Longlisted for the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction
In 1886, a mysterious travelling circus becomes an international sensation. Open only at night, constructed entirely in black and white, Le Cirque des Rêves delights all who wander its circular paths and warm themselves at its bonfire. Although there are acrobats, fortune-tellers, and contortionists, the Circus of Dreams is no conventional spectacle. Some tents contain clouds, some ice. The circus seems almost to cast a spell over its aficionados, who call themselves the rêveurs - the dreamers.
At the heart of the story is the tangled relationship between two young magicians, Celia, the enchanter’s daughter, and Marco, the sorcerer’s apprentice. At the behest of their shadowy masters, they find themselves locked in a deadly contest, forced to test the very limits of the imagination, and of their love....
A fabulous, fin-de-siècle feast for the senses and a life-affirming love story, The Night Circus is a captivating novel that will make the real world seem fantastical and a fantasy world real.
©2011 Erin Morgenstern (P)2011 Random House Audio Go
I really liked the fantasy angle of the book and all the other stories intertwined as well. It was just so well linked together.
The ending was sad and happy. I still think about this book and how I felt when I was listening to it and reading it. There is so much feeling in the way it was written. It was a really beautiful book.
Although this story appears promising at the outset, I quickly lost interest and had to force myself to listen to the end.
The narration is clear, but rather monotonous; it nearly sent me to sleep! It might have been better, if women were reading the female parts, as the narrator does not do this well.
I don't know to whom this book would appeal, but, although it won a prize, I did not enjoy it at all.
I have read this novel when it was fist published and found it a wonderfully rich, lyrical tale. The narration of the audible edition did not at all suit the character of the book. Jim Dale adopted a slurred wheezing voice for many of the characters, including that of the hero, Marco. The twins Poppet and Widget were in particular given accents that made the pair of them sound like old country folk instead of young vibrant kids trying to save their beloved circus. It was so disagreeable to listen to that I have had to abandon the attempt and will instead reread the book myself.
"All style, no substance. Hours of blah, blah, blah"
The narrator (Jim Dale) seems to have the perfect voice for this novel.
Until he tries to do the various accents and female voices. His accents are terrible and his female voices sound like cross dressing lumberjacks. Distracting to say the least.
The story itself is boring and very slow. It's nothing but tone setting and creating images, the plot is almost non exsistant and secondary.
Plot first, THEN atmosphere.
No. His reading is very good but his character voices and attempts at accents are distracting and embarrassing.
I never listen to abridged versions, no matter how many filler chapters there are. If you deleted the droning tone setting scenes from this book it would be at least 50% shorter.
Strictly for flakes. The blurb for this book is very deceptive, almost nothing happens.
It was so different to any other story I've read/heard. I could imagine the colours and how awesome it would be to make into a movie.
I didn't have a favourite, I was very intrigued as to how they each had importance in the story.
Yes, it is a complete fantasy world that lets you escape from the boring reality!
Black and White and Red All Over
Simply great! I wanted to listen to it all day!
You’re walking aimlessly through a bookshop looking for a new read. You don’t quite know what you are looking for but you feel as though you’ll recognize it when you see it…
I recognized The Night Circus the second I saw it as something I needed to read. Whether I would enjoy or even finish it I wasn’t sure but something told me that I needed to at least try.
This is not an easy book to define but I’ll do my best. It’s essentially two interwoven stories, one tells the tale of a boy visiting the circus each year or so when it passes through his town. He makes friends with two of the children who work in the circus with a charming kitten show and together they explore all the amazing wonders of the circus and it’s seemingly infinite number of tents. One holds a winter wonderland of snow and ice, another simply holds a bowl of perfect black stones that take away your tears for a night. From incredible to subtly beautiful the boy of course falls in love with the circus so the rest of the world is merely a grey blur in comparison.
The other story is that of the two magicians who created and are still creating the great circus. Marco and Celia are in love and though they met as adults they have been in love their whole lives, writing love letters to one another through each magical tent they create. But they are merely pawns in a bigger, darker game played between Celia’s father and Marco’s mentor. The two lovers have been pitted against each other in a battle of wills and power, a battle to the death.
The Night Circus is not for everyone. It doesn’t read like your usual linear story in fact it reads rather like a painting or rather one of those long tapestries. I’m not sure I would want to read too many stories written this way, but this was so beautifully constructed that I could possibly enjoy a few like it.
One thing I think I should mention - The narration didn't quite do this story justice. I can't really fault the narrator BUT I can't help but think this story would have been more enjoyable if read by an English lady.
"A thrilling read!"
Absolutely. The story is intricately and beautifully entwined with mystery and love. It's so jam packed with imagination and imagery, it's like watching a movie in your own head.
The imagery in this book is remarkable.
Jim Dale captured the different accents very well. Even the slightest change in nuance made it immediately obvious which character he was playing.
A deluge of dreams, mystery and love.
"Atmospheric presentation and original storyline"
I was not sure what to expect having only read the reveiws of this book. It was a slow start and initially the narrators voice did not seem to suit, but after a while it began to become familiar and by the end I could not imagine an alternative. The story line is unusual and the descriptions are vivid but the plotline is rather convoluted and I would have preferred a more dramatic ending. But all in all very enjoyable.
"A poor tale nicely read"
Jim Dales reading was excellent. The novel failed to deliver on the expectations it set.
Delivered on the promise of the novel. The reader is kept waiting for some sort of resolution, instead we are literally presented with a whole passage on how there are no longer any good stories (or are there).
"Transformed from a great read to an excellent listen"
One of my favourite books in 2013 and now the magical story comes to life again in this audio book. Can't recommend this highly enough.
This book is one of those random titles that you pick up, that turn out to be beyond everything you had hoped for!!
I found Night circus, the story, to be just magical as the circus it is set in.
the writer desribes every sight, smell and sound to the point where you feel like you reach out and touch it. the decriptive passages do how ever drag on a little and tend to break up the stroy where you least want it to. but this takes little away from the over all nature of the book
totally enjoyable to the last word!!
"A wonderful and imaginative love story"
Challenging, Imaginative, Vivid
Bailey, it was him that you saw the wonder of the wonder of the circus through and it was him that ended up saving it.
Sukiko, I hope I spelt that right.
Poppet and Widget, I think they would the most interesting and the most fun
This was a very entertaining and fun book to listen to though you have to pay attention careful as it does jump through different time periods
"A comic book in wolf's clothing"
No. I would be a bit embarrassed to recommend it. I was totally intrigued by the synopsis of this book, a tall tale about a spectacular and enchanting circus, real magic and a fatalistic wager, it was beautifully conceived but the writer seemed to not to be quite up to the task. Set in the late 1800's, the characters, their behaviour, their language even their dress was all wrong for the time and they all lacked depth. The plot, I gradually came to realise, was a bit thin and the setting was so contrived it became irritating, with too much focus on monochrome (yes, I get it!!) and kittens. This would make a good graphic novel or fantasy film. So...whilst it wasn't bad, it was just not good enough.
I haven't encountered her books before.
I feel this story needed a darker, richer, an altogether more lyrical voice.
There wasn't enough substance in this for one book, let alone two.
I really loved the idea of this book but alas, it was all show and disappointment.
"Magical, mysterious and captivating"
I never thought I would listen to a book more than once but this one was so full of delectable detail that I was compelled to listen to it three times to date!
It was full of fascinating characters, interesting ideas and delightful thoughts but strangely edgy which all added to a kind of Victorian,vaguely Steampunk atmosphere.
I also loved the HGWells type attention to detail and how you were lead by the nose through a labyrinth of twisting and turning themes and ideas. The magic, mystery and slight of hand held my interest all the way. If you like unusual you may enjoy the Night Circus
"A Beautiful Book - A Lifetime Favourite !!!"
I have now listened to this book three times and I love it. It has enthralled me each time I have listened to it.
The narration is brilliant but it is of a level I expect from Jim Dale who is a fantastic actor. He certainly brings out the nuances of the characters. This is going to be one of my lifetime favourites.
"My kind of circus"
Wonderfully complex story, full of detail, clear pictures of the unusual, and a nice interweaving of times and dates that came together satisfyingly in the end. Some surprises, some predictability, but all in all a good holiday read. Except for the narrator, oh dear, he did the "ancient mage" voice with all the weight of dusty centuries in it, but the young men, female and the childrens voices were quite dreadfully croaky. If you can get past the narrator you'll enjoy the story for its own sake.
Quite the most mysterious, magical and remarkable book i have read in a long time. A spell is cast and reader is drawn into the plot. Original and unique I hope to see more from this super talented author.
"Magical imagery and vivid characters"
This was a great book with a really good narration. I thoroughly enjoyed the black and white world of the Night Circus. The imagery was very well described and it is well written - i found it mysterious and utterly compelling!
"A Victorian Surrealist Romance"
This book provides an enchanting journey into the world of a traveling Victorian circus, The length of the book is filled with such enchanting wordplay and enthralling descriptions that every new circus tent is an absolute pleasure, The brilliantly written and read characters are warm and comforting and the complete package leaves very little to be desired.
A fine purchase for any fan of magic, love or a reality based fantasy.
"The Magic Arrives Without Warning"
I should admit to a little bias in this review because The Night Circus is one of my all-time favourite books and I feel that this audiobook does do it justice.
It is a love story above else, but a love story on many levels. A love story between a man and a woman, a love story between the performers and their circus, a love story between the circus and its ardent fans. And then there is the magic. To say more would start to give too much away but it is a fantastical tale written fantastically well.
If I were to quibble with anything about this audiobook it with the performance. Jim Dale does read it beautifully but, when you have previously read the book yourself, you tend to have an idea of how various characters sound. So to hear Prospero and Mr A.H. sound like two bickering Yorkshiremen is a bit of a surprise, especially when I had always considered Prospero to be from the opposite side of the Pond.
That aside, you would not go far wrong if you wish to immerse yourself in a magical fantasy where anything seems possible and the real world a disappointment in comparison.
"magical, will listen to this over and over."
I was recommended this book by a friend who said she practically cried when she finished it. I thought she was exaggerating until I listened to the audio book. I finished it and went straight back to listen to one of the last chapters again, a conversation between widget and the man with the grey suit. I called my friend and she said her favourite quote was from this chapter too.
I know I will listen to this again and again.
I can't disagree that the narrator doesn't do the best voices for some of the female characters but this doesn't distract from the quality of the writing.
All I can say is that I now owe my friend a huge favour for this recommendation and I'm not sure if cake is enough.
This is an eerily beautiful novel. It has a compelling story, dark sense of humour and, it is easy to detect by the sheer glee in which the writer unfolds the story, that she enjoyed writing it as much as I enjoyed listening to it. I recommend! x
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