Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
The Night Circus Paperback – July 3, 2012
|New from||Used from|
"The Lost Girls of Devon" by Barbara O'Neal
From the Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestselling author of When We Believed in Mermaids comes a story of four generations of women grappling with family betrayals and long-buried secrets. | Learn more
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Q&A with Author Erin Morgenstern
Q. This is a lovely and unique story. Why a circus? How did this story first come to you—through a character, a plotline, an emotion?
A. The story came as a location created out of desperation. I was working on a different story altogether, one that was becoming progressively more and more boring because nothing was happening. I needed something exciting to happen and I couldn't figure out how to do it with the locations I had so I sent the characters to the circus. That circus was immediately much more interesting and eventually I abandoned that other story and its characters entirely and focused on the circus instead. What eventually became The Night Circus started from exploring that spontaneously-created location, figuring out who created it and who performed in it and what its story was.
Q. What was your inspiration for some of the amazing acts in this circus?
A. Some of them were traditional circus acts or attractions made a bit more unique, like the acrobats performing directly overhead or the carousel that doesn't simply go in circles. The Cloud Maze is a play on a climbing maze I hazily recall from childhood visits to the Boston Children's Museum. Other tents were created based on color, or lack thereof. I had a lot of dark tents and wanted something lighter and white, the Ice Garden developed from that relatively simple starting point.
Q. Do you have a favorite character?
A. It's impossible to pick a true favorite, though Poppet & Widget are very dear to my heart as they're the first of the characters to turn up in my imagination. They're also just plain fun, both individually and as a pair.
Q. What was the most challenging aspect of developing this story?
A. It didn't have a plot for a very long time. Really, my biggest challenge was finding the actual story within all the atmosphere. I had the place and the characters and the feel of the book long before it had a proper story structure to tie everything together. The novel went through a great many revisions before it figured out what it wanted to be, I tried things that didn't work and then things that sort of worked and replaced old ideas with new ones until I got it right.
Q. Is there an emotion that you had to spend a lot of time with that made you uncomfortable?
A. I'm an emotional sort of person in general and I have a vivid imagination, so I feel the whole spectrum of emotion strongly when I write. It's something I'm used to, though, so nothing in particular made me uncomfortable. There is a lot of frustration felt by various characters, which is not the nicest emotion to be spending a lot of time with, but it helps to drive characters to actions which bring different emotions along.
Q. Tell me about your writing life. Do you have any rituals?
A. I binge write. I think it's because I started seriously writing by participating in National Novel Writing Month, an online-based challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I don't have as tight a time limit anymore but I still write in long marathon sessions and then I won't write for a while, I'm not a write-every-day writer. I go back and forth between input phases where I'm reading a lot or trying to get out and explore the world a bit and soak up inspirations and then I'll get back into output mode and write and write and write.
I don't have any particular rituals, I sometimes like to write in longhand when I'm searching for ideas but I do the vast majority by typing, I can't always keep up with my thoughts longhand. I'm not a coffeeshop writer because I feel obliged to order more coffee and then I end up over-caffeinated.
Q. What's the one true thing you learned from your characters in this novel?
A. I think it's something that I knew already but explored more with these characters, that nothing is as simple as black or white, good or evil. There are all those shades of grey and everyone acts from a place that they see as right and true. (Though they are allowed to change their minds.)
“Magical. Enchanting. Spellbinding. Mesmerizing.” —Associated Press
“Erin Morgenstern has created the circus I have always longed for and she has populated it with dueling love-struck magicians, precocious kittens, hyper-elegant displays of beauty and complicated clocks. This is a marvelous book.” —Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler’s Wife
“Get ready to be won over. . . . Part love story, part fable, and a knockout debut. . . . So sparklingly alive, you’ll swear the pages are breathing in your hands. . . . The Night Circus defies both genres and expectations.” —The Boston Globe
“A riveting debut. The Night Circus pulls you into a world as dark as it is dazzling, fully-realized but still something out of a dream. You will not want to leave it.” —Téa Obreht, author of The Tiger’s Wife
“The Night Circus is the real deal, the kind of novel that will appeal to romantics, history buff, circus aficionados, mystery fans, and lovers of a good story. . . . Steeped in circus lore, filled with evocative scenes of magic and illusion, enriched by characters as varied as the clockmaker who crafted the circus’s iconic timepiece . . . The Night Circus is worth staying up for.” —Bookreporter
“One of the best books I have ever read.” —Brunonia Barry, author of The Lace Reader
“[A] few pages in . . . and you know you are in the presence of an extraordinary storyteller.” —The Daily Beast
“Echoing the immense pleasure of Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, The Night Circus presents a sprightly version of 19th-century English magic. . . . A love story for adults that feels luxuriously romantic.” —The Washington Post
“Dark and extravagantly imagined.” —People
“Pure pleasure. . . . Erin Morgenstern is a gifted, classic storyteller, a tale-teller, a spinner of the charmed and mesmerizing—I had many other things I was supposed to be doing, but the book kept drawing me back in and I tore through it. You can be certain this riveting debut will create a group of rêveurs all its own.” —Aimee Bender, author of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
“[Morgenstern] employs her supple prose to conjure up a series of wonders: A maze made of clouds, a ship of books floating on a sea of ink, a tent that seems to contain a vast desert.” —Salon
“Reading this novel is like having a marvelous dream, in which you are asleep enough to believe everything that is happening, but awake enough to relish the experience and understand that it is magical.” —Newsday
- Lexile Measure : 950L
- Item Weight : 1.1 pounds
- Paperback : 516 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780307744432
- Product Dimensions : 5.2 x 1.1 x 8 inches
- ISBN-13 : 978-0307744432
- Publisher : Anchor Books; 1st Edition (July 3, 2012)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : 0307744434
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
It felt empty, like a made-for-TV movie. Absolutely no depth or meaningful character development.
The writing style was terrible. It seemed like it was written by a prodigious child just learning about descriptive language and trying too hard to use their vocabulary words. I can't believe an adult has gotten so much praise for this.
The suspense is not suspenseful. Even a casual reader should have no problem seeing things before they happen. That's not inherently a bad thing. I read books all the time that are not suspenseful, but your enjoyment of this particular story will almost certainly be determined by how suspenseful you find it because it was obviously written in a way to keep you glued to the page. It just fails miserably.
I might have liked this story when I was a kid or pre-teen but I'm genuinely astounded that so many adults are fans of this book.
I wrote an edit a couple of days ago defending myself against the commenters, but I deleted it and will just say this: If you haven't read the book, read the comments on this review and see the kind of arrogant, rude, presumptuous people who are fans of this novel (with the exception of Dan S. Tong, who was civil). They seem to think that's a good way to present themselves to the world and promote this book which they love. One person even "perused" my profile and assumed I'm uncultured, ignorant, and not well-read because I don't review every single book I read. If that's the crowd you relate to, by all means, buy this book. I, however, am glad I am not part of that crowd.
I wrote an honest review from my perspective. If you disagree, that's fine. Write a positive review and leave it at that.
The Night Circus is enchanting and mysterious. Prepare yourself for a magical story of intrigue and whimsy. Erin Morgenstern will make you feel like you are a part of the circus. Welcome to Le Cirque des Rêves.
“Trespasser Will Be Exsanguinated.” (Morgenstern, 51).
The Plot: The Night Circus begins in 1873 as Prospero the Enchanter learns that he has a daughter to be left in his care; a daughter with a special magical ability. It is this ability that brings about a mysterious meeting and the beginning of a game. As the years go by, Prospero meticulously trains his daughter Celia in the art of illusion, while the man in the grey suit, from the mysterious meeting, trains his student Marco. Both are bound together to play an unknown game with unknown rules until a winner is judged. The Night Circus becomes the arena for this game, and the moves made by Celia and Marco affect everyone involved in the circus. As the years go by, the two begin to fall in love, finding it more difficult to keep playing the game. A choice has to be made, to finish the game at all costs, or to give in to love and let the circus end.
Let me just start out by saying that The Night Circus is definitely one that you have to pay attention to the chapter titles and timelines. With that being said, I LOVED this book. I really took my time reading it and soaking it all in and I was astounded by the immense imagery and story building found in this book! Every single piece of information, and person you meet, has some sort of effect on, or part to play in, the circus. There are so many parts to the whole, and even going backward and forward in time with the chapters helps you to understand what is going on within the circus and the game that Celia and Marco are bound to. Between some of the chapters you can also find pieces of a 2nd person point of view story line that makes you FEEL like you are walking through The Night Circus! The plot, the circus detail, and the characters are amazingly written in this one!
The first character we are introduced to is Prospero, or Hector Bowen. He is ultimately the reason behind the circus and the plot because of his choice to start the game with his daughter Celia. Though he is an integral part of the story, I found him greedy and cruel and felt that he cared more about the game and it’s outcome then he did his own daughter.
In the beginning of the story we are also introduced to Mr. A. H. in the grey suit. He is also an integral part of the story, as he is the mentor of Marco, Celia’s opponent. Mr. A. H. is mysterious, quiet, and quite possibly a murderer.
Our main character, Celia is definitely a favorite character of mine. She is strong, beautiful, and talented in her abilities. She also captures my heart because she is a major bookworm, and holds very high morals. It is no wonder that Marco falls in love with her!
Celia’s opponent Marco is a man of mystery. He was taken from an orphanage by Mr. A. H., so his background and origin are unknown. In his first encounter with Celia, he seems mildly intimidated and nervous. He becomes very restless in his training, and has slightly devious aspects in his game moves, but he plays the role of a co-main character well.
Though we are introduced to many other characters, with them all being integral parts of the story and the circus, we have one other main character to consider. Bailey is introduced to us further in the story, and further in the future, and starts off as a circus spectator. He begins to build a relationship with the twins, Poppet and Widget (whom were born in the circus on opening night, thus being endowed with magical abilities), and in time, becomes a very important piece to the story. It is Bailey’s childish innocence and ability to dream that ties things together and ultimately offers a resolution to the game.
“When you were five years old you turned a laundry tub into a pirate ship and launched an attack against my hydrangeas in my garden.” (Morgenstern, 87).
I recommend reading this one slowly so you can take it all in. You will truly feel like part of the circus. Pay close attention to the dates in front of the chapters and let yourself be immersed into the imagery of The Night Circus.
“You think, as you walk away from Le Cirque des Rêves and into the creeping dawn, that you felt more awake within the confines of the circus.: (Morgenstern, 387).
If you like Harry Potter, you'll probably like this, though it is very different.
If you, like me, adore this book and are looking for something else to read, go try Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith, and it's sequel Court Duel.
If you want another wonderful way to experience this book: listen to the audiobook. It's read by Jim Dale, and it is magic.
Top reviews from other countries
This is not a fantasy novel. This creates its own genre. I'm 40 and have been devouring books for as long as I can remember. I get the sense that Erin Morgenstern had a similar reading experience. She writes scenes you can smell, scenes you feel the temperature of. The desperation, the hope, the wonderment and the confusion.
What a marvellous web you weave Erin Morgenstern. I will buy everything you ever write based on this stunning book and the utterly marvellous Flax Golden Tales. My favourite being the obsolete 'No Swimming' sign. I very often say that there is a flax golden tale for every emotion.
You wordsmith, you! Thank you for finding the words for things I have felt since 1984.
Long live the dreamers xxx
The night circus is not only a beautiful concept, but moreover a a portal into deeply felt emotional ties both on page and reflected in this world.
My empathy for the characters in this book enabled me interesting perspectives for my own experiences. I am very grateful to the author.