Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Le Cirque des Rêves (Not Your Ordinary…Circus)

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is about an unusual circus that opens at nightfall and closes at dawn.  This is not your ordinary circus.  Instead of a red white striped big top, you’ll find everything is either black or white.  Instead of one giant tent, there are many tents, each with unique and amazing acts or interactive displays you’re not likely to find at the Ringling Brothers.  There is the ice garden, an enchanting place with sparkling frozen trees and blossoms. There’s a labyrinth with a bizarre network of rooms: stacks of suitcases, floating feathers, an albino sphinx, and snow. There’s a tent with a sign that states “Please enter cautiously and feel free to open what is closed.”  Inside jars and bottles in all shapes and sizes line a table. They contain sensations, sounds, and evoke images. But the spectacular circus itself is just a sideshow to the main storyline.  Two men make a wager.  They each train a protégé to become the greatest magician of all time.  Marco and Celia spend a lifetime learning their trade, each taught in contrasting styles. They know they are in a competition, but they don’t know the rules or the prize.  It’s all mysterious.  

What enfolds is an intriguing tale of imagination and surrealism, which was well received with my book club. The only small criticisms of the book included that it was slow at times and could be a tad confusing, especially with regards to Celia’s father’s condition and even the ending. Most of us agreed that it is not a book we might have chosen to read on our own, but turned out to be intriguing. I loved this book!

Don't miss another unforgettable book about the circus:  Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.

Happy reading!


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