Books are cheaper than heroin, but they DO add up....

Amy, Carrie, Chanin and Sarah buy (and read and review) their own stuff. They've been known to shop around from dealer to dealer looking for the best price. If you're interested in slipping them something to try out, just contact us.

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

My advice is to read this before they make it a movie.  Because I'd bet a substantial number of dollars that it will be made into one in the near future.  Also, I will be going to see that movie.  Unless of course they cast Leo DiCaprio as the lead, and then they're going to need to give away free popcorn to convince me to buy a ticket. Well, actually that may not be true.  That's how much I liked this story.  I liked this story enough to watch the King of the World! over-emote all over it.

There's magic (like, for real magic), intrigue, a circus (obviously), romance, and a lot of characters in this book. Not to mention a substantial number of pages- 501 by my iPad's count- but worth every page.  I downloaded the book on Thursday evening, did my best to ignore my children even while they weren't feeling well, and finished the book on Wednesday.  So 500 pages in 6 days as a geographically single mother of two small children; another glowing endorsement.

The story centers around Marco and Celia, strangers who have been pitted against one another in a magician's duel of sorts.  Except here the magic is real and it's disguised as illusion.  Marco and Celia know they're in a competition but they don't know any other rules, or even who their competition may be, for a long time.  The orchestrators of the competition are two powerful magicians with different philosophies on instruction, one just happens to be Celia's father.  What Marco and Celia don't realize is that the winner of the competition is the one that actually endures the competition:  the one alive at the end is the victor.  That is not to say that one of the competitors has to kill the other, just that one has to be strong enough to outlast the other.  It's an odd competition, but I liked it anyway.

The scene of the competition is Le Cirque de Reves.  The circus of all circuses, it's done entirely in black, white and silver.  It shows up overnight without advanced warning, operates from sundown to sunrise, and has a magic all of its own.  As Marco and Celia (both attached to the circus in different ways: he is the assistant of the circus proprietor and she is the circus illusionist) realize the competition is to be played out there, they both realize and acknowledge one another as an opponent.  What follows is the addition of amazing elements to the circus.  He creates an ice garden as a "move" in the competition, to which she replies with a charmed carousel. They both must create and maintain these magical places within the circus, while at the same time never truly revealing that is in fact magic powering these spectacles.  During the competition they fall for one another.

There are many other story lines and the book jumps from place to place/period to period with descriptions of the elements of the circus interspersed between.  It could be tedious and overwhelming, but the magic of this book is that it's not tedious and overwhelming.  I wanted to go to this circus (and I'm not all that big on circuses).  I wanted to know about the other characters (and there are quite a few).  I wanted there to be a happy ending for everyone involved (and if you read this blog, you know most of the books I read are not considered uplifting).  And most importantly for a lover of books and stories, I didn't want this book to end.  Now I'm kind of stuck in a book hangover - after that last book it's hard to find one that I think will compare.  If I had a hard copy of the book, I'd be passing it around for others to read.  Sharing books is about as magical as I get.  So go check it out.  Then let me know if you'd be a reveur too. Pin It


  1. Reminds me of Water for Elephants...but not really. Does that make sense?