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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • A User
  • MOBILE, AL, United States
  • 02-12-16

This is a lifetime favorite!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Night Circus to be better than the print version?

I enjoyed the story so much more than I thought I would. The narrator did an excellent job of voicing the characters, as well as lending an air of mystery and magic to the overall tone of the story. I definitely would have missed that in the print version!

What other book might you compare The Night Circus to and why?

This book is very similar to Alice in Wonderland and its "down the rabbit hole" surreality - but all grown up, with true love, sacrifice, and a very satisfying end.

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

They are all wonderful!

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

Yes! Plan to get nothing done! It's a gentle story - like a dream, but you can't stop listening. It's so descriptive! I can absolutely see the Wishing Tree - and all the other "magic" acts.

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Romance, Magic, and Mystery!

What did you love best about The Night Circus?

The detailed writing allows the reader to picture everything perfectly. I would love to visit the circus; taste the foods, and see the shows. It sounds incredible.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Celia was my favorite. I loved the details the author gave about her dresses, and I pictured myself as a beautiful magician!

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

I could listen to Jim Dale read the phone book - he is wonderful! He makes stories come to life. I actually went looking for something read by Jim Dale, which is how I stumbled upon this book.

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

Yes! I would listen all day at work, and go home and listen there too!

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my new favorite!!

loved every second of this book, didn't want it to end!!! can't wait for more!

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Waste o time

Don't waste your time!! I dislike very few books but this is one of them. No point to the story

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Magical

Enchanting story with fabulous narration. Although there are many characters, the way they all weave together is magical.

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one of jim dales best performances

the descriptions in this book are amazing, especially told through the voice of jim dale. sadly i do not think I'll ever find a circus like this one.

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  • robert
  • Atlanta, GA, United States
  • 01-26-16

Night Circus for Insomniacs

This book should have been 6 instead of thirteen hours. The ponderous descriptions were redundant. The narrator succeeded in making a young girl sound like an old man and was unable to find more than three distinctive voices. Celia's voice changes throughout the book. Overall very average

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A Dreamy Mystery

This book is captivating. it draws on nostalgic sensory from childhood that so many people have when visiting magic shows or even the Farmers Market/Carnival/Fair/Circus. the author takes those senses and blends them with the much deeper, more enticing feelings of curiosity, love, fear and a reasonable amount of disdain. the ending is misleading enough to feel that Ms. Morgenstern was not rushed to finish writing the book so much so that the anticipation was high until the last word was read. this is a very palpable book with a rich story that should not be avoided.

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Whimsical setting but storyline was average.

The setting is interesting; a night circus of magic. It reminds me of the anime series Kaleido Star. The problem I have with this book is that the characters are often too one dimensional and predictable, and too goody goody in many ways. I also felt the romance was too cheesy. Overall, it is good to pass time during a commute, but I don't feel the storyline was amazing. The voice acting was fine.

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deep

Absolutely enthralled and relatedness to the story and life's questions. enjoyed thoroughly the deepness of poetic words brought to life