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Beautiful,
Brilliant,
Interesting

68 reviews

The Night Circus
by Erin Morgenstern

Published: 2011-09-13
Kindle Edition : 400 pages
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136 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 57 of 68 members
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. ...
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Introduction

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway?a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love?a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.


From the Hardcover edition.

Amazon Best Books of the Month, September 2011: Erin Morgenstern's dark, enchanting debut takes us to the black and white tents of Le Cirque des Reves, a circus that arrives without warning, simply appearing when yesterday it was not there. Young Celia and Marco have been cast into a rivalry at The Night Circus, one arranged long ago by powers they do not fully understand. Over time, their lives become more intricately enmeshed in a dance of love, joy, deceit, heartbreak, and magic. Author Morgenstern knows her world inside and out, and she guides the reader with a confident hand. The setting and tone are never less than mesmerizing. The characters are well-realized and memorable. But it is the Night Circus itself that might be the most memorable of all. --Chris Schluep

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway?a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love?a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.

Excerpt

Chapter One
Anticipation

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices on downtown posts and billboards, no mentions or advertisements in local newspapers. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. The towering tents are striped in white and black, no golds and crimsons to be seen. No color at all, save for the neighboring trees and the grass of the surrounding fields. Black-and-white stripes on grey sky; countless tents of varying shapes and sizes, with an elaborate wrought-iron fence encasing them in a colorless world. Even what little ground is visible from outside is black or white, painted or powdered, or treated with some othercircus trick. But it is not open for business. Not just yet. Within hours everyone in town has heard about it. By afternoon the news has spread several towns over. Word of mouth is a more effective method of advertisement than typeset words and exclamationpoints on paper pamphlets or posters. It is impressive and unusual news, the sudden appearance of amysterious circus. People marvel at the staggering height of the tallest tents. They stare at the clock that sits just inside the gates that no one can properly describe. And the black sign painted in white letters thathangs upon the gates, the one that reads: ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

Why do you think that an effect of the circus is to prolong the lives of those associated with it?
by MelindaHook (see profile) 09/29/14

Discuss the use of color and What it represents in the book.
What role does time play in the book?
who is your favorite character and how do you relate to them?
by rachelbmor (see profile) 05/09/14

As the book ends, do you think the circus continues through the years?
How does the circus represent each individual reader's search for something they are passionate about?
by bjackso5 (see profile) 03/28/14

there are many great discussion lists available on the web.
by PEP2312 (see profile) 08/29/13

There were quotes from Shakespeare in the book. How did these themes used in the story?
What were the biblical themes in the book?
by shirleydavid (see profile) 08/23/13

What was your favorite tent and why?
How did time play a role in the story?
Would you get involved in such a project if it also meant time (aging) would stop for you?
by poohnuts26 (see profile) 04/21/13

If you had to choose one room from the circus to stay in for the rest of your life, which would you choose?
by elocin (see profile) 03/15/13

We each had to describe out own tent.
by AutumnJewel (see profile) 09/11/12

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

Was The Night Circus written during National Novel Writing Month?

A very sprawling, very rough draft of The Night Circus was first written in a few different Novembers of NaNoWriMo. Almost the entire book was rewritten and revised before it got from there to the finished version. To give you an idea of how much: Celia isn’t in that first sprawling draft. It is a lot of stuff about the circus but not a lot of plot, but it gave me something to work from.

Will there be a sequel to The Night Circus?

No. Maybe someday I’ll write a circus-set something but it would more likely be a collection of short pieces as there are so many stories floating around the edges. I don’t think it needs a “this is what happened next” sort of sequel. I like that it is one book with a beginning and an end. Not every book needs to be a series.

Will the circus be published in French/Chinese/Russian etc?

There are quite a few foreign editions both already published and forthcoming. I don’t have a full list or publication dates but chances are the answer is yes, and if it’s not available now it will be at some point.

Is there going to be a movie?

Maybe. This will continue to be the answer for a good long time because anything can happen in the strange and mysterious world of film production. The film rights have been optioned by Summit Entertainment, which means they have the option to make The Night Circus into a film. They are indeed working on it but I do not personally know all that much about what’s going on with it at any given point. When there are official updates, I’m sure the internet will know.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by ChandlerB (see profile) 10/23/14

 
by MrsSims (see profile) 10/23/14

 
  "Night Circus"by MelindaHook (see profile) 09/29/14

I couldn't get enough of this book. It was so different and fun and mysterious, I can't actually pinpoint what I loved about it. It's one of those books that just pulls you in and you can't wait to finish... (read more)

 
by tgunder88 (see profile) 08/26/14

 
by laurenjschumann (see profile) 07/31/14

 
by msmith05 (see profile) 06/16/14

 
  "Absolutely loved this book !!"by ryan_ggg (see profile) 06/09/14

Absolutely loved this book !!

 
by demott (see profile) 05/21/14

 
  "night circus"by rachelbmor (see profile) 05/09/14

This steampunk era novel was one of my favorite books my book club has read. Everyone loved it! The author put a lot of thought into her characters and setting. I want to go to the night circus!!

 
  "Night Circus"by jpr1506 (see profile) 04/25/14

Started out a little confusing but then you get into the rhythm of the writing and well worth reading. Amazed at the story line and character interaction. Loved it!

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