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The Night Circus Audible – Unabridged

4.3 out of 5 stars 5,414 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 13 hours and 39 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Random House Audio
  • Audible.com Release Date: September 13, 2011
  • Whispersync for Voice: Ready
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005MM7F7W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By dizzyweasel VINE VOICE on June 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It's a rare book that can live up to advance buzz of the sort "The Night Circus" has been getting. I had read the author plugs, the publisher's notes, the touting of film deals, and I had wondered what could really be so special about this novel to justify the hoopla.

Within a few pages, I found out. This book is MAGICAL. The publisher's blurb doesn't really do the plot justice. Here's a modified one: There are two illusionists, chosen at a young age to be bound to one another in a contest that will span their lives until one wins. They have been given no rules, other than that they must perform in some way. They have no idea how one wins, or what one must do to win. Their sponsors in the contest create the circus as the arena for their players. One will travel with it, the other will not. Their story is interspersed with the perspectives of several other characters within or affiliated with the circus, all of whom enrich the plot and provide a deeper look at the workings of the circus and those it touches.

I love the structure of this book. Too often a book with split narratives lingers too long on one or another of the characters, to the point that the reader forgets the other tale being told. Not with "The Night Circus". Most chapters are less than 5 pages long. Any character whose story you long to continue will return again soon. There are no boring narratives. Each is carefully constructed to yield more detail or nuance to the contest, the circus, or the sinister dealings of the competition sponsors. There are many two-page intervals designed to lead the reader through a tent or aspect of the carnival as if the reader were a patron on a tour.

The prose is beautiful - not too verbose, not too simplistic.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
To say I had conflicting thoughts on this book would be an understatement. To make it a bit easier to express what I thought of it, I think it would be easier to divide my star rating into two; for the first half of the book, I give it two stars. For the latter half, I give it four.

I began reading this with very high expectations, which probably contributed to the major disappointment I felt fifty to one hundred pages in. From the glowing reviews, one even comparing it to Harry Potter, I was expecting to be riveted. And...I wasn't. The first few chapters were promising. Breathtaking descriptions and imagery, and mysterious characters, brief scenes with magical undertones, and an intriguing set-up to the conflict had me thinking the following chapters would be fast-paced. Not so.

This book dragged painfully in the middle, piling details and uninteresting characters on top of each other until I was literally counting down the pages. This is not to say that the fantastic imagery and description stopped; it didn't. Morgenstern's figurative language and imagery are top-notch and enchanting, fitting of the visually captivating circus she creates.

My main problem with the narrative were the characters. Good god, the characters. The protagonists, Celia and Marco, were as flat as cardboard. I didn't understand either of them, despite the surplus pages featuring their boring interactions. Maybe this is being nitpicky, but it bothers me when characters laugh too much in dialogue. "Celia laughs" seemed to be the main reaction of our heroine, in every scene with dialogue. For one, it's tedious after a while. For another, it's almost like the author is pointing out the wittiness of her own dialogue. Also, Marco and Celia were just too...
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book knocked my socks off!

"The circus arrives without warning ... The towering tents are striped in black and white ... No color at all ... the black sign painted in white letters ... reads: Opens at night fall / Closes at dawn. 'What kind of circus is only open at night?' people ask...

Le Cirque des Reves

...The Circus of Dreams."

This is hands down the best book I've read in years. I want to use all the cliché reviewer terms like "astounding debut" and "richly imagined" and perhaps even - heaven forbid - "tour de force"!

Some people will call this book magical realism. I will not. For me, it's flat out magical.

There is a lot of descriptive detail in this book, but none if it is superfluous. The circus Morgenstern has created is astonishing, and she conjures it beautifully with her words. There are no other books I would compare this to, but if I had to pick a mood to compare, it would be to Murakami. The sense you get while reading is so encompassing I felt jolted when I'd look away from the text and find that I was in my home.

Katherine Dunn said it perfectly, this book has a "leisurely but persistent suspense." I wanted to savor every word, but couldn't wait to get to the end.

Even though it is couched in the context of magic, this book contains one of the best descriptions of physical (romantic) chemistry I've ever read. What is chemistry if not magic?

I wish I could emphatically state that this book is for everybody, but it isn't. I think of readers I know well ... My step-father will love it, my mother might, my father won't. Then again, this book is so surprising, I could be completely wrong.

For me, it was flawless.

Bon Reves.
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