Title: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Reviewer: Theresa Smith
The Night Circus is a delightful dream of tale about a magical circus that only opens at night.
Set over several years at the end of the 19th century the story of two magicians dueling to satisfy a bet made by a their respective masters is also a tale about thwarted love. It is a mix of intense, creative descriptions of the fin-de-siecle circus and more staid, prosaic passages detailing the relationship between Celia, the enchanter’s daughter and Marco, the sorcerer’s apprentice.
The characters who make up the circus are intriguing but Celia and Marco get the most development and the best bits are really when the author takes you around the circus. Wandering around the black and white tents, discovering its dazzling secrets is the stuff a circus of dreams is made of.
Author Erin Morgenstern wrote this book through the online NaNoWriMo challenge which runs over the month of November. People commit and are encouraged to write 50 000 words and this book is what Morgenstern created.
I liked the nonlinear approach from the point of view of different characters and loved the passages about what happens in the circus - this is a place I would love to visit.
But it is always a description of how magical everything is, only afterwards do you realise the descriptions are actually non-specific as to what is so magical, just that it is magical. The short cinematic aspect to the chapters makes me think this would make a great movie setting in the hands of a very creative director like Guillermo del Toro or Peter Jackson.
The book is testament to the idea that a story is not only created by the author but also by the reader. Every time we read a book we use our imagination to create a world and this story gives you enough to create a truly magical one. That makes it worth reading