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BookBrowse Reviews The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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The Night Circus

A Novel

by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern X
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Sep 2011, 400 pages

    Paperback:
    Jul 2012, 400 pages

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Debut Novel: A magical circus comes to town

Rated Best Debut of 2011 by BookBrowse Members

24 BookBrowse members read The Night Circus, giving it an overall rating of 4.9 out of 5.0 - our highest rating ever for a First Impression book (out of more than 350 books reviewed to date)! Here's what they have to say:

Thank you to Ms. Morgenstern for reminding me why I am a reader (Debbie V)! A tender love story, a dark and devious competition, and a stage for a myriad of actors and characters, this circular novel pulls the reader in thrall and captures the imagination (Carole C). I find myself staring into space remembering parts of this wonderful book and not wanting to come back (Arleen L).

Some readers adored Morgenstern's resplendent style:
The prose is beautiful but not too simplistic, the fantasy images are easily understood and vivid - almost real. The descriptive narrative is so clear and concise that your mind slips easily into the circus at night - and with such intensity it's startling (Louise J). I really enjoyed this book! The style of writing is unique in that the perspectives and points of view change quite frequently; each chapter is told through the voice of a different character (Hannah B). The love story that takes place between the two illusionists is at once real and tempered with just the right amount of verbiage; it keeps you guessing and wondering to the end (Louise J).

While others were charmed by her fantastical descriptions:
The imagery is both delicate and strong and always beautiful - even in the darker parts of the story. This is the kind of book that wraps its setting around you as you read (Juli S). The fantasy tents are certainly wonders to behold, and the author finds the right words to convey the aura and magic of the Night Circus. I'd visit in a minute (Shirley F)! From the tents of the performers to the smell of caramel, Morgenstern brings the circus alive as a separate, unique character (Maureen C). This book is beyond fantasy - it is more like a surreal dream that draws you deeper into its world with each chapter. I highly recommend it (Loren B)!

Nevertheless, some readers hit a few snags along the way:
The only problem I had was the jumping around of dates - I had to keep returning to the chapter pages to see where we were in time (Shirley F). Although the imagery is exquisitely poetic, I feel the plot upon which it hangs isn't muscular enough to support it (Karen J).

But overall, the majority of BookBrowse readers were captivated by the novel and couldn't get enough!
The Night Circus was one of those delicious stories that you hate to put down (even to eat or sleep), and, as you near the end, you look unhappily at how few pages are left. This is an excellent first effort, which hopefully, will be the beginning of a wonderful career for Erin Morgenstern. This is one book in which I will need to inscribe my name, to assure that it is returned after it is repeatedly lent out (Erica M).

This review was originally published in The BookBrowse Review in September 2011, and has been updated for the August 2012 edition. Click here to go to this issue.

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Read-Alikes

Read-Alikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked The Night Circus, try these:

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    Decadent and darkly enchanting, this lavish YA fantasy debut follows seventeen-year-old Jani as she uncovers the deeply disturbing secrets of the legendary Hotel Magnifique.

  • The Starless Sea jacket

    The Starless Sea

    by Erin Morgenstern

    Published 2020

    About this book

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    From the New York Times bestselling author of The Night Circus, a timeless love story set in a secret underground world - a place of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a starless sea.

We have 15 read-alikes for The Night Circus, but non-members are limited to two results. To see the complete list of this book's read-alikes, you need to be a member.
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