Disclaimer: If you are sensitive to gushing and fits of joy you may want to proceed with caution or turn around.
This was the one book out of the Book Expo America (BEA) buzz that caught my eye and I just had a feeling it was for me. I am so pleased that the folks at Doubleday had an Advance Reader’s Edition (ARC) to send my way. I am going to treat myself to a copy as well when I pick up copies for friends because that cover is brilliant indeed.
The world that Erin Morgenstern has created in THE NIGHT CIRCUS was like no other I have had the pleasure of entering. It started slow with chapter upon chapter building the foundation for the circus that would arrive. The tone is dark from the start but brilliant flashes of illumination shoot out at you as the story unfolds in your hands.
While this is Celia and Marco’s story, the circus is supported by many worthy characters. C & M have mentors that spends years preparing them for something, but they and we are not exactly sure what is ahead. And then there is Chandresh Lefevre the master of ceremonies, he is colorful, imaginative, perhaps on the edge of sanity and breathes life into the circus. When Chandresh appears there is always a splash of color. And then there is the architect, clockmaker, costumer and the performers too.
These characters are pieces magnificently crafted by Morgenstern moving around the chess board that is THE NIGHT CIRCUS. Morgenstern, to her credit, allows different characters to make moves during the book. Yet, at some point it seems the characters take over and might be Morgenstern’s check mate move because she let them.
The gates of the THE NIGHT CIRCUS, known as Cirque des Reves, are only open to visitors at night. From the meticulously detailed clock crafted for the circus that marks the time till the circus opens and then closes; to the cauldron that shoots out sprays of light to announce the circus has opened for the night you know you are somewhere special from your first step inside.
This is a world of black and white, the tents house acts which defy the bounds of reality and never cease to amaze those lucky to visit the circus each and every night. Oh and the detail of the outfits and attractions are just stunning. I found myself reaching out to touch and rereading the passages to take it all in as this is a circus of the mind. The circus mysteriously appears and disappears around the world. And even if you have visited before, you are enticed to return night after night, year after year because it is constantly evolving.
As soon as I entered the gates of the Cirque des Reves I knew this was a world that had to be seen on the big screen. I was not surprised to find out that it has been scooped up by a production company. I trust this will be one of the lucky properties that actually make it to the big screen, I will be in line on opening day when the movie arrives.
My only criticism, is the skipping around in time of the chapters that occurs throughout the book. This occurred way often for my taste and I had to do a lot of back tracking to ensure I was onboard with the order of events. I would have preferred it just to be a straight read and in the end I am still not sure what was gained by the out-of-order sequence.
Take care, unless you have the power to stop time you will want to start and finish without the interruptions of life. Exquisitely crafted and stunningly spun, this is a top pick for me and I hope everyone buys a ticket to visit THE NIGHT CIRCUS. THE NIGHT CIRCUS supports the Poof…books mission that magic is found inside the pages of every book.