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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.
29 of 30 people found this review helpful
The ideas are very interesting but the story stays at the surface. It takes a long time to unfold and it barely manages that. Also the fragmented chapters don't help. Really a pity there wasn't much depth or development since the first time meeting the citcus was enchanting.
Also the narator does some really akward voices.
I had to make myself finish this book.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to The Night Circus the most enjoyable?
It was so different to any other story I've read/heard. I could imagine the colours and how awesome it would be to make into a movie.
Who was your favorite character and why?
I didn't have a favourite, I was very intrigued as to how they each had importance in the story.
What about Jim Dale’s performance did you like?
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
You’re walking aimlessly through a bookshop looking for a new read. You don’t quite know what you are looking for but you feel as though you’ll recognize it when you see it…
I recognized The Night Circus the second I saw it as something I needed to read. Whether I would enjoy or even finish it I wasn’t sure but something told me that I needed to at least try.
This is not an easy book to define but I’ll do my best. It’s essentially two interwoven stories, one tells the tale of a boy visiting the circus each year or so when it passes through his town. He makes friends with two of the children who work in the circus with a charming kitten show and together they explore all the amazing wonders of the circus and it’s seemingly infinite number of tents. One holds a winter wonderland of snow and ice, another simply holds a bowl of perfect black stones that take away your tears for a night. From incredible to subtly beautiful the boy of course falls in love with the circus so the rest of the world is merely a grey blur in comparison.
The other story is that of the two magicians who created and are still creating the great circus. Marco and Celia are in love and though they met as adults they have been in love their whole lives, writing love letters to one another through each magical tent they create. But they are merely pawns in a bigger, darker game played between Celia’s father and Marco’s mentor. The two lovers have been pitted against each other in a battle of wills and power, a battle to the death.
The Night Circus is not for everyone. It doesn’t read like your usual linear story in fact it reads rather like a painting or rather one of those long tapestries. I’m not sure I would want to read too many stories written this way, but this was so beautifully constructed that I could possibly enjoy a few like it.
One thing I think I should mention - The narration didn't quite do this story justice. I can't really fault the narrator BUT I can't help but think this story would have been more enjoyable if read by an English lady.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful