Discussion of The Night Circus

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How do you rate The Night Circus?

1 star - poor, recommend against reading it
1
3%
2 stars - fair, okay
3
8%
3 stars - good, recommend it
7
19%
4 stars - excellent, amazing
26
70%
 
Total votes: 37

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DATo
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Re: Discussion of The Night Circus

Post by DATo » 06 Nov 2013, 04:26

I hate to be a spoilsport but this book just didn't do it for me. I do however give Morgenstern high marks for the exquisite way she writes (phrasing) and for the originality of her story. I just felt that the "glue" which held the story together was very weak. A lot of things were not fully explained; for instance, we get the impression that there are many people within the circus - acrobats and food vendors are mentioned - but we never see them fleshed out in any way. We are left to wonder if these people are part of Celia's construction or real. Why does this competition have to take place in the first place - we are never told anything about the back history of the competition that explains this. Two people die, but an adequate explanation for why this has to happen is never given. Poppet and Widget have parents, and as important as parents should be to their children's story we never meet them. But I think the thing that turned me off the most was the way much of the story just seemed to drone on and on at places with nothing significant happening.

I recently completed The Hunger Games trilogy and have referred to it in other threads. In Collins' acknowledgments she cited her gratitude to her husband who played devil's advocate with her by offering counter-arguments and criticisms at each stage of her drafts. Collin's would then go back and include within the narrative, if only mildly and tangentially, an explanation for why some things are as they are in the books. I often wanted to tear Collins' story logic apart but then remembered something she had included which explained away my complaint. Morgenstern should have gotten married before she wrote this novel.

I think it will make a far better movie than novel because much of the story relies on imagery and that seems to be the trend in heavily laced CGI movies. I'd still recommend this book for overall entertainment value but not as a serious novel. I thought it was a very amateurishly written story, yet exquisitely described.
“I just got out of the hospital. I was in a speed reading accident. I hit a book mark and flew across the room.”
― Steven Wright

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Fran
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Post by Fran » 06 Nov 2013, 07:31

@DATo
I completly agree it doesn't belong in the serious novel catagory but after the first couple of pages I just put my critical faculties & all logic aside & enjoyed it for what it is, simply a flight of imagination - I read it much as I would read a fairytale.
As to the reason for the challenge IMO it has no purpose other that to relieve the tedium for two magicians bored with their existence (or non-existence!).
Because I've never been a fan of the circus I was not expecting much for it & I guess that's why I was pleasantly surprised that it actually held my attention & I really did want to know what would happen. But as I said above the ending was a bit of a disappointment.

BTW why did you think she should have got married before writing the novel? That has me perplexed! :lol:
We fade away, but vivid in our eyes
A world is born again that never dies.
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DATo
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Post by DATo » 07 Nov 2013, 00:50

Fran wrote:@DATo
I completly agree it doesn't belong in the serious novel catagory but after the first couple of pages I just put my critical faculties & all logic aside & enjoyed it for what it is, simply a flight of imagination - I read it much as I would read a fairytale.
As to the reason for the challenge IMO it has no purpose other that to relieve the tedium for two magicians bored with their existence (or non-existence!).
Because I've never been a fan of the circus I was not expecting much for it & I guess that's why I was pleasantly surprised that it actually held my attention & I really did want to know what would happen. But as I said above the ending was a bit of a disappointment.

BTW why did you think she should have got married before writing the novel? That has me perplexed! :lol:
Fran,

Yeah, I know what you mean. As I mentioned in my post the book does have entertainment value and the parts that were good were very good but then the quality would trail off and almost gave me the impression that the book was being written by two different authors - one, who was a master story teller, and another, who didn't have a clue.

My marriage quip was just a tongue-in-cheek way of saying that if Morgenstern had gotten the critical feedback that Collins received from her husband's criticisms perhaps the book would have addressed some of the things I've complained about. But the bottom line is that the book is a major success and has received glowing critiques from well known critics so I must be wrong.
“I just got out of the hospital. I was in a speed reading accident. I hit a book mark and flew across the room.”
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Post by Spideybat » 13 Dec 2013, 20:05

I've never been too keen on reading romance in novels, but I still thoroughly enjoyed this book! It's so beautifully written and I couldn't put it down. I love reading books set in a different time period and I especially loved how it didn't only focus on Celia and Marco, but also put Bailey in the spotlight. I liked how it all tied together in the end, Marco and Celia end up like Celia's father, Bailey getting involved and getting the chance to run the circus. I just ADORED Poppet and Widget. I liked their characters the most and I think the book should have had chapters from their perspective. Nevertheless, it truly was a page-turner.

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Post by booklover24 » 19 Dec 2013, 21:37

I thought the book was amazing. I couldn't put it down at all.

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Post by ellsbethwhimsy » 26 Dec 2013, 04:16

The world building of the circus and pure potential of this book seduced me. I read it awhile back, and remember that I was very eager to reread it in a year or so, after the blinders were off. I find it in the book stacks now and then, but I haven't got the heart to reread it. I think I'm a bit worried it won't live up to the first reading :)

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Post by elizabeth06920 » 30 Dec 2013, 03:31

I read this book quite sometime ago im new to group. Im a Jack Reacher kinda girl but I realy loved this bok. Imagine a truly magical circus stopping in gour town. The apples are sweeter than you have ever had and thehot chocolate never so delicious. Dont love romantic distractions but that's what this story was. I loved it. A simple magical magic love story.

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Post by dianaan » 15 Jan 2014, 13:48

michellezo wrote:I absolutely loved the imagery in this book. I have the benefit of what I believe to be a great imagination and found myself transported to the different scenes in the book. I really walked away wishing that I could spend time travelling with the circus wearing my crimson scarf. I agree that there were some slow sections in the plot but it was so nice to read a book that was not just another re-hash of whatever is popular at the moment. I feel that as a first book Erin Morgenstern did a fantastic job and I very much look forward to her future work.
Your words speak my mind too, michellezo!

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Post by krsteinb » 30 Jan 2014, 14:34

I love The Night Circus, especially the way the illusions keep evolving into something more complex. For new readers, I suggest sticking with it during the first half, during which you may wonder where the author is taking you.....

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Post by ellenr » 06 Mar 2014, 00:18

I absolutely loved this book and have read it multiple times and was recommended by my sister. The concept of the of the circus and the way it seemed to be a world within a world was amazing and kept me hooked right to the end. After reading the Game of Thrones series it was a refreshing and enjoyable read. I would recommend it to anyone who wants an easy read with a highly imaginative story.

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Post by npandit » 11 Mar 2014, 02:09

The great thing about this book was the vivid imagery, as other people have mentioned. I also found the characters unique and the pacing of the story very interesting to follow.

The only drawback I would say was that it somehow felt incomplete...like there was some hidden, deeper message lingering beneath the surface, but not quite realized through the course of the story. But I'd love to read it again.
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Post by rae_lewis » 11 Apr 2014, 12:37

I thought the Night Circus was amazing, it kept me interested all the way through and even made me wonder what it would be like to be part of a circus like that. I would recommend this book to anyone who asks for a Hugh standard of writing and an amazing story and plot line

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Post by randomcheerio » 09 May 2014, 18:41

I recently purchased a copy. I look forward to reading it and contributing to this thread.

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Post by sammi8764 » 27 May 2014, 21:57

Okay. My most favorite book. Oh where to begin?

First off, the basics of the book itself. I love Erin Morgenstern's writing technique. The way she describes the scenery, everything sounds so whimsical and magical and intriguing. Her writing is exactly what I love. I love the mystery and magical possibilities. And also, a side note, I'm not sure if it's the same with all the other books, but the pages in my copy of the book are so smooth... they feel so soft and pretty. I loved feeling them as I was reading. The cover art is also very tasteful. I love Marco with his magical umbrella, and Celia with the shadow of her birds. I also love the little swirls that surround the chapter titles and the black pages in between the parts.

Second, the actual storyline. It is such an original idea. It is a beautiful thought, and I am so glad that this was her end result. Celia was not included in the first several drafts of the novel, and was added towards the end. I'm so happy that this is the direction Erin went, because the story is simply gorgeous. The characters are all so mysterious in their own way, but I love them all. Especially Herr Thiessen. I do believe if I had to choose a favorite character it would be him. He is the one that seems to really tie the circus to the outside world. I loved his interaction with the circus, and descriptions of his clock, if I imagined it properly, utterly amaze me. It made me so devastated when he died. It was such a shocking twist that I did not expect at all. I also love the fact that Erin incorporates three different storylines into one big intertwining one. There's the second-person story, where you are a visitor in the circus and experience multiple tents and other things found in the circus, the main storyline with Celia and Marco's game, and the third storyline with Bailey, Poppet, and Widget. I am glad that she threw in Bailey's storyline along with the main storyline, because, like she said in an interview, it would have taken forever to introduce Bailey if she had kept to a single linear timeline. It added depth to the story. The main sotryline with Celia, Marco, and Isobel was a very interesting one. I love how all the characters bounce off of and intertwine with each other. There were so many mysteries involved with the story, I was pulled in from the very beginning. The whole challenge, or "game" concept was a new, refreshing idea. The twist at the end, where the game only ends when one player is left standing, was a bit of a shock. I kind of suspected, but I wasn't quite sure. And how they both end up living in a sort of... parallel universe almost, staying together and being able to live through the circus was a nice touch. They created the whole magical part of the circus, and now they are within it. I also liked the fact that it was two girls fighting for one guy, as opposed to the overly-used two guys fighting for one girl (i.e. The Hunger Games, Twilight, The Mortal Instrument Series, etc).

All in all, this book left only great, wonderful memories, and it is most definitely a book I could read over and over and over. I give it 5/4 stars because the story is unique, the characters are likable, and the flow of the words gave me a magical and whimsical outlook on the story as a whole. I couldn't ask for anything more with this story. It is simply perfect.
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Post by ALynnPowers » 25 Aug 2014, 07:25

No one has talked about this book for a couple of months now, and it's been quite a long time since I read it, but I just wanted to mention I loved this book. Now, I can't even remember the specifics about why I liked it so much, but I just remember feeling like I was hypnotized the whole time I was reading. I'm not even sure I took in 75% of the words on the page -- it was just all imagery and magical, and I actually remember commenting to someone that I felt like I was reading magic. And yes, my friend thought I was crazy.

I also remember something about a tree. And how much I lived the tree. I feel like I am going insane right now... but I seriously love the tree.

And I also love what the comment right above mine says about the story having two girls fight over one guy. That makes me giggle. I had forgotten about that.

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