Carol. 's Reviews > The Night Circus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
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's review
Dec 12, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, favorites, my-library, lovely-lovely-language
Read in December, 2011

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 the thought of chocolate lingered in my mind, and it was only a day or two before I found myself heading to my favorite chocolatier, craving the bittersweetness of an espresso-infused truffle. The overwhelming rich smell of cocoa as I opened the door. The charming smile of the clerk. The snap as my teeth bit through the dark chocolate coating, and the coffee-flavored richness of the silky ganache coating my tongue.

The Night Circus is achingly beautiful. I'll concur with the critics that it might not have much of a plot, but sometimes the point is the storytelling. Morgenstern's writing reminds me of In the Night Garden in it's deceptively simple storytelling, of Peter S. Beagle's melancholic and star-crossed lovers, and of Steven Millhauser's love of ornate visual details in a magical environment. It's lyrical and evocative. If you want hair-trigger, gun-slinging action, this is not the book for you. If you look for slow, winding beauty, the walk in the sun-filled garden and the sparkle of sunlight off ice-covered trees, this might be your book.

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Reading Progress

01/30 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-30 of 30) (30 new)

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message 1: by Will (new)

Will Well said. And so agree. Some of the prose is out-of-this-world beautiful.

message 2: by Mayine (new)

Mayine I haven't read the book, but this little comment is itself so beautifully written!

Carol. Thank you, Will and Mayine!

Kathleen Zimmerman hello there...your first paragraph captured the slow, dream-like writing of this book, which I did like, kind of like suspended animation.

Carol. Thank you, Kathleen.

whichwaydidshego? LOVE your comparison!

Carol. whichwaydidshego? wrote: "LOVE your comparison!"

Thank you! It was an inspiring book.

message 8: by Nicky (last edited Jun 11, 2012 10:47AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nicky That was a lovely and pretty much perfect review :) Though now I am seriously contemplating raiding the chocolate brownies my sister left in the kitchen... ha oh well.

message 9: by Carol. (last edited Jun 11, 2012 07:50AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Carol. Thanks, Nicky! I say go for the brownies. ;)

message 10: by Mary (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mary Raymond what the what

message 11: by Mary (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mary Raymond so good

message 12: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann Thank you for putting my thought into words. I listened to the audiobook I thought it was a feast for the senses.

Carol. Ann wrote: "Thank you for putting my thought into words. I listened to the audiobook I thought it was a feast for the senses."

Thank you, Ann.

Becky Great review Carol. I too found it achingly beautiful. I’ve seen a lot of people mention that the second person walk-through’s of the circus seemed gimmicky but those were some of my favorite parts, I just love the way she described how things looked, it was so honest in its story telling and just beautiful.

Carol. Thanks, Becky. I agree-she was able to create a very experiential read.

message 16: by Maya (new)

Maya I have not read this book but i'm guessing you liked the writing and not the story

Carol. Maya--thanks for stopping by. I need both writing and story, but in this case, the writing outshone the story. Still a decent story for me.

message 18: by Sean (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sean Carol, you seem to have captured this book perfectly.

Carol. Thanks, Sean. I imagine you will enjoy it, after I glanced at your profile. And thanks for the reminder of The Color Kittens. I loved that book when I was younger, but had forgotten it. Off to order...

Melora Wow. Having just finished the book I can now appreciate your review. Perfect!

Carol. Thank you, Melora! I'll look for your thoughts!

Melora Carol. wrote: "Thank you, Melora! I'll look for your thoughts!"

My comments are nothing like so poetic as yours, and you nailed the issue of plot. I haven't read A Fine and Private Place in probably thirty years, but now I want to reread it, and I now have the Valente book on my list as well.

message 23: by Apatt (last edited Apr 06, 2016 06:30AM) (new)

Apatt Apparently the most reviewed fantasy book on GR. The best review of the book is this one of course :)

Is it similar to Something Wicked This Way Comes?

Carol. First, thank you, Apatt!

You know, that is a fascinating idea. I'd say so, although Night Circus is perhaps slightly less linear in plot. Really, though, same kind of story concept and visual writing.

message 25: by Lyn (new) - added it

Lyn great review

Carol. Thank you, Lyn!

message 27: by Lata (new) - added it

Lata Your description of the cupcake
made me want to run out and find one just like it!
Your review of the book has just convinced me to bring this closer to the front of to-read line. "achingly beautiful" and "lyrical"--yum!!! Now I really want to read this.

message 28: by Amy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amy That's a great take on this! I was looking for the proper ingredients when I read rather than the overall sensory experience and I think I would have enjoyed it much more had I just relaxed and scratched & sniffed at the goodness.

Carol. Lata--thank you! I confess, I start thinking about chocolate too :) I ended up buying the book. I should re-read it.

Carol. Amy wrote: "That's a great take on this! I was looking for the proper ingredients when I read rather than the overall sensory experience and I think I would have enjoyed it much more had I just relaxed and scr..."

I've discovered that sometimes my mood is a driver of enjoyment level, so I can sympathize with looking for normal reading recipe ingredients and not finding them.

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