The Night Circus: A Review

The circus arrives without warning……


If you have not yet read Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, you are doing yourself a disservice. I always feel as if I am one of the last people to read best selling novels, as I can’t stand the hardback format, never use my Kindle, and usually wait until the paperback is released. This will, most times, put me a full year behind others who have already discovered the majesty of these amazing novels.

I just finished the novel, and really wished I hadn’t waited so long. It was glorious. It is one of the only books I’ve read of late that I wanted to immediately review on my blog. But then I realized that being an immensely popular best selling novel that has been out in the world for over a year, that it’s pretty much been reviewed to death. What could I possibly add to all of the flowing praise that has been written about this amazing novel already? I am not a book reviewer. In fact, I’ve never reviewed a book in my life.

But I felt strongly about this book. It was such an amazingly magical world, created by an author who understands how to perfectly weave her words to create a novel that transports you to a separate dimension of fantasy and illusion. To allow you to immediately escape your incredibly stressful and craptastic day at work. A day where your ragefull boss bursts into your office, yelling and demanding that you go to court the next day. And when you protest, saying you have an important meeting and also a pile of cases to work on, he then rocks your world by exclaiming that you are “the most selfish person he has ever met” and you “never do anything for anyone else.” Then follows that exclamation with the threat of firing you if you aren’t in court bright and early the next morning.

And when you get home, feeling deflated and gut punched, the need to escape your world is strong. And the ability to pick up this book, start reading, and be immediately transported to a place where tents void of color, but full of magic and fantasy, allow you to escape for a moment. To be enveloped by a different time and place, where you can imagine yourself as a young, beautiful illusionist, bound indefinitely to a handsome magician. Competing with skill and scope in a challenge that has been ongoing since you were a young girl. Your opponent, a man you have not met, but are destined to be entwined with through the years for an indefinite amount of time. Creating fanciful tents full of carousel animals that seem to come to life, walking through tents made of snow created by your opponent. A world that is full of mystery and wonder, but somehow grounds you in a sense of peace and happiness.

This book was not just a wonderfully written piece of fiction. It was the much needed escape hatch to a more wonderful and fanciful place. A place where nobody was demeaning and cruel to you. Where lavish midnight parties and unlikely lovers envelope you in a warm embrace.

Someplace where a circus appears out of nowhere, only to operate in darkness, from dusk to dawn. Where everything is black, white and shades of grey. Where your every sense is heightened and enhanced by Le Cirque de Rêves. The Circus of Dreams. A dream come to life. Taking you away from your current nightmare existence, if only for a moment.

This was not just a well-written work of literature. It was that, but oh, it was so much more to me. Erin Morgenstern created this fanciful world, and allowed me to experience it when it was most needed. I will always be grateful to her for bringing this circus to life. She took me away from my own, while I walked through her tents, sampling caramel popcorn and chocolate mice. The power of the written word is strong, and she used her extensive talents for good.

I would highly recommend this book. It is remarkably gorgeous. Transcendent. A true masterpiece. It is more than a work of literature. It is a beautiful work of art, painted in the most vibrant colors, despite a venue of only black & white. This is Erin Morgenstern’s first novel, but I hope it will not be her last.


28 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Leauxra
    Sep 24, 2012 @ 08:45:01

    Sounds like something I would read… I am often a decade or a few centuries behind the times with my reading, so don’t feel bad.


  2. Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson
    Sep 24, 2012 @ 08:55:52

    Believe it or not, I have not heard of this book. I know, under which rock have I been hiding. That said, I’m pumped up because it’s going to be my chance to pick the next book club title and this is it.

    You know, unless everyone else has read it.

    If this book really has the power to make you feel less craptastic, I want to go to there. 😉


  3. Danielle Charlton Geer
    Sep 24, 2012 @ 09:18:26

    I’m too busy putting myself on waiting lists for Suri’s Burn Book and the next Sue Grafton novel to waste my time with actual literature.

    I’m such a peon.

    Now I’m embarrassed.


  4. Enriched
    Sep 24, 2012 @ 09:53:38

    How funny, I just heard on NPR this weekend about this book. They re-played in a interview with the author from a couple weeks ago. It seemed magical and awesome, but I didn’t know anyone who had read it! Now, I think I will put it in the must read category. You are never too old to read about magic 🙂


    • mistyslaws
      Oct 04, 2012 @ 13:46:52

      That is weird. Because it’s been out forever, and to just now replay it . . . it’s kismet, is what it is. Maybe a little . . . magical? Now you must read it. 🙂


  5. bluzdude
    Sep 24, 2012 @ 10:24:25

    Sorry… I can’t get over the boss thing. What a tool.


    • mistyslaws
      Oct 04, 2012 @ 13:47:38

      I know, right? The biggest tool. Sigh. At least there are other worlds to escape to. For a little bit at least. Before I have to go right back to the hateful job.


  6. Andrea
    Sep 24, 2012 @ 10:57:39

    Well, I am almost finished with the book I am currently reading, and was wondering how to fill the next few hours designated as writing…AHA! A trip to Target for this book…thank you Misty!


  7. pegoleg
    Sep 24, 2012 @ 11:06:28

    I’ve never heard of this either. It seems the more I write, the less I read. I don’t know how people find time to do everything. That said, I’m definitely putting it on my list.


  8. Jen
    Sep 24, 2012 @ 11:51:46

    I abso lutely LOVED ‘Night Circus’. Next, check out a copy of Jean Hegland’s “Into the Forest”. You’ll thank me later. 😉


  9. cornfedgirl
    Sep 24, 2012 @ 22:05:11

    I think that I will recommend this to my book club!


  10. Valerie
    Sep 24, 2012 @ 22:32:43

    Ok… You’ve got me. I want to read this book. Even though I’m pretty sure that there are no zombies in it. Which is a feat in itself, as most of my favorite books are about zombies, zombie killing and/or the zombie apocalypse.




    • mistyslaws
      Oct 04, 2012 @ 13:51:06

      Would it help if I told you there were zombies? I’m not saying there are, but would it make it easier for you to start reading it? Because if so . . . totally zombies.

      It’s really good. Seriously. Give it a shot.


  11. Jessica
    Sep 24, 2012 @ 23:09:50

    Thanks for the recommendation! I’ve looked at that book so many times, but thought it was too similar to “Water for Elephants” so I never bothered to get it. Now, I might have to reconsider.


    • mistyslaws
      Oct 04, 2012 @ 13:52:12

      It has the same circus element, but it is a very different book. I’ve read both, and enjoyed this one much more. I liked Water for Elephants, but it didn’t move me as this one did.


  12. Bridget McCarthy
    Sep 25, 2012 @ 14:07:26

    I have a craptastic boss. I’m going to be reading this book…


  13. Vesta Vayne
    Sep 25, 2012 @ 17:18:40

    Ooo, fun! Book review!

    I’ve passed over this book several times, but you’ve convinced me to give it a go.


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