Katrina Passick Lumsden's Reviews > The Night Circus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
1964146
's review
Dec 04, 13

bookshelves: pleasantly-surprised, favorites
Read from October 28 to 29, 2011

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 universe, and somehow made me nostalgic for something I've never actually experienced. The imagery alone deserves the highest praise, and it is complemented by a powerfully poignant tale of love and grief, desire and loss, the magic that is all around us, even if we can't see it. It's not a fast-paced tale, it is meandering, subtle, and completely amazing. This is the kind of story that stays with you well after you've finished reading, a story that makes you gaze into the distance and sigh every time you realize Le Cirque de Reves hasn't materialized in your town overnight.

For some reason, this book reminds me of autumn, my favorite season (perhaps due to the aforementioned similarity to Something Wicked This Way Comes), and I think perhaps it will become a yearly read for me, when I inevitably begin to feel that pull to see orange, smell pumpkin, and hear the dry rustling of dead leaves as they dance down the street.


My favorite part:

"They stand entwined but not touching, their heads tilted toward each other. Lips frozen in the moment before (or after) the kiss.
Though you watch them for some time they do not move. No stirring of fingertips or eyelashes. No indication that they are even breathing.
"They cannot be real," someone nearby remarks.
Many patrons only glance at them before moving on, but the longer you watch, the more you can detect the subtlest of motions. The change in the curve of a hand as it hovers near an arm. The shifting angle of a perfectly balanced leg. Each of them always gravitating toward the other.
Yet still they do not touch."



129 likes · likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Night Circus.
sign in »

Reading Progress

10/28/2011 page 279
72.0%
10/28/2011 page 279
72.0% "So far, this is fairly amazing. Think Something Wicked This Way Comes mixed with a little Somewhere in Time."

Comments (showing 1-39 of 39) (39 new)

dateDown_arrow    newest »

Rowena Awesome! This is on my to-read list:)


Katrina Passick Lumsden I get nervous every time I talk something up this much because I know there are inevitably going to be people who hate it (there already are people who hate this book, something I can't quite understand). It's not everyone's cup of tea, I know...but I love circus themes, and Morgenstern's prose really is quite surreal and beautiful. I actually loved this book so much that, after reading it on my Kindle, I went out and bought a hardcover copy. I even paid the extra shipping to buy one from the UK because I liked that cover better. :\

Lol.


message 3: by Katrina (last edited Aug 14, 2012 09:33PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Katrina Passick Lumsden I mean seriously, look at that cover! Heehee.

Photobucket


message 4: by Hassaan (new) - added it

Hassaan Whoa! That is a gorgeous cover. Damn my local bookshops for only having the paperback :(


Katrina Passick Lumsden Hassaan wrote: "Whoa! That is a gorgeous cover. Damn my local bookshops for only having the paperback :("

I'm pretty sure the UK paperback has the same cover, but if you bought in the US, yeah, it would just be the tent art. I like the tent one, don't get me wrong, but the first time I saw the UK version, I nearly went into conniptions.


Rowena I do love that cover, wow!


message 7: by Hassaan (new) - added it

Hassaan Katrina wrote: "I'm pretty sure the UK paperback has the same cover, but if you bought in the US, yeah, it..."

Unfortunately, I'm located in Pakistan, and with Amazon/etc not really an option here, I'm left wheedling my way to good hardbacks. The shops here are hesitant to import on demand, and even then its rare for them to order shipments of hardbacks, since there's too few OCD/enthusiasts here to justify that; their profits stay with the paperbacks. And I do so want the hardback (The paperback is in stock here, and you're right, its the UK print and has the same cover art)

Still, whenever they do give in to our demands, its almost always a UK print, so, I'm going to start spamming emails to the shop owner! :>


message 8: by Hassaan (new) - added it

Hassaan But its gotten infinitely better now, we get more and more good hardback editions too. Recently bumped into this at my local store <3

description


Rowena That's a great book cover, Hassaan!


message 10: by Katrina (last edited Aug 14, 2012 10:54PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Katrina Passick Lumsden Oh, that is a beautiful cover!

I think I would go crazy having to wheedle, Hassaan. I feel absolutely spoiled now. Here's to hoping your efforts in spamming yield positive results!


message 11: by Hassaan (new) - added it

Hassaan For approximately £15 too, which sounds like a steal to me... Unless the actual price is far less. Our shops tend to be rather awry with their prices :P


message 12: by Hassaan (new) - added it

Hassaan Katrina wrote: "Oh, that is a beautiful cover!

I think I would go crazy having to wheedle, Hassaan. I feel absolutely spoiled now. Here's to hoping your efforts in spamming yield positive results!"


I'm motivated by my desire (read:addiction) to possess these gorgeous things <3

Took me months to get my hands on the anniversary edition of American Gods. Going through a similar
period of bothering the shop owners for the similar edition of Coraline. :)


Nemo (the Moonlight Library) This had the most beautiful descriptive writing I've ever experienced. I want to try that caramel popcorn!


Elizabeth(The Book Whisperer) I loved this book! It was so beautfully written. I was seduced with the descriptions of a mysterious circus and its oocupants. The story of the tree gave me goosebumps! I have to say The Night Circus is one of my favorite books I read this year.


Tamsin I've been considering this one for ages. I'm definitely picking up a copy next time I'm in town, it sounds wonderful.


message 16: by Kathryn (new) - added it

Kathryn Your review has made me want to read this!


Wordsmith @Katrina:This book—this book, was one of my favorite books I read this year. The high and low—up and down sounds, so perfectly paced in their rhythmic beat to the flow of her prose, that from the very start, never once let up, until Ms. Morgenstern says, "That's All Folk's." .....were flawless.


Jeanine Wonderful book!


message 19: by Dawn (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dawn I had a constant fight in my head trying to decide if this book would make an amazing movie because of the visuals or a horrible movie - because all of the subtleties that make the book amazing would be lost.


Jeanine Dawn wrote: "I had a constant fight in my head trying to decide if this book would make an amazing movie because of the visuals or a horrible movie - because all of the subtleties that make the book amazing wou..."

I don't see how they could possibly film visuals that would be anywhere as great as I pictured them while I read.


Katrina Passick Lumsden Dawn wrote: "I had a constant fight in my head trying to decide if this book would make an amazing movie because of the visuals or a horrible movie - because all of the subtleties that make the book amazing wou..."

I've had the same debate in my own head. Someone began a discussion regarding turning this book into a movie, and I have to say, for the most part, I'm against it. There are just too many variables.

If they got a director who liked the book, understood how to translate the visuals well, and knew what he/she was doing (which seems rare these days)...

If they cast it with good actors who fit the roles instead of allowing star power to overcome basic human decency in regards to respecting Morgenstern's work...

If they got a screenwriter who was capable of reverting the subtleties of the novel into the film...

And if they had a visual team (effects, cinematography, etc.) who knew what the hell they were doing...

Then it might turn out all right. I just don't have any faith in Hollywood anymore.


Katrina Passick Lumsden You know, I think it would be better visually if it were animated. Honestly, I would love to see Natasha Wescoat paint up some storyboards for it.

Photobucket


message 23: by Hassaan (new) - added it

Hassaan I'm going to go with animated myself, I think it will have a far better chance of depicting the nuances of the book's setup than anything Hollywood could churn out. Unless... Scorsese? :)


message 24: by Katrina (last edited Aug 15, 2012 10:42PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Katrina Passick Lumsden Hassaan wrote: "I'm going to go with animated myself, I think it will have a far better chance of depicting the nuances of the book's setup than anything Hollywood could churn out. Unless... Scorsese? :)"

Hmm...Scorsese's style might be a bit too gritty for that kind of imagery.

The more I think about it, the more I think it needs to be animation. And that the Japanese need to be involved in some way, lol.

http://forgottenbennet.tumblr.com/pos...

http://nyafox.tumblr.com/post/2010254...

So need to get my hands on the Japanese edition now...


Katrina Passick Lumsden Kathryn wrote: "Your review has made me want to read this!"

Well, then I hope you end up liking it. *gulp* ;)


Katrina Passick Lumsden Tamsin wrote: "I've been considering this one for ages. I'm definitely picking up a copy next time I'm in town, it sounds wonderful."

Here's to hoping you enjoy it even half as much as I did:)


Katrina Passick Lumsden Elizabeth wrote: "I loved this book! It was so beautfully written. I was seduced with the descriptions of a mysterious circus and its oocupants. The story of the tree gave me goosebumps! I have to say The Night Circ..."

You might enjoy this (they made their own Wishing Tree! *girly squee*)

http://deliciousreadsbookclub.blogspo...


message 28: by Hassaan (new) - added it

Hassaan Katrina wrote: "Hmm...Scorsese's style might be a bit too gritty for that kind of imagery."

Referring back to Hugo, Scorsese was anything but gritty in the film adaptation of that book. Though I'm now feeling strangely ecstatic at the idea of the Japanese handling an animated version of Circus. I've always been an immense fan of Mr. Miyazaki <3


message 29: by Rochelle (new)

Rochelle Love autumn too and the titles you named are among my all-time favorites, especially Something Wicked This Way Comes.


Tamsin I bought it and am on page 27. I love it already!


Jeanine Tamsin wrote: "I bought it and am on page 27. I love it already!"

It just gets better and better!


Ceilidh Katrina wrote: "Elizabeth wrote: "I loved this book! It was so beautfully written. I was seduced with the descriptions of a mysterious circus and its oocupants. The story of the tree gave me goosebumps! I have to ..."

Oh my god that is amazing, I want to join that bookclub!


message 33: by M. (new) - rated it 5 stars

M. Thank you! You really have a way with words. This is exactly how I felt about this book. Normally, I don't even consider re- reading books but this one deserves to be read once a year just like you said.


AKlaine Your "favorite part" is mine too! The author really wrote that beautifully.


message 35: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Katrina wrote: "I mean seriously, look at that cover! Heehee.



"


Wow that cover looks better than the version of "The Night Circus" I currently own.

I just started reading this book and it is awesome read.


message 36: by Briana (new) - added it

Briana Well this certainly means something coming from you. You're very insightful and I enjoy following your reviews! Can't wait to read this one.


Maria C Just finished it and you describe perfectly what I felt when I read the last sentence..


message 38: by Zee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zee Such a beautiful review! I have just started on my second reading. Currently top of my favourites list!


Jeanine Wonderful book, beautifully written.


back to top