Book Reviews

The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern

This review was written following my second time reading this book (for book group).

The Night Circus is available here


I finished rereading the Night Circus yesterday and I haven’t woken up yet.

Looking at other reviews people seem divided, and there seems to be disappointment based upon expectations raised by the blurb – so before I gush I’ll briefly outline the plot:

There is a “competition” between two rival magicians….
There is a “love story”…
But these are secondary to the plot which is quite simply the circus itself.
If you’re expecting a fierce battle, or a dirty romp, you won’t find either.
You will find a nourishing feast for your imagination.
It divided our book club but something we did discover is that reading it twice may make a big difference to your overall understanding.

Never have I wished so much for a work of fiction to be real! It certainly feels real as you explore the circus and it’s myriad tents; the writing is so evocative, the way in which it breathes life into its characters and world is magic itself. This is not a book it’s an enchantment.

From the very first page,
“The circus arrives without warning.
No announcements precede it… It is simply there, when yesterday it was not”
the narratives exudes magic and illusion; the prose is dreamlike and poetic throughout.

Everything about this book makes you feel like you’re dreaming; the timeline skips about merrily, rather than taking you on a linear plot it weaves around you like a mist, like someone recalling memories as they arise. The characters are at once superficial and shallow – their desires and motives aren’t always made clear to you, and yet you feel like you know them instinctively; like people you meet in a dream. Finally, like the timeline, the use of colour is never straightforward; the juxtaposition between monochromatic and bursts of colour throughout creating a truly sensory, vivid fairy tale.

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