This was honestly the most beautifully written book I have ever read – and I read, a lot.
The circus arrives without warning.
No announcements precede it…
It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.
Whenever I have (repeatedly) told people to read this book, the first thing they always say is “what’s it about?”. Which makes sense, I suppose. Though that is a particularly difficult question when asked in regards to this book. The Night Circus is the kind of book you don’t want to know anything about before you delve into it. It will be a completely unique read to everyone, and I fear in giving even a hint of that away, it will spoil it.
That being said, this is supposed to be a review, and so that is what I will give you – in the least revealing way possible.
From the first page to the very last, this book completely captivates you in its own kind of magic. It seemed to me as though time flowed differently whilst I was reading it – I could feel like I had lived weeks in the characters’ lives yet in reality only an hour or so had passed. Morgenstern writes everything with such intricate detail that I have never felt more at home in a book. The world of the circus comes to life, and I imagine the feeling of putting the book down is similar to the feeling of those dreamers that reluctantly leave come dawn. Every time I turned a page, the story got more and more fascinating. I wanted to know what everything meant immediately, but as I raced closer and closer to the finish, I found I never wanted the book to end. My immediate thought after closing the book was “I want to read it again”. It’s that powerful.
Some Goodreads users said that they felt the book was very slow, and that the amount of detail simply made it drag on. While I can see where they are coming from I can only wonder at how they did not find such detail incredible. The mysteries and magic interspersed with heartbreaking romance left me wanting nothing but to read more. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the emotions of the characters, that it is a conscious effort to pull yourself back into the real world. I found myself looking for the magic around every corner, only to be met with startling reality – not an ice rose in sight.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. If you’re looking for complete escapism, with incredible writing and magical story telling, then this is for you. People initially told me “it’s a love story”, and yes, that is a huge (and beautiful) element of the book. But the tale in itself does not rely on the romance. It is completely wonderful and entirely entrancing throughout, the love story simply enhances this.
If you only read one book this year, read The Night Circus. It is definitely going to stay with me for a long time, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I find myself rereading it before long. It is, much like the Wunschtraum clock utterly dreamlike. A dream I would enjoy living in.