The Night Circus

  • by Erin Morgenstern
  • Narrated by Jim Dale
  • 13 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Telling her tale with all the attention to detail that has led fans to compare her to such literary greats as H. G. Wells, Erin Morgenstern's world is as dark and thrilling as it is monochromatic.
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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A comic book in wolf's clothing

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

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.


If you’ve listened to books by Erin Morgenstern before, how does this one compare?

I haven't encountered her books before.


What aspect of Jim Dale’s performance might you have changed?

I feel this story needed a darker, richer, an altogether more lyrical voice.


Do you think The Night Circus needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

There wasn't enough substance in this for one book, let alone two.


Any additional comments?

I really loved the idea of this book but alas, it was all show and disappointment.

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- doomwaffle2000 "max555"

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.
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- Janice

Book Details

  • Release Date: 19-09-2011
  • Publisher: Random House AudioBooks