The Night Circus Book Reviews

AUTHOR
Erin Morgenstern
SCORE
4.5
TOTAL RATINGS
6,674

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern Book Summary

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Two starcrossed magicians engage in a deadly game of cunning in the spellbinding novel that captured the world's imagination. • "Part love story, part fable ... defies both genres and expectations." —The Boston Globe

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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Book Name The Night Circus
Genre Paranormal Romance
Published
Language English
E-Book Size 8.84 MB

The Night Circus (Erin Morgenstern) Book Reviews 2024

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So Lovely. Beautiful writing. Exquisite storytelling. I will read this over and over.

Saturated with detail. The descriptions of environments in this book are highly detailed. The core plot or story cannot always be found and is eclipsed by the settings until the very end.

Night Circus. 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.

Delightful. This novel is truly a work of art. This book has a special place in my heart that I will take with me until my grave. Between the mysterious magic, and emotional stimulation, it is a truly stimulating experience. I will have a copy of this book for the rest of my life, I just hope that one day I may visit the circus.

Intriguing. Hope they make it a movie

Beautifully told tale. My first comment about the novel is that everyone should ignore the cover text. That description fails to present what The Night Circus is about. Yes, there is a magic duel and yes, there is love but the book is so much more than plot points. Nothing about this book is flashy, action-oriented magic and the duel is a slow dance of beauty and subtlety. The star of the novel is the Night Circus itself, the enchanting world that was the dream of a few, the work of art of two, and the intense experience of thousands. Morgenstern has written a novel that is true omniscient narration, and the narrator, beyond knowing each of the characters better than they know themselves, is in love with the world these characters inhabit. The style keeps a certain narrative distance rarely broken - we get the characters thoughts, but they are filtered through the narrators voice. Many of the negative reviews feel that the characters were flat - and I strongly disagree; we may not get their voice, but they are full, complex characters. The advantage of this narration style is that the brilliant description, the nuances of what can only be seen from the outside, takes the center stage. This is a story to which one gives oneself over. It is a slow, meandering tale, with a large cast of unique individuals whom the narrator follows for a time, then as if wandering the crowd of circus goers, turns and follows another then another. Like a Seurat painting, the narrated minutiae of details blend to create a filled canvas, where the variety of life is on display, eyes drawn from the contortionist to the antithetical twins training acrobatic kittens, to those who follow the circus, dressed in the black and white of the circus with a splash of red, to the competing lovers, to the nefarious man in grey. There is a plot and moments of tension, but there is no rush to denouement, no quick unfolding of secrets and mysteries. The world of The Night Circus is illusion and story doled out by a narrator who values esthetic over action. The magic is subtle, the competition more background than foreground. There are genuine moments of shock and surprise, of awe and wonder, and like a child being told a tale at the knees of a master-storyteller, I found myself lost in the telling, exclaiming oohs and ahhhh aloud. Morgenstern's novel takes patience and a willing suspension of expectations to be deep in a character and see the world from their POV. This is not typical narration for today's novels. There is no racing down the superhighway, but rather, a wandering towards a remote destination where one stops to smell the roses of beautiful language, to lie on the grass and point out cloud shapes of the detailed descriptions, and to walk a twisted turning path until the destination is reached as all the while everything is slowly, lovingly revealed.

Great read. Loved it... Fun and entertaining!

Captivating!. 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!

Enjoyed throughly!. A great escape book written vivid imagery. Great for fans of Harry Potter or for anyone that enjoys historical fantasy.

Brilliantly Intricate. 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.

One of the Greatest Books Ever Written. I instantly fell in love with the characters, the story and the writing itself. Such a magical book and amazing story that truly captivates the reader. Possibly my favorite book. I highly recommend this incredibly story!

An Empty Magic Trick. It’s well written, but that’s where the magic ends. The author knows how to write (the book is filled to the brim with beautifully constructed sentences) but is unable to let the characters come through and unable to turn the concept into a well-constructed story. I wanted to love it, but it falls short on too many levels. The vast majority of the book we are promised over and over again that the stakes of the competition are high. They are, but not unpredictability so. You see it coming from a mile away. I don’t mind the time jumps. I do mind spending a great deal of time reading about dinners and mundane life routines when the vast majority of dialogue between the characters is unexplained in the style of ‘they talked and he left’ all for the sake for an air of mystery that isn’t even well-earned. By the time you’ve reached 80 percent of the book you’ll know the characters about 10 percent better than you did when you started and the author still refuses to clearly lay out what’s going on. It’s kind of cheaply done in a ‘ooohhh mystery... ‘ way. As for knowing the characters only 10 percent better than you did at the beginning; that’s not really a massive flaw because there’s only about 10 percent to get to know in the first place. The characters are not one dimensional. You feel like they have so many more facets, but the author never shows them to you (because that kind of thing usually happens through dialogue and further interactions with other characters—and these are mostly glossed over through time jumps or unfulfilling summaries) in the whole of this 300 plus page book. It’s sad, but they become one dimensional by default that way. The concept and the style chosen would’ve worked much better for a shorter book or novella. The whole book just feels like empty filler around one concept that, in the end feels so unearned that it’s almost ridiculous. It’s such a cop out. It’s a shame. I really wanted to like it and the characters have so much potential...

One of my favorite books. I’ll re-read it over and over and still get the same sense of wonder each time. Beautiful written with magic and romance.

Fantastic. I couldn’t put this down once I started. I only wish it was longer.

Amazing. I have to read this for a bc ok report in school. I’m so happy my teacher picked this book out for me. I haven’t been able to put it down.

Fantastical!. I was enchanted from the beginning through till the end!

Night Circus. Very difficult to understand what the author was trying to tell the reader. Plot was confusing and the book to lengthy. I would not recommend

Night circus. Amazing and beautiful story.

Remarkable!!. 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.

Good but ahhh. The book is written beautifully. That’s the reason why I keep reading. This though isn’t a reed for pleasure. There is 3 different plots that are supposed to inter twine but they don’t. It’s hard to fallow and just kinda ahhh. The second person writing was beautiful though.

Favorite Stand Alone Book. Hands down the best stand alone fiction book I’ve ever read. Celia and Marco’s position is unique and captivating and their story is downright magical. I find myself wishing the circus would find its way to my house. Anyone who likes books( and anyone who doesn’t) should read this. It’s pure gold from the front cover to the back cover and every word in between.

Spellbinding!. 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.

Unusual but good. The writing style felt odd to me sometimes, but it’s undoubtedly well-written and unique. The characters were intriguing, and things pulled together in unexpected ways. Interesting and well-executed concept

magical and impressively written. It’s honestly amazing how this book is pieced together and unfolds in the way that it does. The entire story is whimsical and the characters all have an interesting back story. The story comes together full circle at the end and is really well written. Stories like these that reveal different parts at different times are usually hard to follow but this one did a great job. I couldn’t stop reading and learning about the characters abilities and how they play the “game”. I can’t put into words how perfect this book is. Thank you Erin Morgenstern.

Mystically engaging. 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.

Love this book. This is my favorite fantasy book of all time. I wish that someone would make it into a movie

Start struck. This beautiful book holds all that I hold dear. My dreams live here. My heart is in the bond fire.

Decadent. This book is, in my opinion, the literary equivalent of red wine and succulent berries wrapped in smooth dark chocolate. The writing eloquently evokes all the reader’s sensory responses, so you feel like you are actually experiencing the tastes, smells, textures, and sounds as well as the visions of all that is described in the narrative. One of my all-time favorite comfort reads. I’d give it 10 stars if I could.

NIGHY CIRCUS. One of the most amazing books I’ve ever read. The author captures the magic and the Victorian era perfectly. A must read for lovers of fantasy, magic and, yes, love.

A seemingly tangible dreamlike world…. The Night Circus is so superbly and uniquely written that you feel as if you’ve gorged yourself on luxurious universes and are still digesting. Her characters are unusual and human (even if they aren’t) and pry deep inside of our secret thoughts, desires and hopes. Absolutely exceptional.

The Night Circus. 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.

Beautiful. Wonderful world of fantasy. Read many years ago, Could not put it down.

It was okay. The book was okay. It was lengthy and a bit anti climactic. As a movie I think it would do well but the book felt long and drawn out

best book. i said what i said

Another delightful novel. I enjoyed the descriptiveness and the present-tense story telling. I feel like I’m part of the story. Ms. Morgenstern’s writing is pure genius.

Must read!. One of my favorite books to date. The pace was perfect. It's beautifully detailed, so much, that I felt like I was there. Every chapter left me wondering what was going to happen next. I can only hope that Erin Morgenstern will come out with another book soon so I can start reading it immediately.

Wow. My Favorite Read!. Got this book via family paperback, fell in love now have 3 copies. Lakeside, home hardback and anytime anywhere digital. Read over and over it’s my go to when I feel like picking up a book to read. I has been named my favorite. Need more a 2nd to this book would be best.

Very Very Predictable. 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.

A whirlwind. I loved this story! I bought this at an airport several years ago to read during the flight and ended up using most of my vacation to read it. I just couldn’t put it down and have re-read it many times since. It’s a really fun romance.

An absolute wonder. I’ve read this book a million times. It’s so well written that I can imagine everything as if I’m watching a movie. Beautifully done.

Magnificent!. I don’t usually leave written reviews, but for this book I must. I am an avid reader of all kinds of books from fantasy to horror to non fiction to love stories and everything in between, and this book easily resides in my top five. It is a beautifully written book that transports you to a place that is new and wonderful. I highly recommend you read this book. You won’t be sorry.

Love this book. This book is stunning and absolutely beautifully written.

The Night Circus. Definitely recommend The Night Circus. It’s so different- it expands your imagination with its wonderful imagery and unique storyline. It might be a little slow for some- but stick with it. It is magical.

Embrace it ✨🎪. The night circus was a beautiful dream. I never knew what to make of it at first, confused by the set of events, headlines and various different dates, however as I gave it a second chance I fell for it, I had to make a special time for it, a mood that was only suitable for such a fantastically well written book. I never wanted it to end, as I was living in it. Although the ending was ever satisfying, that I only want to relive it again and again. I had a special fond for Thiessen’s that in my mind the character was just as real for me as Steve Jobs for instance. He was my favorite clock maker and he’ll ever be. At the end, Morgenstern’s gave the colors red, white and gray a whole new meaning for me, as I will never see red as I saw it before. So, prepare yourself for heading to a circus, to engage in events, to live experiences that are going to be unique with each and every character. Do not rush to know the ending, read it slowly, enjoy it.

Stays with you forever. This is one of my favorite books, it is so unique and pulls you completely into a new world. I’ve recommended this book to everyone and they’ve all loved it. She does have an interesting writing style but I think that’s part of the appeal, I read it years ago and still talk about it to this day. Read it!

Third-person monologue. I had hopes and couldn’t get past halfway. It’s lacking a story with a soul. Everything is surface thin.

Audio book is awesome!. This book is wonderful but the audio book is great! The narrator’s voice is soothing and intriguing at the same time.

Lovely. 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.

Magical. This story was magnificent and magical. It was amazing plot and sadness I enjoyed this book a lot 5/5

Fabulous Book. This is a beautifully crafted world with fantasy elements that are very grounded in a plausible reality. Great character development and the circus….just amazing. One of the few books that’s ever made me cry because it was over. A wonderful read.

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Summary of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The The Night Circus book written by Erin Morgenstern was published on 13 September 2011, Tuesday in the Paranormal Romance category. A total of 6,674 readers of the book gave the book 4.5 points out of 5.

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