The Most Magical Circus: The Night Circus

I did not realize this but this month GoodBookScents turned 6 months old – how exciting! I am impressed with myself that I have been able to keep it up for this long – I’m usually bad at starting a routine like that. It’s been a lot of fun and thank you whoever you are for reading this.

Well, this weekend I was able to finish The Night Circus. I haven’t been able to sit down and get a good chunk of reading done lately, mainly because I have been working on figuring out my life, so it was nice to curl up at night with a good book. And it was a very good book. I have been wanting to read it for a while, and I’m glad that I did.

There is a mental list I keep of authors whose prose I really enjoy. The true sign is when I have to stop, set the book down for a second, and process what I just read. Usually my thought process is half “Wow that was amazing” and half “Why didn’t I think of that!” Billy Collins is one writer on the list. Barbara Kingsolver is another. And now Erin Morgenstern is as well.

Usually this awe comes from the style of prose, and the way that an author can look at life. Billy Collins, for instance, takes mundane everyday experiences and is able to twist them into poetry through a fresh eye. With The Night Circus I was undoubtedly impressed with Morgernstern’s prose to be sure, but also the ideas that she comes up with. She has created her own fantastical world of magic and inserted it seamlessly into the early 1900’s. She has a real understanding of how magical realism is supposed to happen in a book.

I should probably give a brief description of what this book is about. It’s been getting a lot of attention recently (debut novel and #1 NY Times Best Seller and all). The plot revolves around two characters, Marco and Celia, who at a young age are bound in a magician’s duel. It’s hard not to give things away, but ultimately this duel happens at The Night Circus, a circus that is only open at night and features an array of interesting black and white tents. Morgenstern weaves character’s lives together through the circus, and it seems like it becomes a character itself, the main character, really, and is more important than any single character on their own. I think you have to read it to really understand what I am saying.

The Night Circus is one of those books with tons of small details that all weave together in the end of the story. I know that if I read it again, which I am looking forward to doing in the future, I would catch more small details than I did on the first read, which would make the book even more interesting. It’s one of those books. It is very visual with all the black, white and red imagery, which makes for an easy and enjoyable read, but Morgenstern’s ideas are so magical and unique -like Celia’s dress that she wears to a party that changes colors to compliment whoever she is with, that I could not help but be impressed. The detail of the book is amazing, and the nature of the magic is very interesting. It is clearly more than trickery and mirrors – it is real, but it is also an art form that can be taught. There is a certain element of mystery about the hows and whys of magic in the story, but that, I think makes it more interesting. There is also a definite dark undertone to the book and the world that Morgenstern has created. It’s magic for an adult audience.

I am still gathering my thoughts about this book, but I know that it was a very good read, and that overall I am impressed. I want to visit the world of The Night Circus and talk about it with Erin Morgenstern, and get inside her head. She also has an interesting blog on her website that has some pretty cool flash fiction on it as well. The Night Circus is not a book, I feel, that can be summed up easily in one little blog post, but it is an great and rather unique read.

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4 thoughts on “The Most Magical Circus: The Night Circus

  1. I think my feelings towards this book are more or less like yours. The prose was incredibly beautiful and I fell in love with all the descriptions. I also wished I’d thought of it first, haha.
    Great review!

  2. Pingback: Some Thoughts on Dickens | goodbookscents

  3. Pingback: How to Organize Your Books 101 | goodbookscents

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