Saturday, 10 January 2015

The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern

I’ve been writing this blog and then rewriting it for a few hours now and I’m still struggling to find the right words to find to write about The Night Circus. Not because I don’t have an opinion on the book or because I didn’t enjoy it but because it’s so complicated and confusing it’s very difficult to write about it without revealing spoilers.
The Night Circus is full of mysteries, which I loved reading. I’ve read so many books that are so predictable and you can guess the ending a few pages in, you certainly aren’t doing this with The Night Circus. In short, the story is about a magic challenge that characters Celia and Marco have been bound together to undertake. The challenge is something that is set by Celia’s father and his magician nemesis that both have different ideas about how magic should be learnt and performed. Neither Celia or Marco are sure of the rules of the game or how they go about winning, so naturally you as a reader are kept in the dark too and don’t actually discover more until the final section of the book.
I found myself so absorbed in finding out Marco and Celia’s challenge and wanting to discover which one of them would win the contest that perhaps I read through other sections a little quicker. The book doesn’t just tell one story; it tells multiple tales that take place in different time periods in different chapters and just flits between them. The more you read, the more confused you get and you start to wonder what on earth the relevance to the book the chapters that aren’t about Marco and Celia have to the story. Then suddenly in the last few chapters before you realise it, everything comes together and every one of the other chapters seem to weave effortlessly into Celia and Marco’s story.   
Although I did enjoy this book on first read, at some point in the future I certainly would like to read through the book again. I think that now I know the ending of the story I would enjoy reading it much more than I did the first time round. I also think the wonderful descriptions of the circus would be more appreciated on a second read as I’d be able to fully absorb them and its fairy tale like magical world rather than focussing my attention elsewhere.  
The Night Circus is confusing, makes no sense and has somewhat of a slow story build up. But really, all of those points are exactly why this book is so brilliant. I can now see exactly why people have recommended me this book to read on multiple occasions. It truly is difficult to write about the book and I can see some people really despising this book. It has some lovely descriptions of the circus but the slow, confusing narrative could really put some people off. Personally, I enjoyed reading The Night Circus and I think if you enjoy the fantasy genre you should give the book a read and decide for yourself if it lives up to the hype.

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