Monday, September 19, 2011

The Night Circus

The Night Circus
by Erin Morgenstern
2011 Doubleday
Rating: 4/5

      "The Night Circus" is a wonderful debut novel by Erin Morgenstern. This is a beautifully crafted book with wonderful characters. The Night Circus itself immediately joined the list of fictional places I would love to visit. The book is something of a slow starter, and with all of the jumping back and forth between timeframes and characters, it takes a little while to get into the rhythm. But once you fall into the book, you will not want to escape.
     The beginning of the book reminds me of Ray Bradbury's fantasy:
"The 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."
     This is the kind of magical novel that has your mind working overtime to keep up in imagining what the circus and it's attractions would look like. If I have any complaint about the book, it is that the story is not as strong as the images and characters. I think that it could have been a bit more complex. But I do highly recommend this book, it is a title that I would love to handsell to my customers.


  1. Oh, yes...that paragraph has the feel of the beginning of Something Wicked This Way Comes, doesn't it? Great mental image.

  2. I have heard nothing but rave reviews for this book. I hope to get to it in the next week or so. And, yes. The beginning of the book reminds me of Ray Bradbury's fantasy When I read that passage you quoted, it reminded me of Dandelion Wine, which I recently learned is going to be made into a movie! Time for a reread!