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July 6, 2013 / ljbradburn-Smith

Night circus

the Night Circus

When I was little I wasn’t really one for running away. That was my brother. He would pack his tiny suitcase with pants and sit in the garage for an hour or so whilst I snuck him sandwiches (which my mum had asked me to take out to him). But, if I had been so inclined, I like to think that I would have made it at least past the front gate, with my Dick Whittington-style luggage, and gone somewhere really cool like the circus.

The Night Circus is even better than I could ever have imagined, even in my dizziest runaway daydreams! I was immediately fascinated by this book, the thrill of reading the first few words, of a novel, and thinking, now this I am going to like, never gets old. In fact, the more books I read the better the feeling of finding something so unique gets!

The cover was the first reason that I fell in love with this book. The silhouettes of the circus tents and the characters made me do an “ooooooo”, worthy of firework night, out loud, in the bookshop, and after that I had to buy it. It would have been embarrassing otherwise.

As a writer Erin Morgenstern is talented at connecting with the reader whilst still maintaining her air of mystery. There was no need for me to get to know Morgenstern’s style, as there can be with quirky writers, we were best friends from the first page. In fact I loved her book so much that I may have even (a little bit) imagined that it was written just for me. I don’t mean to discredit Morgenstern, in any way, by describing her style as easy to read but she writes with such clarity that, complex and fanciful as her plot may be, she doesn’t feel the need to constantly drown it in sophisticated language. The plot speaks for itself.

In the first chapter she addresses the reader as ‘you’, which drew me in, to the story, in a manner that I hadn’t experienced before. She not only made me wish that I could visit the places, in the novel, but created the illusion that I was already there.

The novel is about a black and white circus that appears suddenly and only opens at night. Morgenstern hooks the reader on the idea of the circus before she delves in to the back story of the magical place. We learn about two rival magicians, each with very different views on how magic should be taught, and their protegees, who are trained, for years, to compete in a competition that they know nothing about until it begins. In the beginning of the novel Erin allows the reader only glimpses, inside her elusive circus, before unveiling the truly wonderful place that she has created from dreams and clouds (there is no other explanation!) as the venue for an ancient competition that pitches the two magicians against each other in the most spectacular form.

I found it impossible not to race through this book. It was clear that The Night Circus had a secret right from the first line and I was desperate to unravel it as soon as I started reading.

Morgernstern is an author who better suits the title storyteller as she is so imaginative and creative, in the way that she writes, that you imagine the story has a voice to go with it. Convinced as I am of the magic and mystery of this book it really wouldn’t surprise me if the story changed every time I read it!

A story of curves and twirls that enchants and tantalises the senses and pushes the boundaries of imagination. This novel explores very different ways of learning, physical and mental strength, desire and the magic that exists inside everyone. I wanted to climb through the pages and live inside this book. It certainly won’t be the last time that I run away with The Night Circus.



Leave a Comment
  1. storytimewithbuffy / Jul 6 2013 4:28 pm

    I keep seeing this book in the library and I’m drawn to the cover. I haven’t picked it up yet because I’m not a great fan of the circus. (That seems lame now that I’m reading that.) I’ll have to pick it up next time I see it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it.

    Also, I really loved the story of your brother trying to run away when you were little. That is the cutest thing ever…

    • ljbradburn / Jul 8 2013 6:39 pm

      hehe thanks 🙂 He used to be very cute, he soon grew out of it though 😉 If you like magic it is definitely worth a read. Does it help if I say it is an extra special circus? 🙂 Enjoy x

      • storytimewithbuffy / Jul 8 2013 7:12 pm

        Haha! Yeah, maybe that will help. I’ll give it a shot. 😀

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