The Night Circus
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The Night Circus

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  252,216 ratings  ·  35,217 reviews
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 magic...more
Paperback, 387 pages
Published 2011 by Harvill Secker
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Lucy
Contains some minor spoilers.

I disliked this book, which means I ought to rate it one star, but it is not as awful as my one star shelf. One star books have to really repulse me to get that rating. The only redeeming thing about The Night Circus is that I didn't feel the one star compulsion to start a bonfire so I could properly dispose of it, hence two stars, but in this case it does not mean I enjoyed the book at all.

From the Goodreads summary: "But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is u...more
Tatiana
The Night Circus will be a 5-star book for a certain reader. This reader likes a lot of descriptions, doesn't mind a very slow story and has a soft spot for circuses. I am not that reader. I prefer imagery to complement a plot rather than substitute it.

The plot summary of The Night Circus promised many enticing things, but delivered, in my opinion, only on one - lush imagery of a mysterious circus that was a collaborative creation of two rivaling magicians. The book was good 80% description of v...more
Maggie Stiefvater
Five Things About THE NIGHT CIRCUS.

Ordinarily when I do my recommendations, I do a “five reasons to read _____,” but I think opinions will be so divided on THE NIGHT CIRCUS that I think “things about” will be more useful.

1. This novel is not what it says it is. Well, back page copy is always a weird thing anyway, as it’s not written by the author. And a weirder thing because it is essentially a glamour shot of the novel. It is not a lie. But it isn’t really what the novel looks like when it’s wa...more
Cait
Aw hell, I'm going to rate this 4.5 stars. I can't resist this book was so freaking good. I don't normally change my ratings, so don't expect this TOO often.

My feelings are so conflicted about this book. I don't know whether to immortalize it for all eternity in a frame on my wall, or throw it into the fire.

So, how the hell am I supposed to rate this book? A million stars, one star, 837 stars, what? In the end I did some crazy, overly complicated math that really makes so sense in my head, an...more
karen
shrug. yeah, i had a good time reading this book. i got really swept away in its atmosphere, and it didn't disappoint me because i didn't go into it thinking it was going to be a masterwork of literature, explaining the human condition and changing the way i saw myself and my relationships in the future. it presented itself as a fantasy novel about a magical victorian circus and that's exactly what it gave me.

i think it is most successful in terms of its mood and its atmosphere. this is not a n...more
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Dec 04, 2013 Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who needs magic in their world
Rating: 6* of five

Sometimes, some books just don't lend themselves to an analytical, opinionated review. I'm reluctant to do that kind of review here and now because the experience of reading The Night Circus was like smelling a magnolia blossom...perfect, sweet, rich, satisfying a need I didn't know I had until it was met...but to examine it, to handle it, even gently, risks that somehow the magical smooth gorgeously textured vessel of chastely erotic pleasure that this book is will let it begi...more
Jessica Jeffers
As a young girl, Celia Bowen is delivered to the father she never knew, a world famous magician whose secret is that his show is genuine magic - not illusions. He teaches Celia to manipulate the world in the same way so that she can compete in a high-stakes game against Marco, an orphan similarly trained by her father's nemesis. The arena for this game is an elaborate, surreal circus. Neither Celia nor Marco knows the extent of the game, nor their opponent, until they have fallen in love with ea...more
Joel
Wedding cakes are typically the prettiest cakes, but they are almost never the tastiest cakes. I am not a cake expert (can I be one though? Is that a thing I can be?), but it seems to me that the tools necessary to make a cake exceptionally pretty -- a vat of fondant, to start -- also contribute to the cake not tasting all that good (unless you somehow really like fondant, which is incorrect).

Don't misunderstand me, I have no issue with cake. The right decorations, the right frosting (buttercrea...more
Cedan
This book had so much potential.

The world that Morgenstern created is so exquisite that it should have been easy for her to spin a good story. The Night Circus could have been a story of intrigue and manipulation. It could have been a heartfelt romance. If Moregenstern wanted to, The Night Circus could even have been a coming of age story with a thoughtful message about growing up and the choices we make.

Instead, the final product is a badly written soap opera. The main characters, Marco and C...more
Rane


I remember when I was a kid, my Dad took me to the Circus, a small traveling circus with a few shows and a fewer animals, a circus that was rare even then and not heard of now of days. I remember holding my Dad's hand as we walked through the huge big top tent and feeling something magical and rare falling over me.
One show that I can clearly remember even years after is of a young woman, a Aerial silk performer as she made the silk fabric dance for her with ease and grace as it wrapped itself...more
Carol. [All cynic, all the time]
Sometimes I want chocolate. And sometimes I want the chocolate experience. I'm as guilty as the next person of the occasional vending machine pick-up for when I need those quick fixes. But then there's the slow anticipation. Take last week, for instance. It had been a few days since the last time. As I waited in line for my latte, my eyes happened to linger on a cute little cupcake, dark velvety goodness. Short, stacked, with a swirl of fluffy milk chocolate frosting. I resisted temptation, but...more
Katrina Passick Lumsden
If I had to describe this book in one word, that word would probably be...wondrous. This story made me want to smile, frown, laugh, and curl up into a ball and cry. Try to imagine someone taking Carnivale, Somewhere in Time, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and The Prestige and mashing them all together into a poetic, stunning piece of fiction with a beautifully melancholic, bittersweet ending. It made me crave magical autumn nights spent in a circus that defies the conventional laws of the univ...more
Meg ♥

This book was...in a word...amazing! I wish it didn't have to end.

Celia and Marco are two young magicians who were chosen to take part in a competition by her father and his trainer. They don't know each other as they grow up, but they know that they are training for this competition. They also don't know much about the competition at all, they just train on and do what they're told. As they grow up they learn more each day, and meet each other while working at the circus which is the venue for...more
Amanda
The Night Circus reminds me of a wedding cake: breath-takingly beautiful and intricate, with an infinite amount of attention paid to every detail. And, while you'll do the polite thing and talk about how delicious it was, in your heart-of-hearts you know that the simple homemade cake you've got waiting for you at home is infinitely better. Because a wedding cake isn't really about taste at all; it's all about flash, panache, and aesthetics. As your fork breaks through all the magic of sculpted i...more
Rick Riordan
The prose sparkles, and the story itself is a feat of magical acrobatics. It's a hard book to summarize, but basically two ancient magicians set their two best pupils against one another in a magical contest. Its venue? A mysterious circus that only appears at night. The only problem: the contestants don't really know the rules, or how victory is determined. And when the contestants start falling in love which each other, things get complicated.

Cameron
THE NIGHT CIRCUS is magical realism at its most fun. The major storyline pits two young magicians (and two schools of thought) in a mysterious battle set in a traveling night circus. The circus is both the main and most interesting character. The secondary story line involves a young boy in Massachusetts who visits the circus and returns as a young man. The tertiary story line involves you, the reader, walking through the circus in the present day.

The structure of the book mimics the circus whe...more
Katie(babs)
“The circus arrives without warning.” (This may be the most talked about opening line of any book to be published this year.)

The book this opening statement comes from is called The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and one that amazed me in so many ways. All my emotions were engaged as I read. I was enthralled to the point I wanted to curse Erin because I was utterly obsessed with this fantasy world she has created. Words are poetry where the writer is the artist responsible in creating beauty i...more
Nemo (the Moonlight Library)
See this review and more on The Moonlight Library!

Gah! What a supremely boring book.

The prose is near perfect, and the descriptions are the best I’ve ever read. But good writing and beautiful descriptions does not a good book make!

This book was boring. I was promised a deadly duel to the death between two star-crossed magic-making lovers, trained since childhood to… destroy each other, perhaps. Instead I was delivered a slow-burn of somewhat related skits interspersed with pretty good second-per...more
Jeanette
I just can't stay with this. It's tedious and overwritten, pretentious and full of endless descriptions. Way over-hyped. I think the plot idea had promise, but its execution needs a buzz cut. Or maybe even a vasectomy. With a weed-whacker.
Becky
I never expected to like this book. Just from the title I knew it wasn't for me, but so many people spoke highly of the book, so I read some reviews... And my opinion remained the same. This wasn't for me. Nothing about it appealed to me, and so I had no interest in ever reading it. But, it was chosen for my bookclub, and so I read it. Technically. And now I am going to rant about why I wish I hadn't. In detail, which means there's gonna be spoilery stuff, probably.

Here we go:

I don't like readi...more
Giselle
The Night Circus is like cake. Cake without frosting. Sure, cake is good, some people will even prefer dry, plain cake all by itself, but others, such as myself, need the sugary sweetness of frosting. Some may prefer the milder whip frosting. Or maybe even caramel or candy to put the final touches on our taste buds. Either way, plain cake, no matter how moist, is not for everyone.

Yes, the writing is beautiful. Beyond beautiful. It's magnificent and breathtaking; the detailed scenery, the magic,...more
Lo
This review will not recap the story, but below are my general thoughts on the book.

http://welovedystopianromance.blogspo...

I really, really wanted to like this book. Everyone and every review (okay maybe not every,) but the majority say that this is the best book in forever. I might be in the unpopular opinion here, but I would have wanted someone to tell me that the book's official summary is misleading. I was lead to believe that this was going to be non-stop action book, by this statement:...more
Jillian -always aspiring-
Dec 15, 2011 Jillian -always aspiring- rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys slow, thoughtful books that are best described as "layered creations"
Recommended to Jillian -always aspiring- by: Eve Davids
(Actual Rating: 3.5 stars)

Erin Morgenstern's debut novel, The Night Circus, is a book bound to divide book lovers into the "loved it" and "hated it" categories. Some people will adore the prose; others will despise it for being flowery and excessive. Some readers will hate the false promises the blurb on the jacket copy offers; others will still find something magical to love and admire in this novel despite the deception within the blurb. As for me, I was divided in my opinions. I mean, I reall...more
Lola
**3.5 stars**

description

''A circus?'' says Lainie Burgess with a smile. ''How marvelous!''
''Like a carnival?'' Mr. Barris asks, sounding mildly confused.
''More than a carnival,'' Chandresh says. ''More than a circus, really, like no circus anyone has ever seen. Not a single large tent but a multitude of tents, each with a particular exhibition. No elephants or clowns. No, something more refined than that. Nothing commonplace. This will be different, this will be an utterly unique experience, a feast for

...more
Surin
Feb 21, 2012 Surin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell, The Prestige, circuses, magic in the real world.
Edit: Okay I've re-read The Night Circus recently and was absolutely blown away again. I know in my review I initially gave it a 4 stars because of the lack lustre ending, the poor world building and the illogical plot points but the journey The Night Circus took me on was so intriguing and beautiful that all this didn't really matter to me at all.

On a 2nd read, The Night Circus really comes to life as it shines like a beacon in the night sky. There's so much detail that I got to appreciate on
...more
Kaycie Hall
I honestly did not want this book to end. The Night Circus is the most whimsical, magical place I've ever discovered (even more so than Hogwarts), and I wish with all of my heart that it was real. I mean, I'd run away from home and join my life with a magical black and white circus that contains rooms of dreams, illusions, and cloud mazes. Wouldn't you?

Perhaps not the most highly literary book I've read this year, but I don't care. Honestly even if this book had no plot (it does have one, no wor...more
Caroline
I don’t know that it’s ever happened that I’ve read a book and felt the summary on its dust jacket sounded better than what I actually read. It’s the other way around usually, isn’t it? The summary doesn’t do the actual story justice, or it might not even tell you all that much, right? Not with this book. When it first hit bookstores, publishers marketed The Night Circus as “the next Harry Potter,” which, every time I recall this con, makes me want to tear my pretty hardback copy into tiny piece...more
Mike
Feb 23, 2012 Mike rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Do you feel lucky? Well, do you?
Recommended to Mike by: goodreads group Literary Exploration
The Night Circus: Erin Morgenstern's Novel of Artifice

"By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes."--Act IV, Scene I, Macbeth, William Shakespeare

Well. That's that. Done. Finished. Three Hundred Eighty Seven pages. I read every one. It was a task. It was a chore. It became drudgery. It was work. This review is cathartic in nature.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying I'm a better writer than Erin Morgenstern. I certainly could not have written The Night Circus. Although I have wr...more
Greg
This is my review for Night Circus.

Warning:



Not right away though. The hardcore truth will come later.

I never would have read this book if it wasn't the group read for Karen's reader advisory group.

Because I would have never read it I did go into the book with any expectations. I wasn't expecting to love it. I wasn't expecting to hate it. I had an idea of the plot from reading some other reviews, but I wasn't expecting anything.

I ended up liking the book quite a bit. I thought it was fun and e...more
Stephanie
Ummm. This was amazing. This was magical. This was sometimes confusing, but an awesome ride nonetheless. That's really all guys. Ms. Mogenstern's debut is worth the hype IMO. :-)

ETA:

After thinking about this further, I felt like maybe I should do a little more explaining. But that's just it, I love this book and can't really put my love for it into words accurately. It was all about the experience I had while reading it. It was really quite special. It's all about the effing best circus in the h...more
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Good or bad. What did you think?? 216 1282 Jul 30, 2014 01:10PM  
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Dragons & Jet...: The Night Circus / Overall Discussion **SPOILERS** 24 53 Jul 26, 2014 03:49PM  
Worth the Read: The Night Circus: July 2014 11 40 Jul 26, 2014 10:20AM  
Change One Letter 179 308 Jul 16, 2014 10:35AM  
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Erin Morgenstern is a writer and a multimedia artist, who describes all her work as "fairy tales in one way or another." She grew up in Marshfield, Massachusetts. She currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts with two very fluffy cats.
More about Erin Morgenstern...

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“The finest of pleasures are always the unexpected ones.” 1451 likes
“You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone's soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows that they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.” 1005 likes
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