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387 pages, Hardcover
First published September 13, 2011
“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.”
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.
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 very few people take time to stop and note it. Look around you… Not a one of them even has an inkling of the things that are possible in this world, and what’s worse is that none of them would listen if you attempted to enlighten them. They want to believe that magic is nothing but clever deception, because to think it real would keep them up at night, afraid of their own existence.Guess what Alexander? Not all of us think so provincially of magic. I wish more than anything (except to get a good job perhaps) that magic exists. The life could be something infinitely more meaningful than traversing a daily slog of misery. This book, and plenty others, give a glimpse of what life would be like if we weren’t so tied down by the consequences of being human. I recall a moment when I was stuck in traffic, being burnt by the angry sun, listening to angry hoots, groaning truck engines, and it all just faded away as Morgenstern’s words spoke to me.
Every element of the circus blends together in a wonderful coalescence. Acts that have been training in separate countries on separate continents now perform in adjacent tents… Each costume, each gesture, each sign on each tent is more perfect than the last.It’s easy to lose yourself in this world. To let go and remain unmoored and unguided as you go to each and every tent. But as you visit each tent you will realise there is a duel happening there. A dancing clash that you’re not privy to. Every display is a response to another. You can’t tell whether it’s a compliment or a one-upper. That is, until, you pay attention to the story.
In an interview at Comic-Con in San Diego…Morgenstern, 33, who also is a painter, told USA TODAY that before she ever had characters, she visualized the colorful performers and contrasting black and white tones of the tents and circus setting.What is the coloring supposed to indicate? What is she saying here? I do not know, but it does stand out. And that is an indicator of a potential problem. If there is a technique being used so loudly that serves little clear purpose, then why is it being used?
"I paint very messy. I throw paint around," says Morgenstern, who now lives in Boston. "So when I let myself do the same sort of thing with my writing, and I would just write and write and write and revise, that's when I found my rhythm in writing." (http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/ne...)
❝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.❞