Friday, October 14, 2011

"The Night Circus" by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus is a novel that's built on the reader's (and characters') constant immersion in a dream-like world, where every event has the tinge of a fairy tale and every encounter bursts in intensity and emotion. It's a book completely dependent on mood, and there's some danger in that; if the reader doesn't buy in, there's no book. However, fortunately for readers, Morgenstern's Night Circus is a success.

It's a hard book to describe effectively. There are two protagonists, Celia and Marco, and they're not quite magicians, but they are able to manipulate the world around them. As children they're bound by their teachers to a mysterious competition with each other, though it's a competition with hazy rules and no timeline. The setting of this competition is the Night Circus, a fantastic event that shows up and leaves unannounced. As Celia and Marco work to create even more staggering illusions for the circus, they must fight between their feelings for each other and their obligation to the game.

The world of The Night Circus is rich in several accounts. First, there's the description of the circus itself, a completely black and white exhibition with untold wonders in every tent. Morgenstern's world is so vivid that the reader can't help but envy the characters' ability to visit it. Secondly, there's the richly drawn characters and the electricity between Celia and Marco. They're not together particularly often, but when they are, the reader can't help but feel their attraction. It's one of the more compelling romances I've read in awhile.

At times the book can be overly cryptic, and the twins Poppet and Widget were intriguing characters whom I would have liked to see more of. I'm not sure if the ending quite worked, but it's mostly satisfying.

Nonetheless, I felt like I entered a new world whenever I picked up the book, and I was disappointed when I suddenly noticed I was nearly finished.

No comments:

Post a Comment