Friday, May 18, 2012

Night Circus by Erin Morganstern: Book Review

Night Circus
By Erin Morgenstern
My own copy

The Night Circus is a " Once upon story". If you are captivated by fairy tales, and fantasy, with visual, and symbolism than this book is right up your alley.

With that said, I will tell you I have never read a novel like this before as a adult. When my son was reading, Harry Potter I never read them. Perhaps I will give it a try now, after reading Night Circus.  I think you can gather that I enjoyed reading Night Circus.  After reading a very depressing book, I wanted to read something to escape.

The Night Circus, was featured all over the internet last year when it was about to be published.  It was one of the novels to be the in-crowd at BEA. Everyone was picking it up. Even though I was not there. I read many a book blogger, that was at BEA, talking about this book. 

If you have not read this book, now would be the time before it becomes a movie.  The book is very visual, with lots of color, with symbolism. This book is a fairy tale, with a bit of fantasy, and enchantment, and star crossed eyed lovers.  There is a connection of time, and age in the book. I loved the way the author connected both time, and age into the book.

 The only thing, back in forth in time, and place became a bit confusing. The time is between 1873 to 1903. The story is magical and I can't say enough about this wonderfully written novel.

Night Circus, is the story of two people, Celia  a young girl is trained by her father to be a illusionist, the famous Prospero the Enchanter. The orphan child, Marco is, the apprentice to the man in the gray suit. He is mysterious, and we don't learn he's name.

When they reach adulthood they both learn the reason why they were trained to become illusionists. There is a contest of wills to the death. The focal point is the circus, Le Circus Des Reves. The circus is only open at night. The characters in the story are intriguing. I loved the twins and Bailey as much as the romance of Marco and Celia.

I loved the opening paragraphs:
The Circus arrives without warning. No announcement precedes it, no paper notices on downtown posts and billboards, no mentions or advertisements in local papers. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.

The towering tents are striped in white and black, no golds and crimsons to be be seen.  No color at all, save for the neighboring trees and the grass of the surrounding fields. Black and white stripes on grey sky; countless tents of varying shapes and sizes, with a elaborate wrought iron fence encasing them in a colorless world. Even what little ground is visible from outside is black or white, painted or powdered, or treated with some other circus trick.
But it is not open for business. Not just yet.
Within hours everyone in town has heard about it. By afternoon the news has spread several towns over. Word of mouth is a more effective method of advertisement than typeset words and exclamation points on paper pamphlets or posters. It is impressive and unusual news, the sudden appearance of a mysterious circus. People marvel at the staggering height of the tallest tents. They stare at the clock that sits just inside the gates that no one can properly describe. The black sign painted in white letters that hang upon the gates, the one that reads:

                        Opens at night and Closes at dawn.

If this doesn't draw you in from the start, and captivate you like it did me. Than this book is not for you.

I am so intrigued by the cover of the book. I am sorry to say that is what drew me in, at first. Have you read a book, because of the cover? Was it what you expected? Or was it a dud?
Did you see this book at BEA? Did you pick it up because of the cover?  I understand the paperback is coming out soon. I am interested to see what they do with it. The new cover for the paperback doesn't draw me in as much as the hard cover.  That happens all the time.


Irene said...

Sounds really good. Thanks.

Melissa Mc (Gerbera Daisy Diaries) said...

I just finished this last night, in time for book club. It was unlike anything else I've ever read. Imagery was amazing. Although the plot was sluggish thru 2/3rds of the book. Ending made up for it.

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