Lorraine's Reviews > The Night Circus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
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Feb 25, 12

bookshelves: z2012, book-club, i-own-it, american, historical-fiction, fantasy, go-back-to-the-beginning
Recommended for: adult fans of Harry Potter, The Time Traveler's Wife
Read from February 17 to 25, 2012

I almost finished this book in one weekend, but I didn't. I didn't want it to be over, so held off as long as I could (five more days) and then devoured the final few chapters.

I realize I have less to say about a book I loved than I do about books that are mediocre (terrible books barely seem worth the effort of a scathing review).

This fantastical circus and the characters involved in it emerge slowly and mysteriously, but they are mesmerizing and wonderful. Just like the ideal circus (that is, everything you want in a circus), emerges in this story. I suppose I could have done without a romance plotline, but this one steps towards the line of sappy then comes back to maintain its dignity. In the end, I realize that it was essential to the story and not gratuitous at all. That makes me feel better.

I admire how the time period was so relevant to the story, but not a major component of the story. That is, set around the turn of the 20th century is ideal because of the absence of computers and the presence of romance (not the love kind) that this era exudes. But the author focuses on the story, and keeps the setting details at a minimum, giving enough for context and atmosphere, but not drowning scenes in unnecessary description.

It is this style of fantasy that I most enjoy -- routed in real life but enough "logical" alternate reality to make it seem plausible. It's right up there with Harry Potter and The Time Traveler's Wife.
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