Mady's Reviews > The Night Circus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
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's review
Dec 23, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: e-book, read-along, 2012, favourites
Read from December 23, 2011 to January 01, 2012

This is the story of a black and white circus, a magical circus, a circus that is only open at dawn, and where a multitude of tents, each having its own show, are grouped to form this unique venue. It's a circus to which, despite the lack of advertising, people are drawn to and become enchanted with, where real magic and manipulation (instead of illusion) is displayed for its audience.
However, this is also a very special circus for a very special reason. It is the stage of a bet between two misterious characters: Prospero and Alexander. I will not disclose much more of the plot as I believe it's better to read the book.

In the beginning, while all the pieces of this "chess game" are being set, it took me a bit to be drawn to this magical world. However, once the circus was in place I was also part of its audience and enthralled with it.
Though there are not so many descriptions of the circus shows, besides the illusionist's, the contortionist's and the cats show, I could easily get the feeling for the circus magnetic impact on people (probably comparable to my compulsion to read this book) and was drawn by the plot.

I appreciated all the details included on the narration of this tale, though only now, after having discussed it with a friend, am I starting to understand their relevance and be able to put in place all the bits from the circus, showing it from the inside & from the outside. However, a few of the events described and characters presented still remain a mystery as to their purpose on the story (anyone cares to discuss?).

I've found that the writing style made this a very compulsive read for me and I could almost see and smell what was happening on the story. A few times I had to stop reading just because it was getting too late...

Shakespeare is a constant presence in this story: his work is mentioned a few times, the word "Shakespeare" is refered 4 times, and when I found a synopse of "The Tempest" on wikipedia, I could not help realising that "The NIght Circus" could be considered a modern version of this play:
Like in "Hamlet", there is also here a father that haunts its child. Like in "As you Like it", there is also a Celia.

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Reading Progress

37.0% "This is getting addictive :)"
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