The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is one of those great books about magic. The main reason that I read (copiously) is to escape the doldrums of day-to-day life, so reading about magic aids in the escape and for just a little while, the inconsiderate woman next to me on the train isn’t dictating all her text messages (as opposed to typing them – my sincerest thanks to Apple for creating Siri), she’s just a component of the real world that I’m not really interested in. I found my self completely immersed in The Night Circus, that not only had some magic, but also an interesting story line with some pretty good characters.
The story revolves around Celia and Marco – pitched into a contest against each other by their respective mentors. Celia has been born with the natural skill of magic, while Marco has had to study to gain his skills. The Night Circus itself is created as the venue for the contest and the magic of the game soon spills over into the lives of all involved with the Circus, sometimes with disastrous consequences – but that is the nature of the game.
But as great as the story was, the Circus itself is what I loved the most about this book. I feel like the circus created by Morgenstern, is precisely what a circus should be. There is an air of mystery and intrigue about it and it is almost dream like. Things occur there that couldn’t possibly happen anywhere else and once you leave you immediately want to return. Illusionists, contortionists, fortune tellers, acrobats and tents full of wonderful and wondrous things – this is the circus that everyone dreams of. Morgenstern has done a wonderful job of creating it. It has none of the usual silly looking clowns and animals in cages – this circus has been created with elegance and drama.
I think that the only thing I didn’t like was the jump forward in time every now and then as I constantly found myself flicking back to the start of the previous chapter to see how many years ahead we have advanced, only to go back in time at the start of the following chapter. I did get a bit confused at first – I think the whole thing would have worked just as well if it was kept completely in chronological order, but it’s not a big issue. Overall, the book is very well written and what the story lacks every now and then is made up for with the setting for the story. I really look forward to reading some more work by this author.
RATING – 8 out of 10.
WHO SHOULD READ IT – The book occasionally reminded me of the film The Prestige (starring Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale), so if you like that film, I think you will like this book. Having said that though, I believe most people would like it as there is something for just about everybody.
WHO YOU’LL LOVE – I really liked Poppet and Widget, but I believe the character of Bailey might resonate the most with people – he is someone that can be surrounded by many people and still feel alone, something that I think we have all felt at one time or another.
**I know that there are a couple of bloggers that have read this quite recently (poindextrix and The Other Watson, I’m looking at you). Now that I have read this I would be very interested to hear your thoughts in more detail 🙂 **