The Night Circus by Erin MorgensternThe Night Circus by Erin Morgensternsticker-burst

The Night Circus

byErin Morgenstern

Hardcover | September 13, 2011

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In this mesmerizing debut, a competition between two magicians becomes a star-crossed love story.

The circus arrives at night, without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within nocturnal black and white striped tents awaits a unique experience, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stand awestruck as a tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and gaze in wonderment at an illusionist performing impossible feats of magic.

Welcome to Le Cirque des Rêves. Beyond the smoke and mirrors, however, a fierce competition is underway - a contest between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in "a game," in which each must use their powers of illusion to best the other. Unbeknownst to them, this game is a duel to the death, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will.
ERIN MORGENSTERN is a writer and a multimedia artist, who describes all her work as "fairy tales in one way or another." She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two very fluffy cats.
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Title:The Night CircusFormat:HardcoverDimensions:400 pages, 9.49 × 6.39 × 1.37 inPublished:September 13, 2011Publisher:Doubleday CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385671717

ISBN - 13:9780385671712

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book! The perfect read before bed to set you up for a pleasant sleep. It was light but exciting and interesting.
Date published: 2018-08-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enchanting novel full of magic! I loved the writing and creativity, however I never felt fully wrapped up in the novel. Just an outsider looking in. That being said it was a beautiful piece to look in upon.
Date published: 2018-08-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from So magical and enchanting This book is truly one of a kind. The book was a little slow paced, but so capturing. Everyday I could not wait to continue from where I left off. The world that you get sucked into is just so amazing, definitely will read again and recommend!
Date published: 2018-08-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Well-written and interesting but slow-paced and underwhelming I feel like the description of this book really over-exaggerates the situation with Celia and Marco.. it makes it sound really exciting and cut-throat and heart-wrenching. But really, the whole situation is pretty tame and chill. The book felt underwhelming which is why I'd give it about 3.5 or 3.75 stars. It is well-written however and the little descriptions about the circus here and there are cool to read. I also really liked the atmosphere the book created, it felt unique to all other books I've read.
Date published: 2018-08-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Atmospheric & magical The atmosphere and imagery in this book is simply wonderful. I was immediately sucked into the world created by Morgenstern and could not put it down, although the 'battle to death' that was promised was nowhere to be found. Still a wonderful read.
Date published: 2018-07-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enchantingly beautiful The Night Circus is, without a doubt, one of the most hauntingly beautiful narratives I have ever read; a supremely gorgeous love story.
Date published: 2018-07-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Delightful A fun and whimsical story. Gripping and fast paced. I enjoyed the characters. It was a little confusing at points, but a fun read altogether.
Date published: 2018-07-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A Whimsical Read Which Left Me Feeling Ambivalent Once a while in your reading life, you'd stumble upon a book which leaves you feeling conflicted and ambivalent. Well, The Night Circus is that book. I seriously do not know if I like or dislike this book; and here are my reasons: YES to the book: • Whimsical characters with awesome magical powers; • Very descriptive, atmospheric which makes it unputdownable; • Good story buildup albeit slow; • It's about a magical night circus and I love circus! NO to the book: • The main plot (duel & fierce competition between 2 young magicians who have been trained since childhood) was kind of lost; • Timeline changes in chapters makes it rather confusing; • There were a lot of things going on in this story which was a little overwhelming for me, and felt like it is all over the place and out of focus. Overall, it was an intriguing and whimsical novel, and if you're a reader who likes lots of descriptions and don't mind the slow pace, you'd enjoy this book a lot more
Date published: 2018-07-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Spell Binding The author weaved the story of the main characters so well, that I was kept from guessing what was going to happen next throughout the book. She really made you get emotionally attached to the characters. I kept flipping back and forth to see what year I was just reading about when going from chapter to chapter. Excellent read! Look forward to more from this author.
Date published: 2018-06-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unlike any other I only recently came across this book and it is so unique. The story telling and premise are so different than any fantasy type novel that I know I will re-read this again. I wish this author wrote another fiction piece. I will say that you have to pay attention while you read, it jumps around a bit and if you get distracted you will miss pieces.
Date published: 2018-06-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my new favorites! This book was incredible. I loved the characters, the imagery, the concept... It kept me hooked right from the beginning. I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes magic and mystery and have already passed it on to my husband and father in law who both loved it too.
Date published: 2018-06-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing read! I could read this book a million times and still be intrigued. This book is a very good read and I highly recommend it!
Date published: 2018-06-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Poor Marketing The description of the book implies that there are two magicians battling but, in reality, it's two students passively aggressively one-upping each other because their masters are enemies. The book itself was wonderfully written and the world was so complex and imaginative. However, the pacing was definitely slow and there were way too many characters. I also felt like the author tried way too hard to make things seems more mysterious than they were.
Date published: 2018-05-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enter into a magical world I really liked the characters and how much description there was in this book. The perfect book to read if you are looking to read a magical piece of fiction that allows you to escape into a new mystical world. A few of my colleagues suggested this book to me and I wasn't disappointed in its content. The first chapter was a bit slow for me as it established the story. The second chapter and after that point was much more entertaining.
Date published: 2018-05-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great read A lovely read, cannot wait to read more from this author
Date published: 2018-05-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great storytelling but not for me Really beautiful and unique storytelling with very mysterious and mystical atmosphere. The way the author describes settings and details are phenomenal and imaginative that I can picture it all vividly. It's a pretty slow and sometimes confusing book, which is why it's not very for me. But I can certainly appreciate the talent this author has.
Date published: 2018-04-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was good, but... I liked this book. It does a really good job in building this serene and otherworldly atmosphere. Everything is very quietly pretty. The problem is that I didn't feel much aside from an appreciation for the 'set design'. I didn't think it was this great romance that it's all hyped up to be. I didn't feel a thing for any of the characters or anything that was happening to them. Perhaps it's the way it was written - I feel like I was reading a really long summary of a novel instead of the story itself.
Date published: 2018-04-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Magical and Enchanting This book was beautifully written and I was captivated by the plot, characters, and world of the circus the entire time. The complexity of the novel was interesting and unlike anything I have ever read. The author's way of telling the story through multiple perspectives through different points of time kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end. One of my new favorite books!
Date published: 2018-04-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Just the right amount of fantasy As one who doesn't typically read fantasy genre books, I appreciated the balance of realism and fantasy. Although this book is about magic, the way the story is told makes it believable and mature. I also enjoyed the timing and dual stories aspect.
Date published: 2018-04-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful I did not know what to expect when I started this book- but I loved it! It is not your typical love story, and the way that the author paints the picture of this magical circus is stunning.
Date published: 2018-03-26
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Nice description, but no substance Note: This review DOES contain spoilers of the events in the book, so if you have not read it before and wish to discover the secrets of the book for yourself, it is not suggested that you read this. --A.M.G. Not that this book couldn't have been good, but when I found myself force-reading through it rather than pleasurably enjoying the story, it's evident that there's something wrong to stop the reader and make one think. Upon first seeings this book in a bookstore, I immediately felt drawn to it because of the original colouring, the black and white vertical stirpes, and then of course the praise at the back. Upon reading the summary on the inside flap of the book, it was more than enough to convince me that it was my type of book and that I should start reading right away. So what did I think of it as a whole? Thumbs down, especially since I couldn't even finish all of it. At first it started me off on an innocent enough adventure, describing the circus for location and atmosphere to a very specific point. There was little mentions of the characters' actions and even less dialogue, but I assumed that this was because our two main characters weren't grown up and the competition didn't start yet. It was a slow start, or so I thought, to a fast-paced, bold and exciting story. I was wrong. Gravely mistaken. The entire book is made up of nothing but details. Details of the time, location, atmosphere, mood, specific decorations, establishments, advertisements, and even specific outfits! All in all, let me emphasize and it is completely de-personalized from any aspect of the characters, main or otherwise. It bored me immensely! But we must give the author some credit, right? After all, writing about a circus at nighttime with inventions of the utmost imagination and ingenuity must require one to mention details, oui? Well, no from my point of view, because after reading this book, I have been officially convinced that there is such a thing as too much detail. Details are fine in moderation, but when using them for pages on end to describe things around the characters rather than the characters themselves, you start to question if there was ever a story to work with from the beginning. From reading this, I got the impression that the author may be awkward at working with character and developing relationships, and thus she has wasted print and paper avoiding this through irrelevant descriptions of the surroundings. One might give her the benefit of the doubt in thinking that she did this to purposely bring us into a world of imagination and wonder, but that is not what she accomplished with me at all. Instead, I was flipping ahead through the pages, and wondering how much longer until I can finish the chapter and get the book over with. I couldn't do it. That amount of description for things no one cares about was just too much to handle for me. The romance is more than just lacking; it is practically non-existent, if not lifeless. Even as a teenage girl who appreciates romance in YA books can vouch for the fact that this romance isn't worth it. The characters, while trying to be posed off as charming, come off as bland in comparison to what a room might look like. All in all--to conclude a judgmental yet honest review--not a book I would ever read again. Instead of being fun, entertaining, and keeping me on the edge of my seat, "The Night Circus" was dull, prolonged, and lulled me to sleep. For those wishing to read it, I hope you're the kind of person who appreciates the simplicity of a clock tower or a series of outfits and dates, because that's all you're going to get from this book.
Date published: 2018-03-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Had Potential This novel had so much potential, but I just couldn't finish it. It was really interesting to see the concept of a magical circus that appeared suddenly and opened only at midnight. In that way, it was a bit like reading a fairytale, which I loved, but I feel like the execution just wasn't doing it for me. The author wrote in many different perspectives and I was really having trouble understanding what was going on or how it connected to the "main plot". In the end, I was just really confused about what the story was about.
Date published: 2018-03-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My favourite book I love the circus, so I bought this book when it first came out... it's now my favourite book ever, and I re-read it once a year. Erin Morgenstern is a beautiful writer, and this has just the right amount of whimsy and romance.
Date published: 2018-03-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simply Magical This book was the perfect balance between whimsical, adventure, and romance
Date published: 2018-03-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from sick read bro My friend recommended me this book, it's different from the types of books I usually read.
Date published: 2018-02-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Phenomenal There are no words to describe how achingly beautiful this book is. You simply must read this.
Date published: 2018-02-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Lovely The most beautiful written descriptions of scenes I've ever read in a book. The movie won't be able to compare.
Date published: 2018-02-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Unexpected... I'm still not really sure how i felt about this book. I really liked the plot and the writing was beautiful, but i had a few pacing issues. Great read though!
Date published: 2018-02-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Different It was refreshing to read something a little odd. A very unique story that is beautifully written. #PlumReview
Date published: 2018-01-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Art This story is a piece of art. I think it has a air of mystery when I'd like a clear answer but the ending gives me what I need. Though, I agree with the review of someone else on here. The ending didn't do the story justice. I'm not sure why, if I had to guess it would have been because of pacing. The book is a bit long winded sometimes and during a climax that needs to change. The tempo has to speed up. This just jumped around a bit more, thinking that changing where we were looking would make us speed up what was happening ourselves. Overall I loved it, I sighed when it was over because I wished there was more.
Date published: 2018-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it!! I can't even begin to explain how much I love this book. It will definitely be one of favourite books of all time. It was captivating and beautifully written, and had my intrigued right to the very end!
Date published: 2018-01-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A captivating book Morgenstern's imagination and world-building are extraordinary. While this book does have an interesting plot, the story is secondary to the setting in this case: this novel is really about the circus. If you're looking for a magical book to get lost in, this is the story for you.
Date published: 2018-01-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from interesting My friend recommended me this book, it's different from the types of books I usually read. it was and interested read a little weird but till enjoyable to get through I guess
Date published: 2018-01-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A magical romance I loved this book! I thought it was a fun read filled with magic and illusions and a nice little love story. I enjoyed all the characters in the book and wish I could attend this circus myself!
Date published: 2018-01-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from An odd story ... My daughter recommended this book to me (and then pestered me until I read it). While I enjoyed it, I wasn't as infatuated with Morgenstern's tale as Cait was. This is an odd story. But I wouldn't say it's bad; it's actually really good. Intriguing. But weird. I'm an AHS fan, so weird is good. If you are less comfortable with a supernatural, mysterious plotline with multiple characters and intermingled stories, this might not be a story for you. Even now, a few months after I finished this novel, I'm still not sure what I think of it. But the fact that I'm still talking with my daughter about it probably indicates that this is a good thing!
Date published: 2018-01-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from fantastic! not your typical romance story i loved the way magic is described in this novel, makes you really imagine it and feel it. it's a deep and dark romance story as well, which i loved
Date published: 2018-01-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Magic is Real At least in this book it is. The description in this book was amazing. From the circus acts to the feats of ordinary magic. This book has a special place in my heart that continues to grow after each reading. Would highly recommend.
Date published: 2018-01-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Magical and Wonderful I really loved this book. I wish there were more books like this - I devoured this one, and want more!
Date published: 2017-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Magical! If you are a fan of whimsical, magical, poetic prose, this is the book for you. It is difficult not to get lost in the world created by Morgenstern. The Night Circus is a book you will want to reread for its magical plot and writing.
Date published: 2017-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A book I Will Always Remember This book was recommended to me by a friend and it was worth every cent and more. The characters, storyline and the deeply rooted message will stay with me for years to come. Overall a brilliant book that I am lucky to have found.
Date published: 2017-12-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Literary Magic I read this over the summer and found myself completely consumed by the novel's world. Don't force yourself to read it or else you won't be able to experience its magic. If you read it right, it is simply amazing.
Date published: 2017-12-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An instant favourite Any book lover out there knows how impossible it is for you to list your favourite books of all time. But the moment I turned the last page of this book, I knew it was the one. I didn't know what I was getting into when I started reading this book, but I absolutely loved every page. It is beautifully written - so poetic and powerful. You couldn't ask for a more perfect combination of writing, story, and characters. I highly recommend this - it will change your life.
Date published: 2017-12-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Original and entertaining This was something I just picked up randomly and sat on my shelf for about 6 months. When I finally read it I was thrilled. It's an original story that focuses on the characters rather than the venue that the story takes place in but the venue is delightful none the less. There are jumps in time, character, and location but it didn't get muddled or confusing until the timelines got very close together and then you just had to make sure to pay attention, but if you don't like that sort of thing avoid this one. Definitely a win.
Date published: 2017-12-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heart-wrenching It was a beautiful book. The way the author described the little details, really made you feel like you were there. Now I want to go to a circus!
Date published: 2017-12-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Breathtakingly Immersive I bought this book because I have a love of circus aesthetic within novels. This book captures the real world while delicately interweaving the existence and lore of its magic between the pages. I have re-read it countless times and it doesn't disappoint the first, the third or the seventh time. Highly recommend!
Date published: 2017-12-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Quite the Experience! This book brings the reader into a completely new world unlike any other. The world of the Night Circus that Morgenstern has created is truly unique and fascination. The book itself is very descriptive on each aspect of the circus and characters leaving the reader with a excellent visual of the circus and a curiosity to read more. Unfortunately the book can become a bit slow and a bit too convoluted with the stories jumping from past to present. A good read overall.
Date published: 2017-12-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A generous 3 stars This book is full of inconsistencies and loose ends. I understand what the author was trying to accomplish but she fell short. I'm not even sure there was a climax... I think it just ended.
Date published: 2017-12-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVE LOVE LOVED IT Words honestly are unable to express to astounding this book is! I don't usually enjoy stand alone novels but wow this book is so intricate with its details and the story line is so plot driven, its shocking this was all packed into one book. Amazing, it is for sure a much slower read then action packed but i think thats what i enjoyed about it the most!!!
Date published: 2017-12-11
Rated 1 out of 5 by from A Confusing, Over-Hyped Mess The synopsis is a lie. This is no beautiful, breath-taking story. This is no epic romance. This book is a nightmare, given a summary - presumably by the publisher - that in no way reflects the confusing mass of words and tangled descriptions found inside. It is a relief to close the book and leave this nightmarish mess of demonic characters behind.
Date published: 2017-12-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved It I didn't know what to expect from this book when I got it, but it was amazing; the time lines can get kind of confusing but when they all fit together the story was absolutely astounding!
Date published: 2017-12-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from READ THIS I am so incredibly happy that I finally decided to pick up this book! Everything about The Night Circus was enchanting and had me completely immersed in the world. The writing was descriptive, which I’ve heard people criticizing this book for, but trust me you are going to want all the descriptions you can get for the world that Morgenstern created. The descriptions worked in favour of this book. I also loved the way Morgenstern organized the chapters, jumping back and forth in time and switching to different character points of view and the omniscient narrator that told the story, it was magical. It reminded me of a mix of the movie The Prestige and the movie The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnasus, so if that’s something that interests you then you’re definitely going to want to read this book.
Date published: 2017-12-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from keeps you guessing at first i was hesitant because i thought it was a romance novel but i loved it! the plot is really good throughout the novel
Date published: 2017-12-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fun and Mysterious I read this book with my book club. Truthfully it did not get a good rating from the overall group. I, however really enjoyed it. I found it quirky, fun and mysterious.
Date published: 2017-11-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A good read I loved the atmosphere in the book.The circus, the magic, the time period - I wish I could jump right in. On the other hand, the pacing was quite languid and the term "fierce competition" used in the description is a little misleading. Nonetheless, I enjoyed reading it and would recommend giving it a go.
Date published: 2017-11-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enchanting Enchanting is the best I can say about this novel. But even then it doesn't do it justice. You are transported into a different era and to a magical place. Allowing your imagination to be pulled along with the characters as they too experience something so amazing it is hard to describe. Even I have become a Reveur and made me really want to fulfill my dream of running away with the circus.
Date published: 2017-11-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A fantastic read! If you love magic of any kind, this is for you! A bit slow to start but the world building is so worth it. A perfect book to read during the winter, next to a warm fire and hot cup of tea!
Date published: 2017-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Flawless This was an enchanting book. It made me feel the book, I longed to be in the book. It was so magical, it is a simple story line, but its not. This book is one of the best books I have ever read. It is so descriptie. Very well written. You have to read this book.
Date published: 2017-11-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Flawless This was an enchanting book. It made me feel the book, I longed to be in the book. It was so magical, it is a simple story line, but its not. This book is one of the best books I have ever read. It is so descriptie. Very well written. You have to read this book.
Date published: 2017-11-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastical This was truly a beautifully written novel. It transports you in time and place, allowing your imagination to go with the characters as they visit this magical world. I was pulled in from the very first chapter and became captivated by the descriptive and intriguing characters and story line. I will reread this again!!
Date published: 2017-11-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Another world I truly loved all of the magical and fantastical elements of this book. It made me feel as if I’d escaped to a whole other world. The author introduced unique aspects of magic, but it felt completely believable. The ‘game’ being played by Celia and Marco was intriguing although it kind of plateaus and died towards the end. I loved all of the characters involved in The Night Circus and the detail in each chapter and in each tent of the circus was so easy to picture. The ending left me a little unsatisfied, or else it would have been a 5-star book.
Date published: 2017-11-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from LOVED I loved this book so much I recommended it to my mom and she also loved it! The only thing stopping me from giving it 5 stars was because at the beginning I found the switching times very confusing and I kept forgetting what was happening when. My mom also had this problem. But, we found that once we got our head around the time zones the book was amazing.
Date published: 2017-11-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A great read It does take a little while to get into it, but eventually the story grabbed me and I found it hard to put down. The book is right up my alley, if you are drawn to stories of magic and mystery, this is for you. I would always recommend this book.
Date published: 2017-10-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Detailed and Enchanting Although I found this book a little slow and difficult to get into at first, once I got into it I did not want to stop.....and I didn't. Finally finished in the wee morning hours and was left with this wonderfully peaceful feeling once done. It all wrapped up quite nicely and I was quite impressed. The detail throughout the book is incredible and really allowed the reader to picture the setting as well as the characters. Lovely and truly magical storytelling.
Date published: 2017-10-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from slow but magical The majority of the book moved very slowly but the world-building and characters made it enjoyable. It was beautifully written and full of magic.
Date published: 2017-10-20
Rated 2 out of 5 by from It was okay. It took more than half the book to figure out what was going on, and it was slow moving I almost gave up. The writing style was beautiful and captivating, but overall the book was a bit too weird for my taste.
Date published: 2017-10-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Slow but satisfying Although I found this book a little slow and difficult to get into at first, once I got into it I did not want to stop.....and I didn't. Finally finished in the wee morning hours and was left with this wonderfully peaceful feeling once done. It all wrapped up quite nicely and I was quite impressed. The detail throughout the book is incredible and really allowed the reader to picture the setting as well as the characters. Lovely and truly magical storytelling.
Date published: 2017-10-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautifully written This book was beautifully written. It brings to life the magic that happens in a peculiar circus at the turn of the century. At times the book did drag but not for very long.
Date published: 2017-10-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful and mesmerizing This is definitely one of the most enchanting books I’ve ever read. Erin Morgenstern writes beautifully, dreaming up a dazzling night circus with a sinister underlying competition between two old foes, whose competing apprentices end up falling passionately in love. I love how she weaves together the stories of Bailey and Celia and Marco so their lives become intertwined by the end. All the other supporting characters are very quirky and interesting as well. And the cover has such a cool and whimsical design.
Date published: 2017-10-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty Good! I really loved all the magic evolved in this story! The storyline was a little confusing at times, but the characters and scenes are so interesting!
Date published: 2017-10-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty Good! I really loved all the magic evolved in this story! The storyline was a little confusing at times, but the characters and scenes are so interesting!
Date published: 2017-10-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty Good! I really loved all the magic evolved in this story! The storyline was a little confusing at times, but the characters and scenes are so interesting!
Date published: 2017-10-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Made Me Love Fiction Again As an adult (24 F) I have leaned towards non-fiction lifestyle reads rather than fiction reads. On a whim, I decided to read The Night Circus. It was the short description and cover page that intrigued me. In a short two day span, I sped through this read. The descriptive writing style made it easy to imagine the story and I fell in love with each well-developed character. I would definitely recommend!
Date published: 2017-10-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Magical Read I loved this book! It was literally a magical read, from the beautiful descriptions of the surreal settings to the interesting characters and plot. I would definitely recommend this book.
Date published: 2017-10-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Magical This book is perfectly enchanting. Very interesting concept, very imaginative and it was so refreshing to build this little world in my head bit by bit. Yes there was a lot of confusion here and there since the story jumps from year to year, character to character. But once you get your footing it is an amazing story. The perfect little fantasy to get lost in and take you away. I considered 5 stars for a while but as much as I love it it doesn't quite hit the 5 star mark for me. Absolutely recommend.
Date published: 2017-09-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from somehow whimsical but also dark very much a turn of the century gothic/paranormal novel
Date published: 2017-09-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome! Well written book. Going into great detail. Great story.
Date published: 2017-09-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very good Will definitely re-read in the future
Date published: 2017-09-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Liked it! I did enjoy the book but honestly don't see the hype. I think it's an interesting premise and worth a read though.
Date published: 2017-09-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting Read I liked this book. It kept me guessing what was going to happen next.
Date published: 2017-09-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enchanting A truly amazing book with a world unlike any written about so far!
Date published: 2017-09-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Magical A truly amazing book with a world unlike any written about so far!
Date published: 2017-09-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An unexpected surprise I had heard god things about this book and decided to give it a try. I didn't know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised. It was a unique story that was written in great detail. I really enjoyed it.
Date published: 2017-09-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Read Definitely an enchanted read that will captivate your attention until the very end.
Date published: 2017-09-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it I adored this book, it was a perfect mixture of adventure and romance. The detailed writing was amazing, it felt like I was there exploring the tens myself.
Date published: 2017-09-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Bad I hated this book. I found the idea behind the book to be very compelling, however the writing is that of bad fan fiction.I would not recommend this to anyone. Everything about this was flat and one dimensional - I know that the Night Circus is supposed to be magical, but the descriptions were like bad high school writing. There are also fragment sentences throughout which just seem lazy. I still do not understand the point of this story.
Date published: 2017-09-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant An amazing book with character's you'll love and a world you'd die to be part of!
Date published: 2017-09-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Nothing Comes Close No other book comes close to the feelings I experienced reading this enchanting tale. One of the few books I actually own because it is worth re-reading as compared to others where reading it once is sufficient. I read this a few years ago and the characters have still stayed with me. I am trying to find other books with similar themes that feel as magical as this. Simply a wonderful story!
Date published: 2017-08-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My favourite book! Magical and beautiful. I loved getting to explore the different tents in the circus, they're all so creative and unique. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-08-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I can always read it again I can reread this book numerous times and never get tired. feels like I discover something new and fascinating every time that I do.
Date published: 2017-08-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enchanting Beautifully written with a whimsical and enchanting story
Date published: 2017-08-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful A bit slow but beautifully written
Date published: 2017-08-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful The Night Circus is one of those books that reads like poetry. The story is striking and written beautifully, and it kept me thinking about the characters long after I finished reading. This is a book I would re-read and recommend to anyone who liked The Book Thief.
Date published: 2017-08-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Unique and enchanting This book was quite unlike any other that I can think of. When I think of a circus, I think more of too many colours, too much noise, popcorn on sticky stadium floors, clown cars, unhappy animals and the like. The circus presented in The Night Circus is as far removed from this as you could be. It is elegant, mysterious and original, and to me the book is worth it for the atmospheres and visuals that it paints alone. While I enjoyed the story and characters, the environment and the role of the circus itself was what I really loved about this book.
Date published: 2017-07-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from READ IT This book blew me away, it's on of my personal favourites and i cant praise it enough. The characters are lovable and complex. the story is timeless and the circus, of the circus. It's like a dream come true
Date published: 2017-07-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really beautiful I absolutely loved this story! I loved the dreamlike quality of the story, the beauty of the circus and the magic. The writing in this book made the imagery spectacular.
Date published: 2017-07-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it!! Loved this wonderfully weird book, a fantastical story that takes you on a journey
Date published: 2017-07-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Unqiue! 4.5 stars The Night Circus is one of those books were you don't want to put it down but also you have to put it down so your brain can have a chance to wrap around all the ideas it's reading. I love books like that, and I love this book! I did drop half a star because I found some slow parts in the middle and wish that there were slightly fewer time changes to follow. But overall I adored the character so much and the plot was so incredibly unique and well put together I wish I could go to the circus!!
Date published: 2017-07-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Magical This is one of my favourite stories. It's interesting and beautiful in so many different ways and I hope that this author writes more like this. #plumreviews
Date published: 2017-06-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely beautiful. A dream of unparalleled wonder. This book earned an instant spot in my top ten books of all time, and I know it will stay with me forever.
Date published: 2017-06-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Can't Believe I Stayed Away From This So Long Someone in a book thread I created on a forum gave this a bad review and said it was a bore. Because of this I stayed away from checking it out for a long time. When I finally picked up a copy for myself I instantly fell in love, it's not action packed like most fantasy novels that I love, but it is simply beautifully written. The descriptions of the circus, which to me is the main character here, are truly marvelous, it's a book to let your imagination build the picture for sure.
Date published: 2017-06-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favourites! Loved it from start to finish!
Date published: 2017-06-24
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Could not finish I couldn't get into this book, it was too hard to follow with the constant jumping.
Date published: 2017-06-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from my favourite book! I suppose I can understand why some people are confused by the jumps in time, but if you let yourself accept it, and know that it will eventually be explained, its easier to just let yourself enjoy the story, and the beautiful imagery this book has to offer. My only regret is not getting the pretty hardcover copy!
Date published: 2017-06-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful This novel, overall, is awe-inspiring, hypnotic and amazing all around. It is a story that will leave you spell-bound and hit you right in the feels. It is one of the sweetest 'romances' I have ever read and a truly magical tale.
Date published: 2017-06-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely magical I received this as a gift and have read it through so quickly and have reread it recently. I love the visuals and magic in this book and sincerely hope for another similar novel from Erin soon!
Date published: 2017-06-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Mesmerizing This was a wonderful book to read. I was enchanted from beginning to end. Such a lovely story line.
Date published: 2017-06-05
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A great concept, but... If I was judging this book for the atmosphere alone, it would get 5 stars. The circus is described in the most beautiful way and you can actually smell the popcorn, but the main story leaves too many things unexplained and I didn't get attached to the main characters of Celia and Marco. The constant jumps in time didn't help either.
Date published: 2017-05-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Magical This was such a magical read, the writing is absolutely beautiful!
Date published: 2017-05-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book! I read this a few years ago. While it is a little slow to start off it develops into a pretty interesting concept. I really enjoyed it. Not everyone's cup of tea though. If you like mystery, love and magic then you will probably like this book.
Date published: 2017-05-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Ethereal A wonderful fantasy novel with lush detail and world building.
Date published: 2017-05-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this Engrossing, thought provoking, and surprising. A brilliant first novel from Erin Morgenstern!
Date published: 2017-05-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from good read enjoyed this book, wouldn't mind giving it another read
Date published: 2017-05-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing READ THIS EVERY YEAR AT CHRISTMAS, ITS TOO GOOD NOT TOO, BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN WONDERFUL PROSE
Date published: 2017-05-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enchanting! Super interesting and original! I read this 2 months ago and I can't stop thinking about it. A really interesting concept.
Date published: 2017-05-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Compelling To really love this book than you have to feel involved with the characters and storyline. You have to want to be apart of something so magical and inspirational to love it
Date published: 2017-05-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I CAN'T The night circus was such a compelling story to be apart of. There were times when I genuinely forgot about the world and was lost in the story. The plot kinda drags on for a little in the beginning, but it is not boring during this time at all. Every single word is important and the characters are incredible.
Date published: 2017-05-04
Rated 2 out of 5 by from didn't like it I didn't like this book because there were too many stories and I'd have liked it more if the author focused the book only on one and made it detailed and interesting. It's disappointing...
Date published: 2017-05-04
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointed This book was recommended by a few different people. I started off enjoying the story but quickly became detached and uninterested. Could have just been me but didn't have much going on to really get me hooked.
Date published: 2017-05-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Magical This was magical! A little slow in sections, but I just couldn't put it down.
Date published: 2017-05-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Magical A dark and twisted world of magic
Date published: 2017-04-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lovely Story An absolutely enchanting story. Filled with tragedy and love. It ends beautifully.
Date published: 2017-04-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Attention Keeper Was enthralled with this book, was a page turner until the very end. Writer created a strong connection between characters and readers. I wish it had been turned into a series.
Date published: 2017-04-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Magical What a page turner! I read this when it first came out and one of the few books I've purchased because it is worth re-reading. I keep waiting for more books from this author. Could not put this one down! Magic, fantasy, mystery, romance and suspense - it's all there!
Date published: 2017-04-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautifully Bewitching What a lyrical and poetic voice, this book makes you feel the magic without ever really explaining how it works. Pay attention to the dates as it does jump around, especially near the the end.
Date published: 2017-04-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from wow one of my favorite books ever; it's just so magical!
Date published: 2017-04-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from pure fun the writing in this is so rich and compelling that even if there were no story this would be worth reading. but there is a story and its filled with imagination and creativity and heart. truly spellbinding.
Date published: 2017-04-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from enjoyable i really loved this novel, it was awesome
Date published: 2017-04-20
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Did not finish I wanted to like this book I really did. But I hate when the secret world of the book is kept secret from the reader. I don't want to be an outsider! I had a hard time figuring out the timeline too and really just the whole point of it
Date published: 2017-04-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Le Cirque des Rêves "I want this story. Your story. The tale of what brought us to this place, in these chairs, with this wine. I don’t want a story you create from here” – he taps his temple with his finger- “ I want one that is here.” He lets his hand hover over his heart for a moment before sitting back in his chair.” The Night Circus was incredible, indescribable. It tells the story of magic, of a circus, of a contest. A contest happening on a playground, involving people unaware of the complexity happening around them. It tells the story of mystery, of childhood of some sorts. Because that book leaves you wanting to visit that Circus, stuff your face in sweets. It makes you miss that feeling of amazement that’s so specific to the innocence of childhood. Celia Bowen is meant to confront another illusionist in a contest of which the ending and the ruling are unknown to both sides. All of it happening under the supervision of her father and one his associate. All of it happening on the playground that is Le Cirque des Rêves where everything is larger than what ever your dreams can be. That book definitely had one the best world building I’ve read. The complexity of it and yet how simply everything fits together. I must admit I got confused with the different timelines at the beginning, though. The author’s writing style is a gift when writing a book like The Night Circus. While the numerous descriptions could be heavy for some readers, I found them delightful. It really gave me the opportunity to dive into this universe Morgenstern created. I usually don’t read fantasy books (more of a contemporary person) and even less fantasy books with slow-paced plot. Because that’s what The Night Circus is. In the different point of views you get by reading it, the plot is revealed little by little, adding to the mystery of the book. But that book was fantastic. This is a story that stays with you and makes you wondering what you would do if you came across a thing such as Le Cirque des Rêves.
Date published: 2017-04-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very different read I have to say, I have had this book in my bookshelf for a really long time. I'm just now getting to read it and I was not disappointed. It was different, more so than anything I've read in a long time. Took me a while to catch on to the dates and what was happening in the different years but once I did, I loved it.
Date published: 2017-04-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Over-hyped but worth it I wasn't prepared for this journey, I really wasn't. I had heard many great and wonderful things about this book so I knew I had to see what it was all about. I honest to goodness went into this book blind, having only what little the novel's synopsis tells us. This is not the type of story that you read quickly and over one sitting. It's plot is very slow and somewhat anticlimactic. That being said however, does nothing to describe the beautiful imagery Morgenstern paints. The world building is fantastic and so richly descriptive that you can practically smell the caramel popcorn and courtyard bonfire. The Night Circus is a magical, unique story and that not only enchants the reader, it makes you a participant.
Date published: 2017-04-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enchanting I really enjoyed this book. It is a long read, which I sometimes find sometimes can drag on in some areas. This book was intriguing at every chapter. The writing style and detail of the author really paints a picture of the story so you feel encapsulated in it.
Date published: 2017-04-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from beautiful writing I thought this book was beautifully written and so so so magical
Date published: 2017-04-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Spellbinding! Very mystical, magical and enchanting to read. The story keeps the reader engaged because the reader becomes part of the story by the narrator. It all come together and makes sense in the end.
Date published: 2017-04-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Imagination, Fun, Drama, and Romance I have owned this book for a couple of years now, and every so often I got back and read it again. here imagination really drew me in.
Date published: 2017-04-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Magical Ride This book is definitely worth a read, it's captivating and magical! It'll take you bake to an era where the curiosity of magic once started. Illusions, slight of hand, disappearing acts, you name it this book has it! It has a bit of a slow start to it but once you get into it, you'll be on a magical ride.
Date published: 2017-04-02
Rated 1 out of 5 by from unlike did not liked it. did not even read halfway. good thing it was gift.
Date published: 2017-04-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this! I read this novel when it first came out and it still remains a favourite of mine. Planning to re-read it soon! Very engaging due to its uniqueness and surrealism. The fantasy and magic of it all is fantastic. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-03-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Magical! This story wraps you up in fantasy and intrigue. A lovely read!
Date published: 2017-03-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Charming. Exciting, page-turning, and charming. While it takes a few chapters to get into, the story that ends up unfolding is worth seeing through.
Date published: 2017-03-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fresh This book was like nothing I had ever read before. I haven't really read many books with magical realism in it, and I have to say that this book is one of my new favorites! #plumreview
Date published: 2017-03-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from So Magically Romantic The imagery in this book is great and it really paints the picture of the story. I have never lent this book out and not gotten an 'I loved it" when it was returned to me
Date published: 2017-03-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really, really unique but a slow-paced This story is so different and unique it's absolutely wonderful! The main story and the underlining plot/line are very different but are tied together in the most wonderful way. Although this is a very slow read and can take you a few times before reading through the whole thing, but please prevail and I promise it won't disappoint. The wording in this book also really helps paint a nice and crisp picture in your head and you are literally in the eyes of the character!
Date published: 2017-03-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not My Favourite Surprisingly, I couldn't get into this book. Didn't even finish it.
Date published: 2017-03-12
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Well written but meh I had such high hopes for The Night Circus. To be clear it is written so fluidly that it comes out like poetry, and the story's premise is unique and interesting, but frankly I just found the book incredibly boring. By the end of the book I felt like nothing even happened.
Date published: 2017-03-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Best Book You Will Read!! This book was amazing! It was a page turner and the author was great at describing, which made for an easy visualization of the characters, location and surroundings. Highly recommend this book for anyone that wants to be transported into a magical world.
Date published: 2017-03-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Read it was whimsical and magical, good characters and story. Worth a read!
Date published: 2017-03-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A magical read! The author wrote this book with such detail and elegance that it really brought the whole premise of the circus to life. Without a doubt will have you captured until it is finished... in the first day of reading it.
Date published: 2017-03-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Magical, beautiful, dreamy, poetic! I wish I had read this book for the first time instead of listen to it on audio. This story was simply hypnotizing, seriously, I would listen to this story on my commute to and from work and would be transported to another era. It was so beautifully written, I felt more elegant just hearing the words. A truly enchanting and one of a kind love story. Hope this is NEVER a movie cause there is no way any actor, director, screen write could capture the dimensions of this story.
Date published: 2017-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Became one of my favourites! This quickly became one of my favourite reads! Beautiful writing, tons of detail! Not something you can read quickly, but if you take your time and really absorb each page, it's magical! #plumreview
Date published: 2017-02-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from 3.5 stars for the magical descriptions of the circus. I felt like I was actually there when there was the 2nd person POV in between chapters which was neat. But unfortunately I had to knock off a couple stars for the lulls in the book which took me a while to read this and the fact that it was written in 3rd-person present from several different characters which I found it hard to connect with them since some perspectives didn't add more to the story. I'm not sure if I could tag this as romance since it was present but it kind of snuck up on you. This battle between the two magicians, Celia and Marco span over many, many years. The description was a bit misleading on that. I expected more action and the thrill of having things at stake but the competition between them was nothing like that. But yeah, suddenly one day the two characters fall for each other and I missed the whole build up to this relationship so I didn't care once they got together or for when they tried to figure out a way to save each other without one of them dying. On the plus side, I did like the secondary characters Poppet and her brother Widget. Also the rêveurs and Tsukiko were cool.
Date published: 2017-02-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Epic Poetry-Like Story This is what I would imagine a dream like reality to look and feel like. Amazing book! A rêveur in my heart, this book was well written and gave their circus life. Ending was bittersweet but I find it could've reached a bit farther as it delved deeper in its mysteries. Overall, a good way to ensure daydreaming for days after.
Date published: 2017-02-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible Beautiful characters, amazing and poetic prose, engrossing story, amazing world-building, just a fantastic read!
Date published: 2017-02-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Super good book!! This is such a great novel, I highly recommend it!
Date published: 2017-02-17
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Great idea but didn't love it This story sounded so unique and interesting that I was surprised to find myself always waiting for something more to happen.
Date published: 2017-02-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An exquisite magical tale This was truly an enchanting tale, I felt as if I was indeed one of the Rêveurs visiting the circus and discovering all that it had to offer. The mysterious and eccentric characters just added onto the beautifully plotted story. Part romance, part fantasy set in the industrial revolution era, this novel was truly captivating, I did not want it to end! I look forward to reading more from this author.
Date published: 2017-02-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderful Read I loved this book, it was very well written and I had trouble putting it down. I did find the jumping between timelines a bit confusing, but I didn't realize there was two separate stories going on until about halfway through. All in all, a great book that ended far too soon for me!
Date published: 2017-02-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Such an intriguing read This book pulled me in with it's strange and unusual story, I enjoyed it very much
Date published: 2017-02-13

Read from the Book

ANTICIPATIONThe circus arrives without warning.No announcements precede it, no paper notices on downtown posts and billboards, no mentions or advertisements in local newspapers. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.The towering tents are striped in white and black, no golds and crimsons to be seen. No color at all, save for the neighboring trees and the grass of the surrounding fields. Black-and-white stripes on grey sky; countless tents of varying shapes and sizes, with an elaborate wrought-iron fence encasing them in a colorless world. Even what little ground is visible from outside is black or white, painted or powdered, or treated with some other circus trick.But it is not open for business. Not just yet.Within hours everyone in town has heard about it. By afternoon the news has spread several towns over. Word of mouth is a more effective method of advertisement than typeset words and exclamation points on paper pamphlets or posters. It is impressive and unusual news, the sudden appearance of a mysterious circus. People marvel at the staggering height of the tallest tents. They stare at the clock that sits just inside the gates that no one can properly describe.And the black sign painted in white letters that hangs upon the gates, the one that reads:Opens at NightfallCloses at Dawn"What kind of circus is only open at night?" people ask. No one has a proper answer, yet as dusk approaches there is a substantial crowd of spectators gathering outside the gates.You are amongst them, of course. Your curiosity got the better of you, as curiosity is wont to do. You stand in the fading light, the scarf around your neck pulled up against the chilly evening breeze, waiting to see for yourself exactly what kind of circus only opens once the sun sets.The ticket booth clearly visible behind the gates is closed and barred. The tents are still, save for when they ripple ever so slightly in the wind. The only movement within the circus is the clock that ticks by the passing minutes, if such a wonder of sculpture can even be called a clock.The circus looks abandoned and empty. But you think perhaps you can smell caramel wafting through the evening breeze, beneath the crisp scent of the autumn leaves. A subtle sweetness at the edges of the cold.The sun disappears completely beyond the horizon, and the remaining luminosity shifts from dusk to twilight. The people around you are growing restless from waiting, a sea of shuffling feet, murmuring about abandoning the endeavor in search of someplace warmer to pass the evening. You yourself are debating departing when it happens.First, there is a popping sound. It is barely audible over the wind and conversation. A soft noise like a kettle about to boil for tea. Then comes the light.All over the tents, small lights begin to flicker, as though the entirety of the circus is covered in particularly bright fireflies. The waiting crowd quiets as it watches this display of illumination. Someone near you gasps. A small child claps his hands with glee at the sight.When the tents are all aglow, sparkling against the night sky, the sign appears. Stretched across the top of the gates, hidden in curls of iron, more firefly-like lights flicker to life. They pop as they brighten, some accompanied by a shower of glowing white sparks and a bit of smoke. The people nearest to the gates take a few steps back.At first, it is only a random pattern of lights. But as more of them ignite, it becomes clear that they are aligned in scripted letters. First a C is distinguishable, followed by more letters. A q, oddly, and several e's. When the final bulb pops alight, and the smoke and sparks dissipate, it is finally legible, this elaborate incandescent sign. Leaning to your left to gain a better view, you can see that it reads:Le Cirque des RêvesSome in the crowd smile knowingly, while others frown and look questioningly at their neighbors. A child near you tugs on her mother's sleeve, begging to know what it says."The Circus of Dreams," comes the reply. The girl smiles delightedly.Then the iron gates shudder and unlock, seemingly by their own volition. They swing outward, inviting the crowd inside.Now the circus is open.Now you may enter.PART I:Primordium"The Whole of Le Cirque des Rêves is formed by a series of circles. Perhaps it is a tribute to the origin of the word 'circus,' deriving from the Greek kirkos meaning circle, or ring. There are many such nods to the phenomenon of the circus in a historical sense, though it is hardly a traditional circus. Rather than a single tent with rings enclosed within, this circus contains clusters of tents like pyramids, some large and others quite small. They are set within circular paths, contained within a circular fence. Looping and continuous."--Friedrick Thiessen, 1892"A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moon-light, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world."--Oscar Wilde, 1888UNEXPECTED POSTNew York, February 1873The man billed as Prospero the Enchanter receives a fair amount of correspondence via the theater office, but this is the first envelope addressed to him that contains a suicide note, and it is also the first to arrive carefully pinned to the coat of a five-year-old girl.The lawyer who escorts her to the theater refuses to explain despite the manager's protestations, abandoning her as quickly as he can with no more than a shrug and the tip of a hat.The theater manager does not need to read the envelope to know who the girl is for. The bright eyes peering out from under a cloud of unruly brown curls are smaller, wider versions of the magician's own.He takes her by the hand, her small fingers hanging limp within his. She refuses to remove her coat despite the warmth of the theater, giving only an adamant shake of her head when he asks her why.The manager takes the girl to his office, not knowing what else to do with her. She sits quietly on an uncomfortable chair beneath a line of framed posters advertising past productions, surrounded by boxes of tickets and receipts. The manager brings her a cup of tea with an extra lump of sugar, but it remains on the desk, untouched, and grows cold.The girl does not move, does not fidget in her seat. She stays perfectly still with her hands folded in her lap. Her gaze is fixed downward, focused on her boots that do not quite touch the floor. There is a small scuff on one toe, but the laces are knotted in perfect bows.The sealed envelope hangs from the second topmost button of her coat, until Prospero arrives.She hears him before the door opens, his footsteps heavy and echoing in the hall, unlike the measured pace of the manager who has come and gone several times, quiet as a cat."There is also a… package for you, sir," the manager says as he opens the door, ushering the magician into the cramped office before slipping off to attend to other theater matters, having no desire to witness what might become of this encounter.The magician scans the office, a stack of letters in one hand, a black velvet cape lined with shockingly white silk cascading behind him, expecting a paper-wrapped box or crate. Only when the girl looks up at him with his own eyes does he realize what the theater manager was referring to.Prospero the Enchanter's immediate reaction upon meeting his daughter is a simple declaration of: "Well, fuck."The girl returns her attention to her boots.The magician closes the door behind him, dropping the stack of letters on the desk next to the teacup as he looks at the girl.He rips the envelope from her coat, leaving the pin clinging steadfastly to its button.While the writing on the front bears his stage name and the theater address, the letter inside greets him with his given name, Hector Bowen.He skims over the contents, any emotional impact desired by the author failing miserably and finally. He pauses at the only fact he deems relevant: that this girl now left in his custody is, obviously, his own daughter and that her name is Celia."She should have named you Miranda," the man called Prospero the Enchanter says to the girl with a chuckle. "I suppose she was not clever enough to think of it."The girl looks up at him again. Dark eyes narrow beneath her curls.The teacup on the desk begins to shake. Ripples disrupt the calm surface as cracks tremble across the glaze, and then it collapses in shards of flowered porcelain. Cold tea pools in the saucer and drips onto the floor, leaving sticky trails along the polished wood.The magician's smile vanishes. He glances back at the desk with a frown, and the spilled tea begins seeping back up from the floor. The cracked and broken pieces stand and re-form themselves around the liquid until the cup sits complete once more, soft swirls of steam rising into the air.The girl stares at the teacup, her eyes wide.Hector Bowen takes his daughter's face in his gloved hand, scrutinizing her expression for a moment before releasing her, his fingers leaving long red marks across her cheeks."You might be interesting," he says.The girl does not reply.He makes several attempts to rename her in the following weeks, but she refuses to respond to anything but Celia.* * * * * Several months later, once he decides she is ready, the magician writes a letter of his own. He includes no address, but it reaches its destination across the ocean nonetheless.

Bookclub Guide

1. The novel opens with a quote from Oscar Wilde: "A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." How is this sentiment explored in The Night Circus? Who in the novel is a dreamer? And what is their punishment for being so?2. The novel frequently changes narrative perspective. How does this transition shape your reading of the novel and your connection to the characters and the circus? Why do you think the author chose to tell the story from varied perspectives?3. The narrative also follows a non-linear sequence - shifting at times from present to past. How effective was this method in regards to revealing conflict in the novel?4. There are a number of allusions to Shakespeare throughout the text: Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, and As You Like It. Explain these references - how does each play reveal itself in the novel?5. What role does time play in the novel? From Friedrick Thiessen's clock, to the delayed aging of the circus developers, to the birth of the twins - is time manipulated or fated at the circus?6. "Chandresh relishes reactions. Genuine reactions, not mere polite applause. He often values the reactions over the show itself. A show without an audience is nothing, after all. In the response of the audience, that is where the power of performance lives." How does this statement apply to both Le Cirque des Rêves and the competition? Which audience is more valuable: one that is complicit or one that is unknowing?7. Chandresh is portrayed as a brilliant and creative perfectionist at the beginning of the novel, yet he slowly unravels as the competition matures. Is Chandresh merely a puppet of the competition - solely used for his ability to provide a venue for the competition - or do his contributions run deeper?8. Marco asserts that Alexander H. is a father figure to him (though his paternal instincts aren't readily noticeable). In what ways does Alexander provide for Marco and in what ways has he failed him?9. Celia emphasizes that keeping the circus controlled is a matter of "balance." And Marco suggests that the competition is not a chess game, but rather, a balancing of scales. However, both the circus and the competition get disordered at times - leaving both physical and emotional casualties in their wake. Is the circus ever really in "balance," or is it a pendulum swinging from one extreme to the next?10. From the outside, the circus is full of enchantments and delights, but behind the scenes, the delicate push and pull of the competition results in some sinister events: i.e. Tara Burgess and Friedrick Thiessen's deaths. How much is the competition at fault for these losses and how much is it the individual's doing?11. How do you view the morality of the circus in regards to the performers and developers being unknowing pawns in Celia and Marco's competition? Do Celia and Marco owe an explanation to their peers about their unwitting involvement?12. Friedrick Thiessen asserts that he thinks of himself "not as a writer so much as someone who provides a gateway, a tangential route for readers to the circus." He is a voice for those unable to attend the circus and suggests that the circus is bigger than itself. What role do the rêveurs play in keeping the spirit of the circus alive outside of the confines of the circus tents?13. What is Hector's role in determining the final fate of the competition? He lectures Celia about remaining independent and not interfering with her partner, but ultimately, Hector largely influences the outcome of the competition. Explain this influence.14. Poppet and Widget are especially affected by the lighting of the bonfire. How crucial are their "specialties" to the ongoing success of the circus?15. Isobel is a silent, yet integral, partner in both the circus and the competition. She has an ally in Tsukiko, but seemingly no one else, especially not Marco. How much does Marco's underestimation of Isobel affect the outcome of the competition?16. How does Isobel serve as a foil to Celia? Who, if anyone, fills that role for Marco?17. Tsukiko is aware of Isobel's "tempering of the circus" from the outset and when Isobel worries that it is having no effect, Tsukiko suggests: "perhaps it is controlling the chaos within more than the chaos without." What, and whose, chaos is Tsukiko alluding to here?18. Mr. Barris, Friedrick Thiessen, Mme. Padva, and even Bailey are aware that the circus has made a profound, inexplicable, change in their lives, but they each choose not to explore the depth of these changes. Friedrick Thiessen confirms that, "I prefer to remain unenlightened, to better appreciate the dark." Do you agree with this standpoint? What inherent dangers accompany a purposeful ignorance? What dangers present themselves when ignorance is not chosen? Is one choice better/safer than the other or are they equally fraught?19. Celia tells Bailey that he is "not destined or chosen" to be the next proprietor of the circus. He is simply "in the right place at the right time… and care[s] enough to do what needs to be done. Sometimes that's enough." In this situation, is that "enough?" Can the responsibility of maintaining the circus be trusted to just anyone, or unlike Celia suggests, is Bailey truly special?20. At the closing of the novel, we are left to believe that the circus is still traveling - Bailey's business card provides an email address as his contact information. How do you think the circus would fare over time? Would the circus need to evolve to suit each generation or is it distinctive enough to transcend time?

Editorial Reviews

A Globe and Mail Best Book"A book that stops you in your tracks, a book [that]… tears you open and leaves you gasping…. A book that makes the hair on your arms stand on end, and that has you picking up the phone or sending a text to tell everyone you know, 'You have to read this.'… One of those rare, wonderful, transcendent books that, upon finishing, you want to immediately start again…. The Night Circus welcomes all visitors."—The Globe and Mail"It's a world whose mystique and enigma is hard to shake off, and that invites multiple visits."—National Post"Magical. Enchanting. Spellbinding. Mesmerizing. Morgenstern - in much the same way as her cast of magicians and performers might - builds a fantastic creation out of words and spells and ink and paper and the power of imagination. And like her colorful characters, she's not dealing in illusions and sleight of hand. This is real magic."—The Seattle Times"So should you read Erin Morgenstern's debut novel, The Night Circus? The short answer: Yes. The book is engaging and magical, entrancing the reader every step of the way."—The Huffington Post"…deliciously inventive…"—The Scotsman"Read The Night Circus and be mystified, finish it, as breathless as an aerialist, and you'll want to start again… you won't want to miss this amazing book."—The Missourian"With a showman's flourish in an opening paragraph, author Morgenstern invites readers into a mesmerizing 19th-century world where everything and nothing is real, and even the characters don't know the difference. There are shivers here, as well as a story of betrayal, mistrust, love and horrifying secrets. I was captivated by this darkly stunning debut novel from an author who bears watching, and there's no way you should miss it, either. So step right up, ladies and gentlemen, and be amazed at what you'll find between these fiendish covers. For you, The Night Circus conjures a most excellent read."—Appeal-Democrat"Morgenstern manages to conjure up a love story for adults that feels luxuriously romantic. When Celia calls their circus a 'wonder and comfort and mystery all together,' she could have been talking about this book."—The Washington Post"…dark and extravagantly imagined… the author entices her audience and rewards its members with captivating pleasure… when this Circus leaves town, it trails a sense of smiling wonder in its wake."—People Magazine"The Night Circus is quietly, enchantingly perfect. …reading this novel is like having a marvelous dream, in which you are asleep enough to believe everything that is happening, but awake enough to relish the experience and understand that it is magical. Morgenstern is an artist as well as a writer, and her novel is lusciously visual. Every scene is like a medieval painting, saturated with color and detail; each realistic facet only enhances the mystical strangeness of the whole.—Newsday"Morgenstern's novel feels crafted from the fabric of a dream, and the circus itself never fails to astound. For me, the only real disappointment was that I couldn't buy a ticket."—Christian Science Monitor"Prepare to be entranced by Erin Morgenstern's debut novel, The Night Circus."—USA Today"Startlingly inventive, haunting, and definitely strange, it's part love story, part fable, and a knockout debut… Morgenstern's book is so sparklingly alive, you swear the pages are breathing in your hands."—The Boston Globe"Enchanting… Move over, Twilight!"—Chatelaine"The Night Circus made me happy. Playful and intensely imaginative, Erin Morgenstern has created the circus I have always longed for and she has populated it with dueling love-struck magicians, precocious kittens, hyper-elegant displays of beauty and complicated clocks. This is a marvelous book."—Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler's Wife"Every once in awhile you find a novel so magical that there is no escaping its spell. The Night Circus is one of these rarities - engrossing, beautifully written and utterly enchanting. If you choose to read just one novel this year, this is it." — Danielle Trussoni, author of Angelology"A riveting debut. The Night Circuspulls you into a world as dark as it is dazzling, fully-realized but still something out of a dream. You will not want to leave it."— Téa Obreht, author of The Tiger's Wife"Pure pleasure… Erin Morgenstern is a gifted, classic storyteller, a tale-teller, a spinner of the charmed and mesmerizing - I had many other things I was supposed to be doing, but the book kept drawing me back in and I tore through it. You can be certain this riveting debut will create a group of rêveurs all its own."—Aimee Bender, author of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake"'Dark as soot and bright as sparks,' The Night Circus still holds me willingly captive in a world of almost unbearable beauty. This is a love story on a grand scale: it creates, it destroys, it ultimately transcends. Take a bow, Erin Morgenstern. This is one of the best books I have ever read."— Brunonia Barry, author of The Lace Reader"The Night Circus is a gorgeously imagined fable poised in the high latitudes of Hans Christian Anderson and Oscar Wilde, with a few degrees toward Hesse's 'Steppenwolf' for dangerous spice. The tale is masterfully written and invites allegorical interpretations even as its leisurely but persistent suspense gives it compelling charm. An enchanting read."— Katherine Dunn, author of Geek Love"Self-assured, entertaining debut novel that blends genres and crosses continents in quest of magic… Generous in its vision and fun to read. Likely to be a big book - and, soon, a big movie, with all the franchise trimmings."— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)"Debut author Morgenstern doesn't miss a beat in this smashing tale of greed, fate, and love set in a turn of the 20th-century circus… a giant, magical story destined for bestsellerdom. This is an electric debut."—Publishers Weekly