Shravanthi Kripa's Reviews > The Night Circus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
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Oct 10, 2017

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Read from October 02 to 10, 2017

Okay...umm...it's a freakishly twisted tale of a boy and a girl who are magicians/illusionists. One of them is a natural and the other is self-taught, from books. And both are pitted against each other in a competition to see which 'method' of magic is the best.

While the premise is interesting and the characters are interesting enough, it is the narrative that I have a problem with. Erin Morgenstern probably wanted to spin a magical tale with ethereal narrative. This is a success in some parts of the story. But other times it is just so confusing.

I have read this story once and I really, really feel like I have grasped only 60% of the story. That is just sad. Because I so badly wanted to immerse myself in the story.


Things I liked about the story:
1) It's very original

2) I loved the plot and the twists in the story

3) The characters were amazing!! Every character was relatable, fun, quirky and interesting with different shades within them.

4) I liked the jumping timeline and a non-linear storytelling style. This made even ordinary events quite interesting as things get revealed in bits and pieces. This is especially so enticing in the portions that speak directly to the readers. I loved that!

Things I did NOT like:
1) Very confusing details about the fictional world

2) There is hardly any clarity about why certain things are happening or why certain characters do things or say the things that they say. It is all very sudden and happens too quickly for me to process.

3)The non-linear narrative (which I loved) was sometimes also the thing that I did not like.
There were some harsh transitions in some parts, sometimes after a really interesting twist. This worked negatively in favor for the story because, instead of making me revel in the major twist and ponder over it, the transition took me somewhere else and made me forget that the event ever happened.

So yeah, that's my take on the book. I think that if the editing had been a little better, the book would have turned out to be even more spectacular than it already is.

I would give 5 stars for the story and characters, but sadly have to take two stars away for the feeling of confusion and 'non'-satiation it has left me with.
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Quotes Shravanthi Liked

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

Erin Morgenstern
“Stories have changed, my dear boy,” the man in the grey suit says, his voice almost imperceptibly sad. “There are no more battles between good and evil, no monsters to slay, no maidens in need of rescue. Most maidens are perfectly capable of rescuing themselves in my experience, at least the ones worth something, in any case. There are no longer simple tales with quests and beasts and happy endings. The quests lack clarity of goal or path. The beasts take different forms and are difficult to recognize for what they are. And there are never really endings, happy or otherwise. Things keep overlapping and blur, your story is part of your sister’s story is part of many other stories, and there in no telling where any of them may lead. Good and evil are a great deal more complex than a princess and a dragon, or a wolf and a scarlet-clad little girl. And is not the dragon the hero of his own story? Is not the wolf simply acting as a wolf should act? Though perhaps it is a singular wolf who goes to such lengths as to dress as a grandmother to toy with its prey.”
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
“The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.”
Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern
“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.”
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
“People see what they wish to see. And in most cases, what they are told that they see.”
Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern
“You're in the right place at the right time, and you care enough to do what needs to be done. Sometimes that's enough.”
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
“I have been surrounded by love letters you two have built each other for years, encased in tents.”
Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern
“He reads histories and mythologies and fairy tales, wondering why it seems that only girls are ever swept away from their mundane lives on farms by knights or princes or wolves. It strikes him as unfair to not have the same fanciful opportunity himself. And he is not in the position to do any rescuing of his own.”
Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern
“Good and evil are a great deal more complex than a princess and a dragon . . . is not the dragon the hero of his own story?”
Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus


Reading Progress

10/02 marked as: currently-reading
10/02
3.0% "Magical beginning !!"
10/03
9.0% "The fates are so unfair to these two :("
10/03
17.0% "oh my god! Was it really...? Did he... ?! No! It can't be. This is horrible."
10/03
19.0% "Wooow!! What wouldn't I give for a clock like that !"
10/04
24.0% "Feminism yeah!!"
10/04
34.0% "it's boringgg"
10/04
45.0% "Story time :) Is this a portent ? A prophecy, maybe ?"
10/05
50.0% "I thought this was a fun read but it's turning out to be grim and serious."
10/05
60.0% "Who else HATES this Mr.A.H in a grey suit ?!"
10/05
61.0% "Awwwww ❤ 😍😍"
10/06
67.0% "So confusing...."
10/06
71.0% "This Trio is my favvvvvvourite and they are the best!!"
10/08
77.0% "interloopinnggg..."
10/10
78.0% "OMG! That is a massive twist!"
10/10
87.0% "Run Bailey, Run."
10/10
95.0% "no!!!! what are you doing??! that's so unfair."
10/10
98.0% "Yes, clarity at last!"
10/10 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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Poonam Great review Shravanthi! My main problem with this book was there is no plot. What we read in the blurb is what there is to it. Even though the writing is beautiful) overall it left me unsatisfied..


Shravanthi Kripa Poonam wrote: "Great review Shravanthi! My main problem with this book was there is no plot. What we read in the blurb is what there is to it. Even though the writing is beautiful) overall it left me unsatisfied.."

So true! I do feel very unsatisfied. It is like eating a huge meal but still being hungry.

I think that the plot was pretty good re. I mean a circus setting and a competition in disguise? That was ingenious.

I have to give it to Erin Morgenstern for using a lilting style of writing. Really beautiful. Her imagery triumphs all!


Poonam Shravanthi wrote: "Poonam wrote: "Great review Shravanthi! My main problem with this book was there is no plot. What we read in the blurb is what there is to it. Even though the writing is beautiful) overall it left ..."

I do like your food example!! Many people have compared this to Caravan.... I have read Caravan and though the writing in this one is better, I liked the flow of the story and plot more of Caravan.


Shravanthi Kripa Poonam wrote: "Shravanthi wrote: "Poonam wrote: "Great review Shravanthi! My main problem with this book was there is no plot. What we read in the blurb is what there is to it. Even though the writing is beautifu..."

haha! You know what? I heard of the Caraval comparisons recently and the rave reviews. So I basically fished out this book to read before Caraval!! But now I wanna take a break from the genre and read something more 'grounding' and down-to-earth if possible :P


Poonam Shravanthi wrote: "Poonam wrote: "Shravanthi wrote: "Poonam wrote: "Great review Shravanthi! My main problem with this book was there is no plot. What we read in the blurb is what there is to it. Even though the writ..."

Oops it's Caraval.... Yes I I understand and I hope you enjoy what you read next!


Shravanthi Kripa Going for a Stephen Fry book. 😋😋


Poonam Shravanthi wrote: "Going for a Stephen Fry book. 😋😋"

Happy Reading!!


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