science fiction and fantasy author

Not-a-review: The Night Circus

I’ve been feeling a bit jaded with reading of late, having come up against a couple of books that just didn’t draw me in at all.  I read Some Kind of Fairytale, which was amazing, but then kind of flailed about trying to figure out what to read next.

I’ve been trying to keep up with reading along with the Writer and the Critic podcast, and have fallen somewhat behind.  I’m pretty much finding that I love or like most of the books Kirstyn recommends, while Mondy’s recommendations aren’t always for me, but I do appreciate reading every book that he does recommend.  Which is a long way of saying that his taste isn’t always mine, but I feel like Kirstyn’s taste and mine converges somewhat.

Anyway.  I am a few podcasts back, and so I picked up The Night Circus.

Fun fact: reading through the acknowledgements, there’s a referral to thanking Purgatory.  Ho, says I, someone who posts at Absolute Write. and specifically the No News Is Good News thread (known as Purgatory to its denizens).  Now, I used to hang out at AW a lot back when I was querying Shaede, mostly posting in Purgatory.  For me and for that book, it was close but no cigar, of course.  And I realised, very belatedly and after a bit of searching, that I’d actually been active in the thread at the same time as Erin.  My brain = boo, hiss.  Erin = squee!

Anyway, onto the book.

I’d heard a bit of hype about this book, but hadn’t really looked into it much.  I bought a copy on my Kindle and promptly forgot about it, as I am wont to do when I get distracted by too many other books.  And, in a general mood of ennui, I started to read.  And read.

This book is just gorgeous.  Like Kirstyn and Mondy, I wasn’t taken so much with the characters (though I think I like Celia a little more than they did) – but neither did I dislike them, per se.  I loved Poppet and Widget though.  I did have a few times when I got confused about characters, but I think that says way more about my own state of mental fogginess than the book itself.

Honestly, I didn’t read this for the characters, or the story so much.  It was the circus, and all the lush imagery of the circus and the magic being used.  I am not surprised at all that this has been optioned for a movie, but I’m not certain that any movie is going to do justice to it all.  It was just breathtaking, and wonderful and gave me such a sense of awe while I was reading.

Also, Morgenstern, you get a general frowny face for part of Bailey’s storyline.  No spoilers, but when you read, you will know.

I read this on Kindle, but I have now ordered the glorious UK hardcover, which I shall be very happy to have on my shelf.

And because I am a fool, I’ve also ended up with a paperback copy (don’t ask, just know that my brain is not to be trusted).  To reward anyone who’s actually read this entry, I shall be happy to post it to a random commenter (On livejournal, dreamwidth or at the website).  Happy to send anywhere in the world, so comment away!

EDIT: I will be picking a winner on Friday, my time, 9am, so you have until then to comment.


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  1. I wrote about this glorious book on my blog a few weeks back! For me it was like being in a gallery of incredible word paintings! Alas it was my daughter’s book and I have to return it…..that sound you now hear is me quietly sobbing!!!!

  2. Cheryl Dailey

    I loved this book. It drew me in and I felt like a part of the circus. I’m with you. I’m not sure a movie can capture the magic I felt when I read it.

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