“The circus arrives without warning.
No announcements precede it…
It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.”
You know when you read a book that is so good, so incredibly good that you read it in a day? Read would be the wrong word, consume maybe better, devour even best. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is one of these books. At first glance you wonder, is this a children’s book? For teens maybe? But no, it doesn’t have an age limit like that, it’s just a book, as magical to read as the story inside.
I don’t want to give away too much, I’m scared that if I even begin I’ll get carried away, but for those of you who have seen it, imagine a world that faintly reminds you of The Prestige. A world so completely real and tangible but based upon magic, not magic though – that’s a dirty word, they prefer manipulation or enchantment. Imagine those people who have the glass balls at fairs and allow them to flow from hand to hand, as fluid as water.
To put it as simply as possible, it’s about a Circus, Le Cirque des Reves, and a Challenge or Competition that cannot be simply abandoned or forgotten no matter what the cost or situation.
The magic of the book is woven into how it is structured. It is separated into five parts, each prefaced with commentary from a man called Frederick Thiessen. Occasionally there are other quotes, like this beautiful one from Oscar Wilde,
“A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.”
Which make it seem like maybe this world is real, maybe this Circus once was. The chapters are divided by location and year as the Circus travels the world – a miraculous feat for the time (the 1890s primarily) and occasionally you are indulged in an account of what it is to experience one of the rooms of the Circus. It makes it real, an actual experience, a dream.
This book completely absorbed me, it was a book that ended but the world within could keep going on indefinitely and made me feel lucky to have spent a little time within it. I would highly recommend reading this book. It is incredible. Full stop.
You can buy this book online here