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Wednesday, February 8, 2012
2012 BOTY : The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Ah, thank goodness for good books. After the demise of Bill Bryson's Notes from a Small Island, I really needed a pick me up. Patti suggested The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I'm very glad she did.
I loved this book! In fact, I gave it 5 stars. If you have read Water for Elephants and enjoyed it, then you'll like this one.
The Night Circus is about...well...a circus that only opens at night. Les Cirque des Reves (The Circus of Dreams) is formed as the result of a challenge between two magicians. They each select a participant to take part in a "game". They train their participants individually and then leave them to play out the challenge by attempting to best each other with feats of magic. The winner can only be decided by the death of the other (a situation which slightly reminded me of those that take place in Harry Potter and The Hunger Games). This book is certainly along the same genre.
The circus travels from place to place with no advertisement and arrives without warning. It is a strange, but inviting place where instead of one large tent, there are several tents set about a circle, with a large and unusual clock as a centerpiece. Everything is bathed in black and white and shades of gray. No color exists in the decor or the costumes of the performer. In fact, one of the very few brilliant swatches of color sits atop the heads of the Murphy twins, born auspiciously on the opening night of the circus; one just before midnight, and one just shortly after. Something about their arrival has made them...special.
So, I seriously loved this book. It took a little bit for me to understand the hodgepodge of dates through the sections, but it became more obviously necessary as the story moved on. In fact, I think it was a brilliant tactic. It made the story that much stronger. The story is not rooted in seriousness or realism. It is very over-the-top fantastical, playing to the sense of the mystic rather than the pragmatic. I loved the descriptions that existed from scene to scene. In fact, I can't say there was really anything I disliked about the book. It all fit together rather well.
I will be anxiously awaiting more books from Erin Morgenstern.