Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Night Circus

The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern was an entertaining read.

I loved the idea of the story before I even opened the cover to the first page. A traveling circus that only takes place at night, with real magic disguised as trickery. A long-standing duel that evolves into a love story between rivals.

The visual descriptions of the black and white circus are pure confection. I was imagining how different scenes would be rendered by different film directors. Tim Burton would bring the spinning clocks and Ice Palace a sinister underglow,  Ang Lee would bring passion to the scenes with star-crossed lovers, and Wes Anderson would be able to bring his quirky sensibilities to play with an interesting cast of characters.

One of my favourites was Bailey. An audience member who falls in love with the circus itself, who, because of fate's twists and turns, inherits the responsibility of taking over its management.  It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it.

I can’t say I whole-heartedly recommend the book. I found it to be overly long, despite the enjoyable descriptions. The editor should have insisted on trimming one-third to one-half the pages. My other complaint was the scrambling of the timeline and telling the story out of sequence. Although the technique calls to mind the shuffling of a Tarot deck, it added more confusion to the story than suspense or counterpoint.

This is one of the Book Babes upcoming picks for January, so I’m getting a jump on the reading.

Good Reads rates this one 4 out of 5 stars, but my personal take is....
*** out of 5. An entertaining summer read. Candy floss fiction.

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