The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus

By Erin Morgenstern

  • Release Date: 2011-09-13
  • Genre: Paranormal
4.5 Score: 4.5 (From 5,479 Ratings)

Book Synopsis

Two starcrossed magicians engage in a deadly game of cunning in The Night Circus,the spellbinding bestseller that has captured the world's imagination. 

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 both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance.

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Latest Impressions

  • Very Very Predictable

    By Amarissssa
    I was not surprised for a second. It was like I had already read the page I just flipped to. SPOILER! From Celia’s Father cutting her hand, to falling for Marco, to her throwing herself into the fire. IT WAS SO PREDICTABLE. it was dull and the narrative was very detached. I honestly don’t really know or care for a single character. It wasn’t light enough to be cute/corny. The book was clearly trying to be so much more than it was. I have no idea how it has received such high reviews. Maybe a younger audience. I’m in my twenties and I was very bored. I would have quite at page 50 but I know someone who is meeting the author and decided to hang in there. It was not worth the two days I spent reading it.
  • Brilliantly Intricate

    By Cat Palmer
    First and foremost, I applaud the author in her transitioning of time. This narrative takes place over 20+ years, and yet each transition feels natural. The reader truly feels as though they are doing life with the characters. Second, I adore the Victorian setting, it truly compliments the magic and wonder of the narrative in an non-traditional way. The world Morgenstern creates is so unique and magical and captivating, yet it forever alludes you. There is so much you don’t know, but going through it you do not care, because it all contributes to the mystery. The world established is only as brilliant as the diction and writing style, which is PHENOMENAL. Third, I adore the main protagonist. I don’t have a bad thing to say about her, and not because she is a perfect human, but because she is a good person despite the suffering she endures. Lastly, the character and relationship development was realistic, but perfect. Each character is truly alive, and the reader observes many individual journeys. It is all too easy to become emotionally invested in nearly all of them. They’re all fantastic. The plot was wondrous, the characters captivating, and it was all well executed due to Morgenstern’s superb writing ability, pacing, and grasp of magical realism. It’s such a mature novel that I absolutely know when I read it again, I will gain even more insight. Truly a timeless novel and I look forward to more of this author’s work.
  • Night Circus

    By RO916
    I did enjoy the writing and details, it’s just not my kind of book. I never really got into it and didn’t connect with the characters.
  • Captivating!

    By Cathy226
    I rushed through this highly imaginative book. Be warned, however, if you want your fiction to be firmly based in reality. I recommend this book to anyone who prefers to leave reality behind on occasion. For them, it will be an enjoyable read!
  • Spellbinding!

    By The Literary Phoenix
    This book has been on my TBR since November 2011, two months after it released. I am kicking myself SO HARD because it took me six years to get around to it. It is magical, breathtaking, intriguing. It is hands-down the most beautiful romance I’ve ever read. This could be a very long review as I extol endless praises upon this story. Ye have been warned. Celia. Marco. Horace. Alexander. Bailey. Poppet. Widget. Isobel. Tara. Lainie. Chandresh. Friedrick. Ethan. Tante Padva. Tsukiko. Everyone. Everyone, everyone, everyone. Every single character in this book is bright, textured, and mysterious. They are all glowing. Every minute detail stands out. The subtle hand movements, the shadows, the clothing, the way they hold themselves, the glimmer or dullness in their eyes. Everything about each and every character in this book is intriguing. Even the minor ones you only see for a chapter or two, like Elizabeth the Rêveur or Bailey’s sister Caroline. My favorite character in this book was Bailey. I know he doesn’t have the pizzazz of Celia or Marco, but there was a je ne sais quoi that made him the biggest mystery of them all. He felt like a standing stone around which the entire circus revolved. Chandresh’s flair was excellent. Celia’s imagination, Marco’s precision… all excellent. Tsukiko’s mystery. In my opinion, though, it’s Bailey’s childlike enthusiasm, wide-eyed innocence, and normality in contrast that brings everything else to life. I love him. Poppet and Widget are also excellent. And I love how the crux of the story depends on Isobel. Just… all of them. I love them all. The world is magical. Never once does the Victorian setting make this story feel inaccessible. The world itself is the circus, and even though there are excursions into tea shoppes and estates and farms, the black and white tents of the circus call the reader back again and again. The magic is subtle and beautiful, nothing too big and flashy. The rules are well explained through the students’ training. From Celia’s seance sessions to the stuffy apartment where Marco studies, everything is distinct and well-visualized. Even Tsukiko’s brief history at the end of the book shows a world where time is fluid and moments are eternal, places alive. The balance is perfect. I think the story is the aspect where most people will criticize. Morgenstern takes the reader’s through a loop, misdirecting interest into the challenge when the story is so much bigger than that. Personally, I don’t mind the outcome of the challenge, and I have even more respect for the story knowing that it is bigger than just two people. Like I said above, I think this is ultimately the greatest love story I’ve ever read. It’s not an adventure, not a coming-of-age story. It’s not a battle of good and evil. It is all of these things rolled up into something greater and should not be taken solely as any one of its parts. The pacing is, admittedly, slow. At the beginning, this is frustrating, but as the story gets its tendrils around you and you are sucked in, the pacing is perfect. In fact, near the end I found myself frustrated that it was going so quickly and was I nearly finished. The words, though. Erin Morgenstern knows how to weave magic with her wording. It flows so beautifully that I would read anything she writes. Anything. Her grocery list. You can tell that every word she has chosen in this story has been carefully mulled over and considered, and the effect is that her words are as magical as the circus. Morgenstern uses every sense masterfully. Scent and sound and taste, as well as sight and touch. I feel like scent and taste are so rarely used in fiction… and she leaves no sense unattended. In regards to narration, Jim Dale does a masterful job, as always. You can hear the pompousness of Horace Bowen and the stubbornness of the Murray twins. He has done an exemplary job. This book has done something few new books I read have managed: it jumped into my top ten. Granted, my top ten isn’t illustrious, but it’s a hard place to get into. I was so transported by this book, I feel genuinely cheated that Le Cirque Des Rêves is fiction. I go between moments of wanting express eternally my endless affection for this illustrious piece of work, and moments when I gape stupidly at a loss for words. It’s beautiful. I love it. I don’t know what else to say.
  • The Night Circus

    By PrettyInPinkPrincess
    Just finished reading this book for the fourth time. I find something new every single time. I have not only purchased my own copy, but have even purchased a copy for a friend that is currently being shared with many others. The imagery is magnificent. The reader is left to create countless memories and finishes the book feeling as though you were, somehow, a part of this story. By far, my very favorite book.
  • Lovely

    By Traparella_
    I loved this book when I was in middle school, I remember staying up late at night reading it. It truly is an amazing work of art with the most beautiful descriptions. Really wish there was actually a place like the night circus.
  • So Lovely

    By Angry Yaya
    Beautiful writing. Exquisite storytelling. I will read this over and over.
  • Mystically engaging

    By generalbp
    What a beautiful gift to create worlds that entice the imagination to play. Each choice we make impacts another and still we keep dreaming. I love these characters that choose to use their strengths to alter the future to honor more than one's ego.
  • Remarkable!!

    By roztheboxer
    One of the best books I have ever read. Hard to put down from beginning to end. "Kudos" to Ms. Morgenstern for this magnificent read.