“Intriguing story of two magically talented children who are pitted against each other in a battle to the death in a circus though the battle takes decades to complete and the two fall in love with each other in the process. Well written.”Thomas Johnson wrote this review Friday, October 4, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is an elegant and elaborate fairy tale for grown-ups; I found myself quite drawn in. I would not recommend this book for younger readers due to some language and situations, but I highly recommend the book to grown-up readers.”Dana G wrote this review Thursday, October 3, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This book was an amazing escape into a world I wanted to live in. Full of mystery & magic, love & despair, this book was a wonderful tale. ”Shalanna wrote this review Wednesday, October 2, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Somewhere in Time meets Something Wicked This Way Comes - delightful prose.”revslick wrote this review Tuesday, October 1, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This book was so hard to get into. I tried to read it several times and put it down. I finally got the audio which was done by Jim Dale who did Harry Potter and his voice kept me listening. The timeline bounced around so much I had a hard time keeping up but I am glad I read it. It would be a good book club read, so much to discuss.”Diedra B wrote this review Wednesday, September 25, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This book was extreme in detail, and in my opinion a little slow in the beginning. After page 300 though it picked up rather nicely yet finished on a messy note as well. Lot's of detail, but not much solid plot. It was a good read regardless.”Natalia J wrote this review Tuesday, September 24, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I did think this came close to earning the Goodreads criteria of "amazing" for five stars. I've seen this described as "magical realism" which I tend to have a very mixed reaction to. I hated it in works I read by Allende and Márquez, loved it with Rushdie and Kundera. The Night Circus is more fantasy than just magical realism--it's about magic, and I think that might help. Although it definitely has a literary sensibility and style and you sense that the magic isn't just magic, but is freighted with meaning. Mind you, I don't think of this as all that meaty, and the plot is a bit thin. Think of this as a light, not too sweet confection. What often enchants, as with Harry Potter, is the whimsy and imagination of the details, even if Rowling wasn't capable of descriptions like this:
The finished clock is resplendent. At first glance it is simply a clock, a rather large black clock with a white face and a silver pendulum. Well crafted, obviously, with intricately carved woodwork edges and a perfectly painted face, but just a clock.
But that is before it is wound. Before it begins to tick, the pendulum swinging steadily and evenly. Then, then it becomes something else.
The changes are slow. First, the color changes in the face, shifts from white to grey, and then there are clouds that float across it, disappearing when they reach the opposite side. Meanwhile, bits of the body of the clock expand and contract, like pieces of a puzzle. As though the clock is falling apart, slowly and gracefully.
All of this takes hours.
The face of the clock becomes a darker grey, and then black, with twinkling stars where numbers had been previously. The body of the clock, which has been methodically turning itself inside out and expanding, is now entirely subtle shades of white and grey. And it is not just pieces, it is figures and objects, perfectly carved flowers and planets and tiny books with actual paper pages that turn. There is a silver dragon that curls around part of the now visible clockwork, a tiny princess in a carved tower who paces in distress, awaiting an absent prince. Teapots that pour into teacups and minuscule curls of steam that rise from them as the seconds tick. Wrapped presents open. Small cats chase small dogs. An entire game of chess is played.
At the center, where a cuckoo bird would live in a more traditional timepiece, is the juggler. Dress in harlequin style with a grey mask, he juggles shiny silver balls that correspond to each hour. As the clock chimes, another ball joins the rest until at midnight he juggles twelve balls in a complex pattern.
After midnight, the clock begins once more to fold in upon itself. The face lightens and the cloud returns. The number of juggled balls decreases until the juggler himself vanishes.
By noon it is a clock again, and no longer a dream.
And that gives you the sense of the style of this book about the Circus of Dreams--itself rather dreamlike, written in present tense, in a flitting omniscient, with interludes of second person insisting the reader is there in this wondrous circus visiting the Wishing Tree or Ice Garden or riding the Carousel or visiting the fortune-teller, the contortionist, the illusionist. The plot creaks a bit, the characters aren't the most rounded, but I didn't care. The book read to me like a cross between Erik Larson's The Devil and the White City about the 1893 Chicago World's Fair and Joanne Harris' fanciful Chocolat. I greatly enjoyed this fairy tale for grownups.”
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“The fastest way to describe The Night Circus is to say that it is a blending of the Harry Potter series and Romeo and Juliet, but this description doesn’t do the story justice. The imagery and characters conjured in this story is so vivid and unique, even Tim Burton would have a hard time creating a cinema depiction. The plot of The Night Circus sounds rather cliché, but something in that gives it charm: a competition between two magicians of different ideologies and schools of magic sets the stage for star-crossed lovers to meet, unite, and inevitably come undone. That sounds like a spoiler, but we all know how well things worked out for Romeo and Juliet. This was a wonderful read, but it lost points for me near the end, when we have the resolution of the story in the third act. The solution for the lovers’ dilemma felt like a cop-out to me, and I felt an opportunity for the “love conquers all” message to be displayed was missed. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy a good romance, who have a taste for the dark and mysterious, or both.”ToastKat wrote this review Thursday, September 19, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No