Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

This is one of those books that makes you feel bad if you haven't read it. Must be the fame and praise for it. Anyway, I finally saw a copy I could borrow and got down to reading it.

My verdict? I liked it, although I won't say it's life-changing.

So basically, The Night Circus is about a competition, and how the two competitors fall in love. Since the competition is the kind where only one can win, this is a bit of a problem. Plus, Marco (the guy competitor)'s girlfriend Isobel works in the circus where Celia (the lady competitor) works. I expected this to be a bigger detail, but it wasn't. It was mostly about them falling in love and not wanting to compete and not knowing what the competition was about.

Despite my terrible attempt at a summary, the book was actually pretty good. I liked the fact that there was a very varied cast of supporting characters, from the uncaring father/mentor to the dreamy farm-boy who has an intense interest in the circus. Most of the characters that are mentioned are actually fairly important to the plot, so you don't have to worry about too many characters that make one appearance and then disappear forever.

My only complaint is that the novel seems to have no sense of time. Of course, this is probably intentional (going by what one of the characters say), but it was confusing. One moment the kids are little, the next their teenagers. In the blink of an eye, a year has passed. The characters that you think are kids are suddenly grown up and running the show.

Speaking of the kids, Poppet and Widget, who grew up in the circus, I wonder why their parents are almost never mentioned. The two kids are important and fleshed out, but all I know about their parents is their job description. I don't think I even know their names.

Overall, this was an interesting book. I can't say that it's in my favourites or that I'll read it over and over and over again, but I did enjoy the language (I thought the present tense worked very well), and the plot and characters was interesting.

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