The Night Circus The Night Circus discussion


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Does anybody else think that the romance in this book is incredibly shallow?

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hannah renee. The romance in this book was incredibly shallow and physical. The sex scene disgusted me because it was apparent that their "love" only had everything to do with taking each other's clothes off. That isn't love. That's obsession.


puppitypup I agree, but not just the romance. The characters themselves seemed almost emotionless.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

I wasn't a big fan of the main story. Didn't really believe in it and their love.

I much preferred the additional stories like the one about the clock and the fans that followed the circus.


message 4: by Gerd (last edited Jan 26, 2015 09:07AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gerd The sex scene?
There barely was none, I thought.
Not that I complain about that.

I never felt that their relationship had much of a sexual component, apart from that one time when it's said that they slept together.
They didn't appear overly obsessed to me. At least not in that regard.


Hazel Benson I think everything in this book was one dimensional, romance included. It was about as deep as a fairy story, but fortunately just as magical :)


Sorrel Yes, it didn't feel very real or believable. I think because I personally thought that though the description and story telling was fantastic, the dialogue between all of the characters, except perhaps Prospero, seemed a little bit flat and contrived.


message 7: by hannah renee. (last edited Jan 26, 2015 01:43PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

hannah renee. Gerd wrote: "The sex scene?
There barely was none, I thought.
Not that I complain about that.

I never felt that their relationship had much of a sexual component, apart from that one time when it's said that t..."


I don't mean obsessed as in they couldn't stand to not be around each other; I just mean that their "love" had everything to do with what it gave them. The truth is our culture calls love has everything to do with how it makes ourselves feel instead of everything having to do with the other... this is why people scorn marriage like they do now. People say "I don't need a piece of paper to love you" but what they're really saying is "I don't care about you enough to legally stay together for a lifetime" simply because their "love for them" has everything to do with how it makes them feel.

What I mean by obsession is basically puppy-love: it has everything to do with the feels and how they make you feel good.


Marne Wilson I agree that both main characters in this book are fairly shallow, but I think that makes sense when you take into account the way that they were raised, fairly impersonally by men who just wanted to use them as pawns in a game. If neither father figure bothered to show them much love or compassion, is it any wonder that they don't understand it themselves?


message 9: by Gerd (last edited Jan 27, 2015 07:41AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gerd @Hannah:
I see, but I think you expect a bit much of people.
In the end love is as much about how it makes you feel, as it is about what it gives the other party involved.


message 10: by J.L. (new) - rated it 3 stars

J.L. Forrest The Night Circus, as a book, contains some of the most beautiful descriptions I've read in contemporary literature. On the other hand, its story, characters, and unfortunate resort to deus ex machina make it some of the most unreadable storytelling in the modern era.

The characters, and the plot, are internally inconsistent and, fantasy or not, utterly unbelievable.


Kelly I thought the mood, writing, and settings were done very well. But I agree. The characters were shallowly characterized at best and thus, the romance felt a little forced.


message 12: by Anna (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anna Marne wrote: "I agree that both main characters in this book are fairly shallow, but I think that makes sense when you take into account the way that they were raised, fairly impersonally by men who just wanted ..."

I agree with Marne. When you consider how Marco and Celia were raised it's not that unbelievable. And besides I found Bailey to be a very well drawn character so even if I thought their relationship was too shallow I couldn't generalise about all of the characters being too shallow.
Besides, it's not a massive book so there's not that much space for character development particularly when you take into account the amount of space the circus itself takes up (which makes sense when you consider that it's the circus which is really the main focus of the whole book)


hannah renee. Anna wrote: "Marne wrote: "I agree that both main characters in this book are fairly shallow, but I think that makes sense when you take into account the way that they were raised, fairly impersonally by men wh..."

I agree! Bailey was a well done character in this book... and I loved the description... It just seems as if the romance was another common take on romance that seems to be so prevalent in our culture lately.


Sparrowlicious To be honest it took me far too long to read this book because it bored me a lot of times. You can tell that this was written during Nanowrimo because it has lots of random 'let's get the plot moving' things that don't do anything. I think the author could've cut at least a quarter of the book and it would only improve it.
As for the romance: I can't even remember anymore. But then again, all romance feels shallow to me if it isn't based on a deep understanding between two characters. Otherwise it's just lust. Not that there's anything bad about that but it's just not very romantic is all.


Chris Patterson This is one of my favorite books -- but it is not a romance by any stretch. I don't even remember there being a sex scene - and I read it and then a couple years later listened to it on an audio book. There was a love interest between the two contestants - but it was very much secondary to all the magical things going on with the circus. The biggest strength of the book is the poetry of it all. It's much more a modern fantasy akin to (but very different from) The Life of Pi (another of my favorites). If you need great character development or intricate twisty-turning plots, this is probably not the book for you. If you like poetic writing and well crafted magical scene after magical scene, then you'll probably love it.


Robin P I agree with Chris. None of the characters are realistic or are supposed to be (except maybe Bailey who was from the outside.) And the plot is somewhat incomprehensible when it's not anticlimactic. But I still loved it. It's all about the magical world. I heard it on audio by the great Jim Dale which probably added to its strength.


hannah renee. Robin wrote: "I agree with Chris. None of the characters are realistic or are supposed to be (except maybe Bailey who was from the outside.) And the plot is somewhat incomprehensible when it's not anticlimactic...."

Mmmm yeah reading from him would would add to its niceness.


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