Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Night Circus” as Want to Read:
The Night Circus
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Night Circus

by
4.04  ·  Rating details ·  599,751 ratings  ·  65,785 reviews
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway - a duel between two young mag
...more
Hardcover, Waterstones Exclusive, 390 pages
Published November 5th 2019 by Vintage Publishing (first published September 13th 2011)
More Details... Edit Details
Featured Notes & Highlights

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Night Circus, please sign up.
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…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)
Margaret Christison Hi Karen- I think it would be a shame to read it at eight. I think she would love it more later on. I agree that Diana Wynne Jones is the way to go…moreHi Karen- I think it would be a shame to read it at eight. I think she would love it more later on. I agree that Diana Wynne Jones is the way to go .'Hotter than Potter!' There is a feast in store if you haven't discovered her yet.
(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  599,751 ratings  ·  65,785 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of The Night Circus
Lucy
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 competitio
...more
Chaima ✨ شيماء
If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it’d be with someone experiencing this book for the first time.

I feel like my life is just a series of intense obsessions because I'm pretty sure this book has just become one of my defining personality traits. I've stayed up reading it until the early hours of the misty morning, rugged up so tight in the story even my soul felt warm. I wish I could inject this story into my blood stream. My heart is literally swelling with so much lo
...more
Maggie Stiefvater
Dec 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, recommended
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
...more
Tatiana
Jun 07, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, why-the-hype
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
...more
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
Aug 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, owned
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.
unknown
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
...more
Cait
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
...more
Richard Derus
Jan 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who needs magic in their world
**2019 UPDATE** The still-breathing film adaptation due from Lionsgate gets a director...of an EPIC flop that raked in a whopping $1.5MM on an investment of $9.5MM!
Sounds like a wizard idea, doesn't it? Simply corking! Who better to guide a beautiful book onto the oh-so-welcoming moviegoing audience's radar!

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
...more
karen
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
...more
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 of ink would no
...more
jessica
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 m
...more
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 about the p ...more
Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
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 actua
...more
Jessica Jeffers
Jul 13, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
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). J
...more
✨ 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.”


description

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 the first time. And as I aknow.
...more
Petrik
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.

1.DO NOT TRUST THE BLURB & THE REVIEWS WRITTEN ON THE BACK OF THE BOOK. T1.DOCeleste
2.5/5
...more
Mikee Andrea (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 first came out during my teen years.reads:
Le
...more
☆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 love, fond
...more
F
May 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, uk, 2018, usa
This book was amazing!
I loved it.

Bought it in a charity shop.

I am not usually a fan of books that involve magic.

2018 - After re-reading i still love this book. So much happening and great characters. Little confusing when it jumps around so much at the beginning. But i have moved it from a 5 star to a 4 now.
❄️Nani❄️
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
4.5⭐
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 – nev
...more
carol.
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
Cedan
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.
Mark Lawrence
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wavered between four and five stars on this one but then thought that I should show multi-millionaire authors the same generosity I show the struggling variety.

The Night Circus is very different from the kinds of fantasy books I’ve been reading of late. It’s not that it’s written in the present tense (I read the excellent Master Assassins recently and that is also in present tense). It’s not that is has a Victorian feel to it (the excellent Senlin Ascends has that). It’s not that it’s set in the real world (
...more
Becky
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 reading a
...more
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
emma
i posted this review in case anyone needs a reminder that nothing is safe and death comes for all of us and life is just an endless cycle of suffering and disliking books you thought were your favorite.

uh. find it here: https://emmareadstoomuch.wordpress.co...

-----------

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
...more
Charlotte May
"People see what they wish to see. And in most cases, what they are told they see."

Okay, so I was ever so slightly disappointed by this one. It is loved by so many and I just felt certain that I'd love it too. There were parts I absolutely adored. It had a strong start, 2 young children are bound into a 'game' or 'challenge' that can start at any time, and neither of them fully understand the rules or how a winner is declared.

As the circus itself is created, I loved the description
...more
Mel
Holy. Crap. Excuse my language but holy crap is the only way I can accurately portray what I am thinking now that I am done this book. This is, without a doubt, my favourite book I've ever read. Ever. There is nothing that compares or even comes close to how I feel about this book. If I could choose one fictional world to live in, I would sacrifice Hogwarts to go to this circus.
For the first time ever, I wrote a list of things I wanted to talk about in my review. I just don't want to forge
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)
  • Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #1)
  • Caraval (Caraval, #1)
  • Finale (Caraval, #3)
  • A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)
  • Legendary (Caraval, #2)
  • Circe
  • Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)
  • Vicious (Villains, #1)
  • Sorcery of Thorns
  • Daisy Jones & The Six
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane
  • The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)
  • A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2)
  • Siege and Storm (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #2)
  • House of Salt and Sorrows
  • Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove, #1)
  • The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)
See similar books…
18,834 followers
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.
“The finest of pleasures are always the unexpected ones.” 2622 likes
“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.” 2051 likes
More quotes…