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The Night Circus

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  849,105 ratings  ·  90,038 reviews
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. The black sign, painted in white letters that hangs upon the gates, reads:
Opens at Nightfall
Closes at Dawn

As the sun disappears beyond the horizon, all over the tents small lights begin to flicker, as though the entirety of the circus is covered in particularly b
Kindle Edition, 401 pages
Published September 15th 2011 by Vintage (first published September 13th 2011)
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Popular Answered Questions
Victor Madsen The short answer is 'Yes. Yes, I would.'
The longer answer is this: The Night Circus is a wonderful book. It has a very ethereal feel to it the whole w…more
The short answer is 'Yes. Yes, I would.'
The longer answer is this: The Night Circus is a wonderful book. It has a very ethereal feel to it the whole way through which makes for beautiful visuals and a deliberate sense that while you're in that world, you're on a different plane of existence.
There's nothing graphic, brutal, or disturbing, but there are parts that are inescapably sinister - and this is by design.
The structure is not linear, but that's not really an issue if you're paying attention.
The book may even have a YA feel to you if that's what you read more often than not, but there are more layers to The Night Circus than you would initially think, so keep that in mind.(less)
Karl The word 'fuck' is used in the first few pages. 'Slut' and 'whore' also get thrown around later on (directed at one of the protagonists by her psychot…moreThe word 'fuck' is used in the first few pages. 'Slut' and 'whore' also get thrown around later on (directed at one of the protagonists by her psychotically abusive father). There is overt child abuse, a nonsensical murder and, yes, as other reviewers have said, there is a tame and passionless implied sex scene.
It's also an insipid and laboriously tedious novel. Your daughter will probably be bored to sleep.
Try Golden Compass by Philip Pullman or Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. (less)

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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  849,105 ratings  ·  90,038 reviews

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Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Aug 30, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, a-wizard-did-it
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
Maggie Stiefvater
Dec 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recommended, adult
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
Jun 07, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: why-the-hype, 2011
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
Richard Derus
Jan 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Rick Riordan
Nov 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.

Hannah Azerang
Aug 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, favorites
I have quite honestly never had the pleasure of reading a more beautiful book.

I want to go back to the beginning and read it all over again. I just....I have no words.
chai ♡
If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it’d be with someone experiencing this book for the first time.
Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥
“How can I excel at a game when you refuse to tell me the rules?”

I guess “The Night Circus” is one of those books that make it especially hard to write a proper review and if I’m entirely honest I have to admit that I don’t even know where to start. It was unlike any other book I’ve ever read and therefore the usual structure of my reviews just doesn’t seem to be appropriate, let alone to fit.

”I would have written you, myself, if I could put down in words everything I want to say to you. A sea
Emma Giordano
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
I have a bit of a complicated relationship with The Night Circus. I had been wanting to read it for 2 years now and was immensely excited to finally pick it up. I knew the prose was extremely flowery and lyrical so combined with an adult fantasy story, I anticipated it being a challenging read for me personally. I decided to listen to the audiobook after hearing great things, but quickly realized I was struggling to remain engaged with the story. After four hours of retaining almost nothing abou ...more
Jessica J.
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
Jun 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
just as magically romantic and breathtakingly enchanting the second time around. ✨

it has been said that those who do not believe in magic will never find it, and this book is physical proof that magic does exist. every page, every word, every letter made a home inside my heart, which began to beat in a steady and strong rhythm of “i believe, i believe, i believe.” this story has woven itself into the very fabric of my soul and will forever be a part of me. a trul
Mar 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sean Barrs
Some books touch your soul in unexpected ways.

I’ve never been to a circus nor have I ever had a wish to go to one. But after reading this I want to go to one. Admittedly, this is plain folly because a circus this beautiful and enchanting could never be reality; it’s simply too wonderful, and could only ever exist amongst the pages of a magnificently written book. Real circuses are horrible places that are full of cruelty, animal exploitation and vile entertainment. What I mean to say is that I
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Buddy reading this book with my favorite Princess Celeste

2.5/5 Stars

There will be rants on this review, if you're easily offended I recommend you to stay away from continuing.

I really wish I could rate this higher but if you heard about this book already, you probably know there have been a lot of mixed reviews on it. It’s either you really love it or you really hate it. Sadly, I’m one of those closer to hating it.

Before you read this book, I must state two things.

Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
Reread: 2018

Maybe more like a 2.5/5?
I apparently enjoyed the audiobook much more because this time around I was really into it (and I remembered basically nothing from my original read, or listen rather) but then I got to the middle and I completely lost steam. I didn’t connect with it in the way I had wanted to and while there were some aspects I found very interesting, for the most part I felt like I was constantly waiting for more (which seems to be the point of the book). Just not for me any
✨ A ✨
I want to take this book and stuff it in the hands of everyone I know.

“I would have written you, myself, if I could put down in words everything I want to say to you. A sea of ink would not be enough.”

“But you built me dreams instead.”


I actually bought this book a year ago and it's been sitting on my shelf tempting me this entire time. The mixed ratings I've seen made me nervous to read it, but I'm so glad I finally did.

It is the kind of book I wish I could experience all over again for th
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
Reviewing this book 2 years after I read it because.... this was a huge disappointment for me.

Don't get me wrong, I agree that the writing and world building were beautiful but this was the most anticlimactic ending ever. It had been sold to me as a "duel of magic between magicians" but really the world duel is used veeeeery loosely.

If you enjoy slow paced books that are atmospheric you might enjoy this more than I did.
I did not care for this book, which has sat on my all time favorites shelf for two years, AT ALL.


There’s instalove, because of course. Characters are either a) horrendous or b) flat or c) somehow both??? Every other sentence is actually two forced together by a comma, because we all full-on adore a good comma splice amiright. Predicates suffer without subjects. The whole thing is so horrifically, tragically, life-bendingly slow and so boring it took me 9 d
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
Federico DN
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A mesmerizing circus, two illusionists, and a deadly challenge.

The circus arrives without notice, one day in a city, one day on another. A unique circus, special, that only opens at night. A place where every tent hides a priceless marvel, unmatched performers and unforgettable acts that challenge reality. Le Cirque des Rêves. The place where the impossible is possible, where the unreal becomes real, and where the magic, is magic.

And in the middle, two illusionists trained from birth, matched in
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
Nov 01, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fluff
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mikee (ReadWithMikee)

❝When the final bulb pops alight, and the smoke and sparks dissipate, it is finally legible, this elaborate incandescent sign. Leaning to your left to gain a better view, you can see that it reads:

Le Cirque des Rêves

Some in the crowd smile knowingly, while other frown and look questioningly at their neighbors. A child near you tugs on her mother's sleeve, begging to know what it says.

'The Circus of Dreams,' comes the reply.❞

The Night Circus was one of my favorite books of all time when it fi
Will Byrnes
I have read and enjoyed all the Harry Potter books. In a way, I consider them my friends. The Night Circus is no Harry Potter, despite the marketing dreams of Doubleday management.

It is a fantastical battle/love story, set at the turn of the 20th century, that summons the imagery and characterizations of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. The primary thrust here is the battle. Two children are chosen as stand-ins for an ages-old competition between two mysterious and seemingly immortal wizard-types. One
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices on downtown posts and billboards, no mentions or advertisements in local newspapers. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.
The circus opens at nightfall and closes at dawn. A veritable exhibition of wonder and magic which muggles believe are just tricks of the eyes. One of my favourite characters, the man in the grey suit explains it best,
This is not magic. This is the way the world is, only
High Lady of The Night Court
“The circus arrives without warning.”
“You think, as you walk away from Le Cirque des Rêves and into the creeping dawn, that you felt more awake within the confines of the circus.
You are no longer quite certain which side of the fence is the dream.”

These sentences are the beginning and end of the mesmerizing story of Le Cirque des Rêves. Three simple sentences that somehow encapsulate your emotions at the very point of the book they are placed. One filled with intrigue, the other with the l
Jasmine from How Useful It Is
I started reading The Night Circus on 8/15/17 and finished it on 8/21/17. This is my second time reading this book. It is an amazing read. The writing is so magical. I can’t read any other circus books without thinking of The Night Circus. I feel offended when I read The Nowhere Emporium and saw how the author copy almost every idea off of this book. I can’t read Caraval without putting it on hold to read this book again. The way Erin Morgenstern describe the circus is magnificent. The world bui ...more
So intricate. So complicated. So atmospheric.

I read this a few months back but I never really wrote anything, save for the six words above. Well, I just found what I wrote in one of my folders, so... here.

Alright, let me start off by saying that this book was magic. Simple as that. Seriously, the writing?? Experience it, my friends. Just experience it for your selves. Furthermore, this is a book you have to read twice to really comprehend and appreciate the magic behind it – never had I be
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Erin Morgenstern is the author of The Night Circus, a number-one national best seller that has been sold around the world and translated into thirty-seven languages. She has a degree in theater from Smith College and lives in Massachusetts.

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