Saturday, November 5, 2011

Book Review : The Night Circus

"The truest tales require time and familiartiy to become what they are."
- Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

Synopsis :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 RĂªves, and it is only open at night. But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors.

I figured The Night Circus would be a good read following Water For Elephants. While Water For Elephants deals with the metaphorical illusions of circus life,  The Night Cirus deals with the more fantastical and literal ones

The novel is filled with minimalist and carefully nuanced prose with an almost dreamlike quality.  This isn't the kind of novel you should speed read through or you will miss a lot of things. To fully appreciate the story it has to be carefully consumed.

The Night Circus has an array of fun and eccentric characters that will pull you into their world. Which is a good thing since the novel seems to sacrifice character for story. While Celia and Marco appear as out main characters, their personalies hardly come through.

Many of the minor characters carried the full range of emotion, causing them so seem more lifelike than the protagonist.

The Night Circus is a delightful book, especially for avid readers. Within the novel Morgenstern comments on the world of readers, writers and dreamers in a way I think we can all relate to.

This book is getting a lot of mixed  reader reviews and I think it is because it suffers from genre dissonance. This book is not a young adult or teen novel. Because Morgernstern is young, her book is about magic and has a romance element people assume it will appeal to young adults. I mean look at WSJ had to say about this book.

All of that sets readers up in the wrong mindset. This novel is not one to be tossed in with paranormal roamnce or YA. I enjoyed it and couldn't put it down.

Books and Sensibility is participating in NaBloPoMo. What's NaBloPoMo ? Find out here !


  1. Morgenstern tweeted sometime back (in capital letters) how The Night Circus was NOT a young adult book. From the synopsis I can see why many would make that assumption. I confess I'm feeling wary of picking this up because of the hype. Yours is one of the more balanced reviews I've read and it's giving me a clearer picture. If it's to be slowly savored, then I will make it my holiday read so I can properly experience the writing.

  2. Great Review! i have always wanted to read this book, and now i want to read it more! btw you guys have an AMAZING blog! me and my sister followed your blog and added you on our blogs we love!!
    Great work!!

    Farah @ Maji Bookshelf

  3. The Night Circus brings to life the tale of magic and love. The characters are well developed and interesting. Erin Morgenstern is truely a master story teller. I highly recommed this novel.

  4. Great review and I agree. This book was soooo good! Magical writing and I don't just mean the story :) I never thought of it as YA, though the characters are young and grow up. The MC is really the circus itself :) So many classic books written for an adult audience have featured young protaganists. Good books are for everyone :)

  5. I've heard some cool things about this! Thanks for sharing. I'm glad
    you're getting some good reading in with the baby around. :)

    Maycee (Alaska Fishing Lodges)


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