Author: Erin Morgenstern
Publisher: Anchor Books
Publication Date: September 2011
The Night Circus for purchase at The Book Depository
The Night Circus for purchase at Kobo
Review copy received at Book Expo America.
At first, I thought THE NIGHT CIRCUS, Erin Morgenstern’s much-lauded debut, was like a book described within a book.
Do you understand what I mean? I’m sure every bibliophile has encountered a fictional book at some point or another; that is, a book that does not exist in our world, by which has had a large impact on a character who inhabits a book that does. The fictional reader inevitably describes this fictional book, always in brief. They give us the high points; the basic plot, some memorable imagery, and the emotional crux, with few (if any) of the bits that connect the story together.
I always think these books sound fabulous--ethereal, emotionally intense, and utterly unlike most of what I read. They seem like the sort of thing one can truly lose oneself in, like a vivid dream where we needn’t be told the details because we immediately know everything we might require to make sense of the story.
As I pondered this, I realized it wasn’t so much that THE NIGHT CIRCUS was like a book within a book, but that both books within books and THE NIGHT CIRCUS have much in common with dreams.
Reading THE NIGHT CIRCUS is like reading the very best sort of dream. It doesn’t always make real-world sense. Sometimes, the connections one might expect to find are either missing or only present off the page. And yet, the reader (or dreamer) is so completely immersed that everything does make sense; every relevant detail is there for her to grasp at will. It’s beauty made tangible within the confines of someone’s mind, which I think we can all agree is a vast space indeed.
Every book I've read since I finished it has suffered in my estimation simply because it was not THE NIGHT CIRCUS.
The more I think about it, the more I love it.
4.5 stars – loved the hell out of it
The comma splices, though. The comma splices. They weren't enjoyment-destroying, but they distracted me to an unfortunate degree.
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