt like a Muggle getting a hint that true magic might actually exist, even if I am not aware of it in my daily life. Delightful!
I adored this book from start to finish! I am afraid that I might not be able to find another story that is as captivating.
Avid reader and foodie. I read mostly fiction but thanks to my awesome book club I am branching out and finding some great books!
I thought the writing was lush and beautiful, and so descriptive- I could really see what the author was describing. The book started out nicely, and then I think it just fell flat. It just never went anywhere- there's all this buildup... to... nothing. I was disappointed. I would recommend it for the beautiful description and fantastic narration, but other than that, this book is a C+.
I really wanted to love this book, based on great ratings and reviews......it just didn't happen. I love historical fiction, but the illusion and magic didn't appeal. To be fair, I only listened to the first 3.5 hours.
I would definitely tell all my friends who enjoy a good story to take a listen to this. It was well performed by the reader, and I loved the imagery of the book.
I don't think this book compares to anything I've ever read or listened to before. It's so unique and interesting.
I don't think I can pick a best character. He was very good at creating the different characters, but they were all still him, which I enjoyed. He was very nice to listen to.
I didn't laugh or cry, but I couldn't stop listening. I finished it in two days.
If you're into detail, phantasy, and something unlike anything before, take a look at The Night Circus.
I love books.
Yes. I found the narration perfect and the story enchanting.
Possibly The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater. Both had an element of the mystical while simultaneously feeling real.
No, but I would definitely listen to other performances of his. I found his voice perfect for this story, but I'm pretty sure I would enjoy him performing anything.
I found myself sitting in the car longer just so I wouldn't have to turn it off.
This was a wonderful story. I have already given it as a gift to multiple people. Highly recommend!
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