The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

This book has been reviewed extensively – 37,000+ reviews on Goodreads – so, briefly, I enjoyed it. It’s not perfect, but the ending was, for me, unexpected. And that is one criterion for a good read.

Maybe I haven’t read enough fantasy, but this book reminded me of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, which was fantastic and very original. I recommend Night Circus to someone who is looking for a magical experience without too much logic or character development.

For a sampling of the mixed reactions reviewers have had to this book, read on. Olivia Laing writing for The Observer compared the book to an “eminently intriguing cabinet of curiosities” with an intricate but unmoored setting and colorful but clockwork characters.” Laura Miller writing for Salon appreciated the “aesthetic fantasia with all the trimmings” but not the plot itself. Stacey D’Erasmo writing in the New York Times observed that “True magic is dangerous, and there is little of that sort of propulsive danger in these pages; where it does occur is surprising, and oddly marginalized.”

These comments may be absolutely true, but it doesn’t make the book unreadable or unenjoyable. I do not regret the time I spent reading it.

The Night Circus won an Alex Award from the American Library Association in 2012. The novel spent seven weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list, reaching number two on the hardcover fiction list.

The film and TV rights to The Night Circus has been optioned, and a film is reportedly (Wikpedia) being produced. A writer was hired in February 2012 to write the screenplay. What has happened since then? Apparently, this process can take forever or never. So read the book instead.


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