Saturday 7 January 2012

Book Review - The Night Circus

Title: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Publisher: Harvill Secker
Release Date: 15 Sep 2011
ISBN-13: 978-1846555237

In 1886, a mysterious travelling circus becomes an international sensation. Open only at night, constructed entirely in black and white, Le Cirque des Rêves delights all who wander its circular paths and warm themselves at its bonfire.

Although there are acrobats, fortune-tellers and contortionists, the Circus of Dreams is no conventional spectacle. Some tents contain clouds, some ice. The circus seems almost to cast a spell over its aficionados, who call themselves the rêveurs - the dreamers. At the heart of the story is the tangled relationship between two young magicians, Celia, the enchanter's daughter, and Marco, the sorcerer's apprentice. At the behest of their shadowy masters, they find themselves locked in a deadly contest, forced to test the very limits of the imagination, and of their love...

A fabulous, fin-de-siècle feast for the senses and a life-affirming love story, The Night Circus is a captivating novel that will make the real world seem fantastical and a fantasy world real.

My Review
I had seen a lot of reviews and talk about this book round the blogging world and I thought it sounded good. Although I have never been to a Circus, I am strangely fascinated by them, I have always wanted to learn how to trapeze and I can juggle a little bit. Over Christmas I found a TV show that followed a 'Cirque Du Solei' production as they hired performers, trained, named the show and rehearsed etc, it was great to see what goes into the productions and I was really getting into it. So when this book arrived at the library it was perfect timing and I jumped straight into it.
This book is different from anything I have read before, it was truly magical and really captures the imagination. The book isn't written from beginning to end, each chapter has a place and a year at the beginning to set where you are, everything happens between 1884 - 1905 ish I think, if I remember rightly, but it jumps to present, future, past etc. Normally I would find this sort of thing confusing, but it is done so well and it fits in so well with the storyline that it just felt right.
The circus becomes it's own world and I was totally submerged in it, I could see everything, every tent, every attraction, every character, every detail. It really was like I was walking round this magical circus. I think I can call myself a 'rêveurs', Ionly wish a place like this was real, I especially want to visit the 'Ice Garden' so beautiful.
The cast of characters is great, there is an air of mystery throughout, some characters you can connect to instantly, such as the Twins and Herr Friedrick Thiessen, whist others leave you guessing such as Mr A.H (the grey man)
I was utterly captivated by this book, the writing flows well and sweeps you away, and the world pulls you in. I'm thinking of dressing as Celia for 'National Book Day' this year - a Black and white dress with a red scarf, this would look great.
The design of the book is great too, totally captures the story, the black and white pictures with the red scarf standing out on the cover and then the pages themselves are white but the edging is black and it has a ribbon bookmark attached that's red. It is so well made and obviously thought through.
I was surprised by the ending but it felt right. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it definitely.

I got this copy from the library and have returned it, at the time I was happy to give it back, but now half a day later I find myself wanting it back. I may have to buy a copy. I thought my rating would definitely be 'Enjoy', but I'm thinking I might have to make it a 'love'. 

My Rating


Julie said...

This is one that hits you even more after you close the pages - I loved it as well!

barmybex said...

I know what you mean, I'm still thinking about it. :D