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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

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    9,160
  • 4 Stars
    4,316
  • 3 Stars
    1,945
  • 2 Stars
    618
  • 1 Stars
    352

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    10,382
  • 4 Stars
    3,081
  • 3 Stars
    953
  • 2 Stars
    220
  • 1 Stars
    174

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    8,147
  • 4 Stars
    3,772
  • 3 Stars
    1,869
  • 2 Stars
    645
  • 1 Stars
    391
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Could have been so much more.

The concept had such great potential. I just didn't feel it delivered. Ends were not tied up satisfactorily and justice not served. Though I enjoyed the journey, the payoff at the end was not there. Sorry. I cannot recommend this book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A wonderful journey through the Circus

Loved it. Imaginative, great characters. Descriptions so well done you can almost touch and feel the narrative.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A world within a world

Morgaenstern creates a world within a world and beautiful creates it. I absolutely love it

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Just a hop, skip & a jump into oblivion

While I ultimately found this story illuminating and uniquely enthralling; it must be said that it is beautifully written in such a way add to appeal most to those with a knack for picking together tangential threads of juxtapositions. A truly marvelous tale.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Prepare to be enchanted

I found the narration of this book as engaging as the story. I was completely transported to the Night Circus and my mind ran away with the characters to a place where anything including the oldest magic, love, was brought to life.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it!

Loved it! Know it was audio but still couldn't put it down. A must read!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

I wanted to like it.....

What made the experience of listening to The Night Circus the most enjoyable?

Jim Dale is such an outstanding narrator. He saved this for me. Had I read the print book, I would have either skimmed it or given up altogether. The text is overdone and ponderous. This story could have been told just as well with 1/3 fewer words.

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

This is the only book by Morgenstern I have read.

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

Poppet or Celia

Who was the most memorable character of The Night Circus and why?

Celia

Any additional comments?

I was so glad to come to the end of this book. The story is convoluted and had to follow at times. I really wanted to like it as many of my friends enjoyed it and online reviews were generally good. But I just did not enjoy it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Resplendant!

Beautiful prose that you can lose yourself in; narrated clearly and with the perfect amount of emotion so the imagery evoked can be clearly imagined! I look forward to listening to this over and over again, and will probably buy the book, so I can also have a physical copy to enjoy! My only complaint is that I have to work while listening and cannot give it the full attention that it deserves.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Enchanting

The Night Circus is an enchanting take of love and struggle told in a dreamlike fashion. Wonderfully narrated.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Great narrator, ok book

Jim Dale never fails to deliver a great performance. I tried this book because it had said it was like Harry Potter. It isn't. While magic is rampant, and it is as creative, it's a love story. 2 kids learn magic to fight each other is a magical circus arena. There's no formal school shown (tho implied), the central stories are ultimately about a girl and a boy, and everyone is obsessed the the circus. the circus is with obsession, I hope there is or will be another book with higher focus on the magic and the circus.