Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways's Reviews > The Night Circus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
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Dec 04, 13

Recommended for: anyone who needs magic in their world
Read from January 01 to 06, 2012, read count: 2

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 begin, inexorably and inevitably, to brown and curl and die, and become...just a wonderful book.

I'm not ready for real life yet. I want the magic to linger just a little longer.

The physical book itself was a Christmas gift to me from a GoodReads friend, and to him I offer humble thanks on bended knee. This was in the top five reading experiences of my life, and will most likely remain there for the rest of it. I am changed and exalted. And it is thanks to you, and your gift to me.

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Quotes Richard Reviles Censorship Liked

Erin Morgenstern
“The finest of pleasures are always the unexpected ones.”
Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern
“Life takes us to unexpected places sometimes. The future is never set in stone, remember that.”
Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern
“I am tired of trying to hold things together that cannot be held. Trying to control what cannot be controlled. I am tired of denying myself what I want for fear of breaking things I cannot fix. They will break no matter what we do.”
Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern
“The most difficult thing to read is time. Maybe because it changes so many things.”
Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern
“Only the ship is made of books, its sails thousands of overlapping pages, and the sea it floats upon is dark black ink.”
Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern
“The truest tales require time and familiarity to become what they are.”
Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern
“I couldn't tell the difference between what was real and what I wanted to be real.”
Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern
“You prefer not to see the gears of the clock, as to better tell time.”
Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern
“You believe you could not live with the pain. Such pain is not lived with. It is only endured. I am sorry.”
Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus
tags: grief

Erin Morgenstern
“And there are really never endings, happy or otherwise.”
Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern
“The sensation reminds him of the first snow of winter, for those first few hours when everything is blanketed in white, soft and quiet.”
Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern
“You need to understand your limitations so you can overcome them.”
Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern
“Secrets have power, and that power diminishes when they are shared, so they are best kept and kept well. Sharing secrets, real secrets, important ones, with even one other person, will change them.”
Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern
“He does hesitate, just for a moment, but he knows he will hate himself later if he doesn’t at least try, no matter what might happen after.”
Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern
“Secrets have power. And that power diminishes when they are shared, so they are best kept and kept well. Sharing secrets, real secrets, important ones, with even one other person, will change them. Writing them down is worse, because who can tell how many eyes might see them inscribed on paper, no matter how careful you might be with it. So it's really best to keep your secrets when you have them, for their own good, as well as yours.”
Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern
“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.”
Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern
“We lead strange lives, chasing our dreams around from place to place.”
Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern
“I have tried to let you go and I cannot. I cannot stop thinking of you. I cannot stop dreaming about you.”
Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern
“People don’t pay much attention to anything unless you give them reason to”
Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus


Reading Progress


Comments (showing 1-50 of 72) (72 new)


Meg ♥ Wow, top 5 ever! That's impressive. I have wanted to read this for a while, but now I'm thinking it should go a bit higher on my TBR pile. :-)


message 2: by Judith (new)

Judith I love your review..but I'm not ready to jump on THE NIGHT CIRCUS bandwagon.

I have problems with "wildly popular" books..in that they tend to disappoint, to one degree or another

Not to slag your review, but i think I'll hold off on this puppy for a while...like maybe until the end of the year

I have so many books on my shelves...unread. I might find a treasure there...equally magical

J


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Meg ♥ wrote: "Wow, top 5 ever! That's impressive. I have wanted to read this for a while, but now I'm thinking it should go a bit higher on my TBR pile. :-)"

Meg, a quick whip through your shelves leads me to take out the swansdown lash and brandish it menacingly at you, hollering "MAKE IT NEXT MAKE IT NEXT!"


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Judith wrote: "I love your review..but I'm not ready to jump on THE NIGHT CIRCUS bandwagon.

I have problems with "wildly popular" books..in that they tend to disappoint, to one degree or another

Not to slag you..."


No indeed, sweetness, and knowing you these past four, five years, I can honestly say: DO. NOT. READ. THIS. It will cause you to pluck out your eyeballs and rinse them in Drano simply to regain the vision you've lost by immersing your head in mustard to get the gooey fluff out.

Stay clear!


message 5: by Judith (new)

Judith I have an ARC of the book...somewhere. I think the cat kicked it under the oak cupboard

Not that i don't want to read the damned thing, I would rather wait until folks stop swooning over its preciousness (is that an effing word?)
;-}


message 6: by Stephen (new) - added it

Stephen If the book is half as magical as your review, than 6 stars may not be enough.


Trudi Who could resist an endorsement such as that!?


message 8: by Sean (new)

Sean I wonder how many male readers pass this book up by the appearance that this is perhaps a girls book. However, many male readers have given this book great reviews so I may put this on the to-read list.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Stephen wrote: "If the book is half as magical as your review, than 6 stars may not be enough."

There are only a few peak experiences in life, in every area we find pleasure in, so maybe the stars can't do justice to the experience.

I waited ten days before I even wrote this, just to be sure I wasn't all caught up in hype or in a sentimental mood or something. Even re-reading the book didn't chip the paint or poop on the carpet. For me, this old man sittin' here in this chair, this was near the top of a really tall heap.

Hurry up and read it! I even sorta hope you hate it...be proof to me that it's Art...but I'd hate to see you miss out on the fun.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Trudi wrote: "Who could resist an endorsement such as that!?"

Hopefully no one! Soon, Trudi, read it soon!


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Sean wrote: "I wonder how many male readers pass this book up by the appearance that this is perhaps a girls book. However, many male readers have given this book great reviews so I may put this on the to-read..."

Sean, I think a lot of the good reviews from male readers might be due to their surprise that it's the sort of mystically romantic plot that makes them sigh tiredly and think of The Mists of Avalon and those sorts of books.

That it contains callousness and cruelty, and still weaves a delicate love story, that it is a highly competitive story of a bitter rivalry told in such a way that it's an engine of creation, makes the story that much more exciting to read.

Man-rule one: Don't bore me. Of course this book will bore some, all books hit different people differently, but unlike that dreary Avalon thing that drones on and on and on sounding like a girlfriend whining about whatever it is that they whine about, this book has a fast pace and a story to tell and it gets to tellin' it.

I wonder if I've stopped helping my case. See? A review doesn't help.


Meg ♥ I'm not ready for real life yet. I want the magic to linger just a little longer.

Ahh, Richard! This is exactly how I feel. I just finished this, and I never wanted it to end. *sighhhh*


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Meg ♥ wrote: "I'm not ready for real life yet. I want the magic to linger just a little longer.

Ahh, Richard! This is exactly how I feel. I just finished this, and I never wanted it to end. *sighhhh*"


The people who didn't care for this book tend to criticize it for being relatively plotless. I don't for an instant say they're wrong, but more that they're not in sync with the magic of the book...its lush, superbly real surreality.

This painting evokes in me the same sort of feel that the book does:




message 14: by Joel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Joel ...this book has a fast pace and a story to tell and it gets to tellin' it.

strongly disagree. i would not coax anyone into reading this by promising them a really good story. it has a half-assed story at best. it is almost entirely setting and tone and description and wispy artifice. it is definitely not: well-developed characters, complex plot, clear narrative.

that doesn't mean it is bad... just not for everyone. the prose didn't do it for me at all and i didn't find much compelling about the setting, which left me with nothing else to enjoy.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Joel wrote: "strongly disagree.

Your inalienable privilege.

Joel wrote: "i would not coax anyone into reading this by promising them a really good story. it has a half-assed story at best. it is almost entirely setting and tone and description and wispy artifice. it is definitely not: well-developed characters, complex plot, clear narrative."

The key word in that passage is "I", though you apparently don't have a shift key on your computer, or do not understand the uses of capitalization. As you are not me, I fail to understand why you would feel it necessary to inform me of how wrong I am in holding and expressing my own opinions in my own review.

I don't care if you don't agree with me, and would encourage you to learn the rules of English language writing with respect to capitalization if you expect to be taken seriously by intelligent, discerning readers, as opposed to merely dismissed as a rude little troll.


message 16: by Joel (last edited Feb 29, 2012 07:23AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Joel hahaha. it's funny that you think this is what trolling looks like. i never insulted your opinion or said you were wrong. trolls aren't generally known for that. you will notice my comment is peppered with "i"s and "for me"s. maybe the tone could be softer, so sorry if it came off as dismissive; that wasn't the intent. that is what "doesn't mean it is bad" was for.

to your other helpful point, when an internet message board style guide is published, then i will worry about capitalization.


message 17: by Nancy (new) - added it

Nancy Richard wrote: "Man-rule one: Don't bore me. Of course this book will bore some, all books hit different people differently, but unlike that dreary Avalon thing that drones on and on and on sounding like a girlfriend whining about whatever it is that they whine about, this book has a fast pace and a story to tell and it gets to tellin' it..."

Several of my friends here have given this lukewarm reviews, but yours intrigues me and I would like to be swept away by a magical story. I loved The Mists of Avalon when I read it, oh maybe 15 years ago or more, and read it based on the recommendation of a male co-worker.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways I've run across a lot of men who've read Mists, but very few who will admit to having liked it. Your co-worker intrigues me.

I think the magic of the read could, given a receptive mood, sweep you away, Nancy. It certainly did me.


message 19: by Nancy (new) - added it

Nancy He didn't just like it, Richard. He absolutely loved it! As soon as he was done reading, he brought his hardcover into work the next day and thrust it into my hands. I'm glad I loved it too, or I suspect he would have been deeply disappointed.

We were the only two readers in the office. The others just talked about baseball, football, and yard maintenance. *yawn*


message 20: by Stephen (new) - added it

Stephen I am looking forward to much sweeping away when I read this.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Nancy wrote: "He didn't just like it, Richard. He absolutely loved it! As soon as he was done reading, he brought his hardcover into work the next day and thrust it into my hands. I'm glad I loved it too, or ..."

I've worked in that office in my time...*yawn* followed by *shudder* followed by *happy dance* that I don't anymore!


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Stephen wrote: "I am looking forward to much sweeping away when I read this."

Now watch...you'll hate it and give it a one-star review! The goddesses so love to mess with our minds....


message 23: by Meg ♥ (last edited Feb 29, 2012 10:51AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Meg ♥ Richard, you got it right. With this book it's all about preference. While some may love the prose others may dismiss it as excessive. I think the main complaints I've seen were the plot issues too or people calling it slow which is not always a bad thing. I'll be the first to admit I love a quick, fast paced book, but I could have read another 100 or more pages of her lush writing! I'm having fun writing my own review, but it's hard for me to show how this book will not be for everyone.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways It's a fight worth fighting indeed!


Arah-Lynda 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 begin, inexorably and inevitably, to brown and curl and die, and become...just a wonderful book.

I am not sure what twisted path I took that brought me to this review, but I am oh so happy I took it. Your review sums up so wonderfully how this book made me feel. Thank you for that!


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Arah-Lynda wrote: "I am not sure what twisted path I took that brought me to this review, but I am oh so happy I took it. Your review sums up so wonderfully how this book made me feel. Thank you for that!"

Thanks, Arah-Lynda! I did love the book a good deal.


message 27: by Forrest (new) - added it

Forrest Alright, I've resisted up to this point, but you've broken me, Richard. I now have this on my "to read" shelf.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Forrest wrote: "Alright, I've resisted up to this point, but you've broken me, Richard. I now have this on my "to read" shelf."

Enough time has passed, it's no longer Book of the Moment, so it should be easier to form an honest opinion of your own now. Less noise and pressure.


KindleRomance Reviews Excellent review! I already own it - just need to move it up the pile.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Kris (KindleRomance) wrote: "Excellent review! I already own it - just need to move it up the pile."

I do hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did!


Carly You read my mind! No words are precious or gentle enough for this one unless they lack passion and magic enough to do it justice.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways It's such a dilemma...how to say what's making you happy without ruining the experience for yourself and spoilering it for others.


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

Viki Mason Perfect review- sums it up exactly! It was an 'experience' not just a book!! :)


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Viki wrote: "Perfect review- sums it up exactly! It was an 'experience' not just a book!! :)"

Thank you for stopping to say so, Viki. I still don't think an analysis of the book would be in any way useful to convey my experience of reading it.


Shayantani Das It really was such a magical experience. :D


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Tanu wrote: "It really was such a magical experience. :D"

And those are all too rare in life. Glad it was such for you as well!


message 37: by Jan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jan Rice Glad to see this review. I didn't know!


message 38: by Maciek (new)

Maciek Powerful review, Richard. I read some bad reviews and they made me not want to read this book. I might just change my mind on that!


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Maciek wrote: "Powerful review, Richard. I read some bad reviews and they made me not want to read this book. I might just change my mind on that!"

Jan wrote: "Glad to see this review. I didn't know!"

It's a purely personal emotional response on my part. I loved the experience of reading the book. But the flaws mentioned by other reviewers are real, and not to be discounted. The pace is, in my terminology, stately; in theirs, slow and disjointed. The point of the book is, in my view, the book and its pleasures; in theirs, inscrutable to unpleasant.

I am not normally a fantasy/majgickq-tolerant reader. This book escapes my opprobrium by offering a mélange of the tropes I'm not wild about with sentences and images and characters I found enthralling.

Here endeth my caveats to prospective readers.


message 40: by Stephen (new)

Stephen P You captured perfectly The Night Circus, as purity of story. There is no intrusion from any source or any seam left unsealed. This has happened, whatever the subject matter, rarely in our history. I thank you for showing it as must-read for anyone wanting to enjoy, learn, the thrill of what it is to enter and be lost in another world.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Stephen wrote: "You captured perfectly The Night Circus, as purity of story. There is no intrusion from any source or any seam left unsealed. This has happened, whatever the subject matter, rarely in our history. ..."

Very high praise indeed, and I thank you for it!


message 42: by Stephen (new)

Stephen P Richard wrote: "Stephen wrote: "You captured perfectly The Night Circus, as purity of story. There is no intrusion from any source or any seam left unsealed. This has happened, whatever the subject matter, rarely ..."

Very good taste in spotting great writing even though not marketed as such.


message 43: by Jan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jan Rice Richard wrote, "I waited ten days before I even wrote this, just to be sure I wasn't all caught up in hype or in a sentimental mood or something."

Richard, I've been thinking about that comment as a rule of thumb or something. I've been bothered sometimes by the lack of objectivity of my ratings. Sometimes novels can fade on me once the spell wears off.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways They can, and all too frequently do. Long ago, I read a book called Damage and was captivated, enthralled, hooked, over the moon! I recommended it and even bought it for folks. Someone asked me why I was so thrilled, and after I'd gushed for a while, he said, "Did you actually read this?"

While I was offended mightily by his snark, I was inspired to go back and read it again. It was...
...
...
...okay.

Lesson learned. Now I wait.


message 45: by Stephen (new)

Stephen P Richard wrote: "They can, and all too frequently do. Long ago, I read a book called Damage and was captivated, enthralled, hooked, over the moon! I recommended it and even bought it for folks. Someone asked me why..."

Great topic! I once tried to write a review right away. It turned out so confused that I got confused about my confusion. Unfortunatley I already hit the post button. I think we all have a different calendar. For me it is no longer or shorter than 2-3 days. Fresh insights with the pulse of passion still beating. But if I look back on books so important to me a couple of years ago, after some good GR experience and learning, not so much. I choose to look at it as that I'm maturing, not fickle.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Maturing...not fickle.

Hey, I like that denial! I'll barge down it with you.


Tracey I have just found this thread Richard and I love all the passion that your review has wrought from people. I am 128 pages in to what I FEEL is a wonderous and enchanting story. The prose is beautiful and the descriptives sublime. I want to read and re read the part when the clock is introduced can see it in my minds eye as clear as day .


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways I'm so glad you stopped by! The book's fall-in-love qualities top my list with that very thing: Images that make me pause and absorb and savor.


Tracey My copy of this book is glorious too Richard hardbacked, red, black edges to the pages and superb art work in the dust jacket. It's just a total pleasure to read .


Tracey on not in the dust jacket mobey on predictive text makes its own words up !


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