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The Night Circus | [Erin Morgenstern]

The Night Circus

In 1886, a mysterious travelling circus becomes an international sensation. Open only at night, constructed entirely in black and white, Le Cirque des Rêves delights all who wander its circular paths and warm themselves at its bonfire. Although there are acrobats, fortune-tellers and contortionists, the Circus of Dreams is no conventional spectacle. Some tents contain clouds, some ice.
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Publisher's Summary

Longlisted for the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction

In 1886, a mysterious travelling circus becomes an international sensation. Open only at night, constructed entirely in black and white, Le Cirque des Rêves delights all who wander its circular paths and warm themselves at its bonfire. Although there are acrobats, fortune-tellers, and contortionists, the Circus of Dreams is no conventional spectacle. Some tents contain clouds, some ice. The circus seems almost to cast a spell over its aficionados, who call themselves the rêveurs - the dreamers.

At the heart of the story is the tangled relationship between two young magicians, Celia, the enchanter’s daughter, and Marco, the sorcerer’s apprentice. At the behest of their shadowy masters, they find themselves locked in a deadly contest, forced to test the very limits of the imagination, and of their love....

A fabulous, fin-de-siècle feast for the senses and a life-affirming love story, The Night Circus is a captivating novel that will make the real world seem fantastical and a fantasy world real.

©2011 Erin Morgenstern (P)2011 Random House Audio Go

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (62 )
5 star
 (21)
4 star
 (24)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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3.8 (54 )
5 star
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3 star
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Story
3.9 (54 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Aaron Singapore, Singapore 07-13-12
    Aaron Singapore, Singapore 07-13-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    79
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "All style, no substance. Hours of blah, blah, blah"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The narrator (Jim Dale) seems to have the perfect voice for this novel.
    Until he tries to do the various accents and female voices. His accents are terrible and his female voices sound like cross dressing lumberjacks. Distracting to say the least.
    The story itself is boring and very slow. It's nothing but tone setting and creating images, the plot is almost non exsistant and secondary.


    What could Erin Morgenstern have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Plot first, THEN atmosphere.


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

    No. His reading is very good but his character voices and attempts at accents are distracting and embarrassing.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Night Circus?

    I never listen to abridged versions, no matter how many filler chapters there are. If you deleted the droning tone setting scenes from this book it would be at least 50% shorter.


    Any additional comments?

    Strictly for flakes. The blurb for this book is very deceptive, almost nothing happens.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Damien Crouton Park, Australia 01-17-12
    Damien Crouton Park, Australia 01-17-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    4
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    "A poor tale nicely read"
    Would you try another book from Erin Morgenstern and/or Jim Dale?

    Jim Dales reading was excellent. The novel failed to deliver on the expectations it set.


    What could Erin Morgenstern have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Delivered on the promise of the novel. The reader is kept waiting for some sort of resolution, instead we are literally presented with a whole passage on how there are no longer any good stories (or are there).


    Have you listened to any of Jim Dale’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Was The Night Circus worth the listening time?

    No


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna Roma, Australia 05-01-14
    Anna Roma, Australia 05-01-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved it"
    What made the experience of listening to The Night Circus the most enjoyable?

    It was so different to any other story I've read/heard. I could imagine the colours and how awesome it would be to make into a movie.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I didn't have a favourite, I was very intrigued as to how they each had importance in the story.


    What about Jim Dale’s performance did you like?

    Yep


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lee-Ann Johannesburg, South Africa 08-19-13
    Lee-Ann Johannesburg, South Africa 08-19-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enchanting"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, it is a complete fantasy world that lets you escape from the boring reality!


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Jim Dale?

    Probably


    If you could rename The Night Circus, what would you call it?

    Black and White and Red All Over


    Any additional comments?

    Simply great! I wanted to listen to it all day!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ravenous Reader Queensland, Australia 03-27-13
    Ravenous Reader Queensland, Australia 03-27-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    45
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Story
    "Literary Tapestry"

    You’re walking aimlessly through a bookshop looking for a new read. You don’t quite know what you are looking for but you feel as though you’ll recognize it when you see it…

    I recognized The Night Circus the second I saw it as something I needed to read. Whether I would enjoy or even finish it I wasn’t sure but something told me that I needed to at least try.

    This is not an easy book to define but I’ll do my best. It’s essentially two interwoven stories, one tells the tale of a boy visiting the circus each year or so when it passes through his town. He makes friends with two of the children who work in the circus with a charming kitten show and together they explore all the amazing wonders of the circus and it’s seemingly infinite number of tents. One holds a winter wonderland of snow and ice, another simply holds a bowl of perfect black stones that take away your tears for a night. From incredible to subtly beautiful the boy of course falls in love with the circus so the rest of the world is merely a grey blur in comparison.

    The other story is that of the two magicians who created and are still creating the great circus. Marco and Celia are in love and though they met as adults they have been in love their whole lives, writing love letters to one another through each magical tent they create. But they are merely pawns in a bigger, darker game played between Celia’s father and Marco’s mentor. The two lovers have been pitted against each other in a battle of wills and power, a battle to the death.

    The Night Circus is not for everyone. It doesn’t read like your usual linear story in fact it reads rather like a painting or rather one of those long tapestries. I’m not sure I would want to read too many stories written this way, but this was so beautifully constructed that I could possibly enjoy a few like it.

    One thing I think I should mention - The narration didn't quite do this story justice. I can't really fault the narrator BUT I can't help but think this story would have been more enjoyable if read by an English lady.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brenda Gauteng, South Africa 12-03-12
    Brenda Gauteng, South Africa 12-03-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    20
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    "A thrilling read!"
    Would you listen to The Night Circus again? Why?

    Absolutely. The story is intricately and beautifully entwined with mystery and love. It's so jam packed with imagination and imagery, it's like watching a movie in your own head.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The imagery in this book is remarkable.


    What about Jim Dale’s performance did you like?

    Jim Dale captured the different accents very well. Even the slightest change in nuance made it immediately obvious which character he was playing.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A deluge of dreams, mystery and love.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caroline Sydney, Australia 04-09-12
    Caroline Sydney, Australia 04-09-12 Member Since 2011

    book detective

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Atmospheric presentation and original storyline"

    I was not sure what to expect having only read the reveiws of this book. It was a slow start and initially the narrators voice did not seem to suit, but after a while it began to become familiar and by the end I could not imagine an alternative. The story line is unusual and the descriptions are vivid but the plotline is rather convoluted and I would have preferred a more dramatic ending. But all in all very enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SJ Blackwater, Australia 12-28-11
    SJ Blackwater, Australia 12-28-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Magic!!"

    This book is one of those random titles that you pick up, that turn out to be beyond everything you had hoped for!!

    I found Night circus, the story, to be just magical as the circus it is set in.
    the writer desribes every sight, smell and sound to the point where you feel like you reach out and touch it. the decriptive passages do how ever drag on a little and tend to break up the stroy where you least want it to. but this takes little away from the over all nature of the book

    totally enjoyable to the last word!!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GinnysHex Stretton, Australia 10-23-11
    GinnysHex Stretton, Australia 10-23-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    18
    8
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    1
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    "A wonderful and imaginative love story"
    If you could sum up The Night Circus in three words, what would they be?

    Challenging, Imaginative, Vivid


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Bailey, it was him that you saw the wonder of the wonder of the circus through and it was him that ended up saving it.


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

    Sukiko, I hope I spelt that right.


    If you could take any character from The Night Circus out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Poppet and Widget, I think they would the most interesting and the most fun


    Any additional comments?

    This was a very entertaining and fun book to listen to though you have to pay attention careful as it does jump through different time periods

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracey Lennox Head, Australia 10-21-11
    Tracey Lennox Head, Australia 10-21-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    94
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyable"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I enjoyed this book but nothing really happened.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    For my next listen, I will be looking for something with a little more substance. This is basically a boy mets girl story with a magic background.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The description of the circus and the people in it is wonderful.


    Do you think The Night Circus needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    The story is pretty conclusive and I dont see a follow up.


    Any additional comments?

    I dont know what demographic this book was aimed at, but perhaps a the young adult reader would appreciate it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 10 results
Sort by:
  • Janice
    Cape Town, South Africa
    1/9/12
    Overall
    "My kind of circus"

    Wonderfully complex story, full of detail, clear pictures of the unusual, and a nice interweaving of times and dates that came together satisfyingly in the end. Some surprises, some predictability, but all in all a good holiday read. Except for the narrator, oh dear, he did the "ancient mage" voice with all the weight of dusty centuries in it, but the young men, female and the childrens voices were quite dreadfully croaky. If you can get past the narrator you'll enjoy the story for its own sake.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • carol
    United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Magical, mysterious and captivating"

    I never thought I would listen to a book more than once but this one was so full of delectable detail that I was compelled to listen to it three times to date!

    It was full of fascinating characters, interesting ideas and delightful thoughts but strangely edgy which all added to a kind of Victorian,vaguely Steampunk atmosphere.

    I also loved the HGWells type attention to detail and how you were lead by the nose through a labyrinth of twisting and turning themes and ideas. The magic, mystery and slight of hand held my interest all the way. If you like unusual you may enjoy the Night Circus

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • doomwaffle2000
    Surrey, UK
    8/17/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A comic book in wolf's clothing"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. I would be a bit embarrassed to recommend it. I was totally intrigued by the synopsis of this book, a tall tale about a spectacular and enchanting circus, real magic and a fatalistic wager, it was beautifully conceived but the writer seemed to not to be quite up to the task. Set in the late 1800's, the characters, their behaviour, their language even their dress was all wrong for the time and they all lacked depth. The plot, I gradually came to realise, was a bit thin and the setting was so contrived it became irritating, with too much focus on monochrome (yes, I get it!!) and kittens. This would make a good graphic novel or fantasy film. So...whilst it wasn't bad, it was just not good enough.


    If you’ve listened to books by Erin Morgenstern before, how does this one compare?

    I haven't encountered her books before.


    What aspect of Jim Dale’s performance might you have changed?

    I feel this story needed a darker, richer, an altogether more lyrical voice.


    Do you think The Night Circus needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    There wasn't enough substance in this for one book, let alone two.


    Any additional comments?

    I really loved the idea of this book but alas, it was all show and disappointment.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Exeter, United Kingdom
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "magical, will listen to this over and over."

    I was recommended this book by a friend who said she practically cried when she finished it. I thought she was exaggerating until I listened to the audio book. I finished it and went straight back to listen to one of the last chapters again, a conversation between widget and the man with the grey suit. I called my friend and she said her favourite quote was from this chapter too.

    I know I will listen to this again and again.

    I can't disagree that the narrator doesn't do the best voices for some of the female characters but this doesn't distract from the quality of the writing.

    All I can say is that I now owe my friend a huge favour for this recommendation and I'm not sure if cake is enough.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • colin
    London, United Kingdom
    1/20/13
    Overall
    "a masterpiece"

    Quite the most mysterious, magical and remarkable book i have read in a long time. A spell is cast and reader is drawn into the plot. Original and unique I hope to see more from this super talented author.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Suzan
    london, United Kingdom
    5/19/12
    Overall
    "magical"

    This is an eerily beautiful novel. It has a compelling story, dark sense of humour and, it is easy to detect by the sheer glee in which the writer unfolds the story, that she enjoyed writing it as much as I enjoyed listening to it. I recommend! x

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Andrea
    Bolton, United Kingdom
    2/26/12
    Overall
    "Magical imagery and vivid characters"

    This was a great book with a really good narration. I thoroughly enjoyed the black and white world of the Night Circus. The imagery was very well described and it is well written - i found it mysterious and utterly compelling!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Frankieg3
    Walton-on-the-Naze, United Kingdom
    2/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Beautiful Book - A Lifetime Favourite !!!"

    I have now listened to this book three times and I love it. It has enthralled me each time I have listened to it.

    The narration is brilliant but it is of a level I expect from Jim Dale who is a fantastic actor. He certainly brings out the nuances of the characters. This is going to be one of my lifetime favourites.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Deborah
    Surrey, United Kingdom
    1/25/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Magical Journey"

    This book took quite a while to get going. I felt that it was a bit long and sometimes could be confusing, jumping around between locations and times, with quite a few characters. The only problem with audiobooks is that you can't flick back a couple of pages to check who people are! However, the second half picked up the pace a lot and it became engrossing. Jim Dale gives a fantastic performance and overall it was extremely enjoyable and you really got sucked into the magical circus. I'm not sure of the age it is aimed at - young adults, perhaps.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Zoe
    Bath, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Why did it take me so long to discover this book?"

    A wonderfully beautiful story that stays with you long after you've finished. A literary novel that will hook you with the first chapter and continues to bewitch till the last word. Loved it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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