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The Night Circus

by

The Night Circus Cover

 

Awards

Staff Pick

Touted as an adult's version of Harry Potter, The Night Circus actually lives up to its hype. It's the story of a couple of magicians, a circus, and a duel. And, of course, it's so much more. Morgenstern's creation is astounding and intricate, delicate and beautiful, frightening and overwhelming. Though torn between the contrary desires of racing through this perfectly paced tale or savoring every complex and unique sentence, I was hooked from the beginning. Not much of a fantasy fan? Me, neither. Read this book anyway.
Recommended by Dianah, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

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Publisher Comments:

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 Rêves, 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. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love — a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

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. Celia is a five-year-old with untrained psychokinetic powers when she is unceremoniously dumped on her unsuspecting father, Hector Bowen, better known as Le Cirque des Reves' Prospero the Entertainer. Hector immediately hatches a sinister scheme for Celia: pit her against a rival's young magician in an epic battle of magic that will, by design, result in the death of one of the players, though neither Celia nor her adversary, Marco, is informed of the inevitable outcome. What neither Hector nor his rival count on is that Celia and Marco will eventually fall in love. Their mentors — Marco's mentor, Alexander, plucked him from the London streets due to his psychic abilities — attempt to intervene with little success as Celia and Marco barrel toward an unexpected and oddly fitting conclusion. Supporting characters — such as Bailey, a farm boy who befriends a set of twins born into the circus who will drastically influence his future; Isobel, a circus employee and onetime girlfriend of Marco's; and theatrical producer Chandresh Christophe Lefèvre — are perfectly realized and live easily in a giant, magical story destined for bestsellerdom. This is an electric debut on par with Special Topics in Calamity Physics. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"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

Review:

"Self-assured, entertaining debut 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)

Review:

"To enter the black-and-white-striped tents of Le Cirque des Rêve is to enter a world where objects really do turn into birds and people really do disappear....Debut novelist Morgenstern has written a 19th-century flight of fancy that is, nevertheless, completely believable. The smells, textures, sounds, and sights are almost palpable. A literary Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, this read is completely magical." Library Journal (Starred Review)

Review:

"This big and compelling first novel ushers in a menacing tone with its first sentence: 'The circus arrives without warning'....With appeal for readers not particularly geared to fantasy but who plainly enjoy an unusual and well-drawn story, this one will make a good crossover suggestion." Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"A riveting debut. The Night Circus pulls 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

Review:

"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

Video

About the Author

Erin Morgenstern is a writer and multimedia artist who describes all her work as being "fairy tales in one way or another." She lives in Massachusetts with her husband.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 148 comments:

Sarah Jane 30, September 12, 2013 (view all comments by Sarah Jane 30)
I absolutely loved this book. It is intricate and beautiful with characters that are fantastical, archetypal, and extremely human. I fell in love with the author's mind and really savored every chapter. The storyline is engaging on lots of levels. A new favorite book!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
jasonmartine84, March 19, 2013 (view all comments by jasonmartine84)
This book was more of a difficult read at the beginning for me, but as I set in to the storyline and got to know the characters a little better it fell nicely in to place. What a magnificent story! It is definitely best read before bed. It allows your dreams to free fall into the many realms of The Night Circus. I will continue to read and re-read this one for a long while. I hope there will be more books connected to these characters. It was ultimately genius as far as circus's go.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Theresa Butler, January 12, 2013 (view all comments by Theresa Butler)
This is easily my favorite book of 2012. I'm looking forward to reading it again. It was magical and lovely, without being totally unbelievable (in my mind it's totally possible and I'm looking for the Night Circus). A beautiful love story and a beautifully imagined world.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 148 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780385534635
Author:
Morgenstern, Erin
Publisher:
Doubleday Books
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20110931
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
400

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Related Subjects


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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
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The Night Circus Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$12.50 In Stock
Product details 400 pages Doubleday Books - English 9780385534635 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Touted as an adult's version of Harry Potter, The Night Circus actually lives up to its hype. It's the story of a couple of magicians, a circus, and a duel. And, of course, it's so much more. Morgenstern's creation is astounding and intricate, delicate and beautiful, frightening and overwhelming. Though torn between the contrary desires of racing through this perfectly paced tale or savoring every complex and unique sentence, I was hooked from the beginning. Not much of a fantasy fan? Me, neither. Read this book anyway.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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. Celia is a five-year-old with untrained psychokinetic powers when she is unceremoniously dumped on her unsuspecting father, Hector Bowen, better known as Le Cirque des Reves' Prospero the Entertainer. Hector immediately hatches a sinister scheme for Celia: pit her against a rival's young magician in an epic battle of magic that will, by design, result in the death of one of the players, though neither Celia nor her adversary, Marco, is informed of the inevitable outcome. What neither Hector nor his rival count on is that Celia and Marco will eventually fall in love. Their mentors — Marco's mentor, Alexander, plucked him from the London streets due to his psychic abilities — attempt to intervene with little success as Celia and Marco barrel toward an unexpected and oddly fitting conclusion. Supporting characters — such as Bailey, a farm boy who befriends a set of twins born into the circus who will drastically influence his future; Isobel, a circus employee and onetime girlfriend of Marco's; and theatrical producer Chandresh Christophe Lefèvre — are perfectly realized and live easily in a giant, magical story destined for bestsellerdom. This is an electric debut on par with Special Topics in Calamity Physics. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "Self-assured, entertaining debut 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."
"Review" by , "To enter the black-and-white-striped tents of Le Cirque des Rêve is to enter a world where objects really do turn into birds and people really do disappear....Debut novelist Morgenstern has written a 19th-century flight of fancy that is, nevertheless, completely believable. The smells, textures, sounds, and sights are almost palpable. A literary Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, this read is completely magical."
"Review" by , "This big and compelling first novel ushers in a menacing tone with its first sentence: 'The circus arrives without warning'....With appeal for readers not particularly geared to fantasy but who plainly enjoy an unusual and well-drawn story, this one will make a good crossover suggestion."
"Review" by , "A riveting debut. The Night Circus pulls 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."
"Review" by , "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."
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