Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

This book is magical!  I was drawn in so quickly and read it every chance I got!  It kept my attention, and even though the ending let me down a bit, I recommend it.

The very first chapter of the story describes the Night Circus.  These descriptive second person point of view chapters are interspersed through out the book and give you the overall affect of the circus. "Your curiosity got the better of you, as curiosity is wont to do." The other chapters alternate--randomly--between the lives of a few main players.  Marco, Celia, Herr Thiessen, Bailey, and a few more I'm forgetting.  They are told in third person, but each provides a rich story in itself, and it only gets better as they weave into one another.  The chapters are dated, and toward the middle I found myself remembering to look at these, and they help piece the story together.  At one point you are switching back and forth between two stories exactly a year apart.  Thrilling!

The book itself felt like a magical night circus.  Some parts followed as you thought they would, but others were unpredictable.  "Aspects settle temporarily and then vanish into distorted shadows once more, never remaining steady for more than a moment." You are unsure who is really magic, and who is playing along.  The characters are eccentric, but important.  Heroes, victims, and sometimes they surprise you!  I'm usually the first to be annoyed with description, but the pictures are painted so well in this book!  I felt myself imagining details that I usually don't bother with when I read. Just like every element works together to make the circus,"each part melding seamlessly into a whole,"  so do the parts of the book.  The dreamy, poetic writing, the elegant, quirky characters, and the secretive, illusive chapters all work together to make the book feel magical and mystical.

Sadly, when the book begins its ending, it loses some of its charm.  I felt like I didn't believe or understand how the circus was dependent on Celia and Marco, I never really understood why Marco couldn't leave London to travel with the circus, and even though I loved Bailey--his story was a little muddled.  Maybe I wanted the book to be longer because I was enjoying reading the story so much.  For me it ended too quickly.  While I liked the resolution, it seemed almost sudden and without enough explanation.  I felt like I had to read between the lines too much.

I still think you should read The Night Circus, and I'd love to hear what you thought!


Betsy said...

We read this one for Book Club. It was such an *exciting* read -- so rich and full of awesome details. So different than anything else I've read. I liked how you said you read details that you usually skim -- so true! I hope someone turns this into a movie. And I wholeheartedly agree with your opinion of the ending. Great read. Great review!

Tara @ Tales of a Trophy Wife said...

I really didn't love this book. We read it for bookclub, and so many just gushed, but for me it was more fine. I get bored with lengthy descriptions and so I think that was my problem.