November 2, 2011

The Night Circus

I’ve been planning and thinking on this post for a few weeks now. I feel like I have to choose my words very carefully so as to best convey how I really feel about ‘The Night Circus’ by Erin Morgenstern. I don’t want to say much of anything that might spoil one second of the experience you will have in reading this book. I took out half of what I wrote for this post because I want you to know as little as possible. Except for how cool it all is!

How’s this:

This is one of the best books I’ve ever read in my life.

Night Circus Book Trailer

The basic plot: A competition involving skills of magic, set in the forum of an enchanted traveling circus. About halfway through the story, the competition becomes something significantly more.
A third of the way in, it dawned on me, ‘Oh NO. At some point this book is going to end. And then what am I going to do?’ I thought and thought about what I should say, HOW I should say it. I realized that any words I use are going to be inadequate. I can’t tell you about this book. SHOWING you is a much better idea.

The light here is how I imagine the lights to be within the circus, just after it opens, before it turns dark.

Living statues, that move so slowly and imperceptibly, you’re not sure if they really moved at all, or if indeed they are really alive.

Magic illuminates. Or does it consume? Does it end? Should it end? What am I talking about? Never mind. Very cool picture.

Opens at nightfall, closes at dawn.” – from ‘The Night Circus’.

The Fortune Teller.

The Wishing Tree.

Clocks. Time runs backwards and forwards throughout the narrative – events sometimes unfold before you understand what happened to bring about that particular occurrence.

The Red Haired Girl.

The Ice Garden.

The Big Cat Tent.

This is a landscape of black and white. . . with dashes of red.


The Plot, while very intriguing, is almost secondary to the the world that Erin Morgenstern has created here. I’ve never been so completely wrapped up in the landscape of a literary world before. Erin’s entire universe of this circus that she’s envisioned is so complete, so perfectly realized. . . it’s totally unbelievable and I hear she is in talks for the creation of a film. There MUST be a film. What they’ll be able to do with the imagery. . . I can’t even imagine!

(I don’t want to say what this picture represents. Can’t reveal every amazing spectacle in the story.)

Go read the book and then come chat with me! Or chat with me now if you have!

This book has clearly had the same effect on others – there are tons of Pinterest boards that are devoted solely to ‘The Night Circus’. I’m hugely indebted to this incredible Pinterest board in particular, and also this one.

Although not as comprehensive, you can see my own Night Circus Pinterest board here. It’s my way of keeping the book alive in my memory!

I wanted to jump into the pages and never leave. I’ll be thinking about this one for the rest of my life.

(Image Credits: Pinterest)


  1. Oh dang it! I have a long list, and this one just might have to get bumped to the top.
    This sounds like just the kind of book I love! You have me excited, it's been too long since I have read a book that made me want to live in it :)

  2. Thanks for coming to visit Destri! You must read it RIGHT NOW!! Perfect time of year for it. It is so lovely, so interesting, so's been a month since I read it and I still think about it ALL THE TIME! (can you tell?) :) ~Melissa

  3. Arlene Smith11/3/11, 11:29 AM

    Ooohhh....I am going to have to check this one out! :)

  4. You will love it Arlene!!!!! ~Melissa

  5. you NAILED it. Nailed. Thanks for reminding me I'm not the only Night Circus obsessed one in the world. BTW, poppet, check out Erin's blog. And go to the link about no more sleep or some such thing that is a "theatrical event". Its making me think Miss Melissa and Sam need a trip to NYC...

  6. Tanika Kumar11/3/11, 5:15 PM

    I'm intrigued! I'm going to order it now. :)

  7. here you go.
    also: she painted her own deck of tarot cards called Phatomwise Tarot. Sigh. Can I just please make her my bestie and be done with the obsession???

  8. Yay Tanika!!!! Sam, I can't wait to wade all thru her site! -- I've been over there but I haven't gone thru all the nooks and crannies yet. I want to become a Tarot Reader now. Oh to see that show! I want to be a real reveur..... :)~Melissa

  9. This SOUNDS AMAZING!!!!

  10. Abbey you must read! Must Must! Such enchantment. I've read a few snipey reviews that felt like she missed the boat a tad on character development -- I disagree in that I feel like THE CIRCUS is far and away the most important character and as far as that goes, she hit it OUT OF THE PARK. ~Melissa

  11. I agree with the comment about wanting to LIVE in a book. I think the circus would be one of those experiences in which one has moments of both trepidation and great anticipation just before entering. Those are the most fun like a roller coaster ride. Add in magic and it's well....magical!

  12. Wow you took what I thought, while and after reading this amazing book, and posted it! Amazing book. Obsessed. Depressed it's over. Can't find anything else like it.

  13. Miss Tara Lee, I feel your pain!! Truly I do. Are you on Pinterest? There are so many wonderful Night Circus boards over there, way better than mine, it will totally extend the book experience a little for you! I am waiting for the movie.... can you imagine the fab of a movie? I wonder who would be a good Celia & Marco... ~Melissa

  14. This is a book that i will pick up all the time and reread! It's so good, I convinced my English teacher to let me do my quarter project on this book instead of the one I had picked out. So far, I've made a book trailer for it and when i present it to my class, i'm sure that half of them will flip out and try to steal the book from me. (but they mus'nt have's OURS!!!)

  15. Ha ha ha!! You made a book trailer?? You = AWESOME! When it's done, if you can come back with a link, I'd love to check it out!

  16. This brings to mind the traveling carnival in Ray Bradbury's "Something Wicked This Way Comes". I'll have to look for "The Night Circus", sounds fascinating - thanks for posting all the photos from Pinterest, too!

    1. Hi Wendy! So happy you stopped by :) -- yes, yes that struck a chord with as well, the Ray Bradbury aspect -- still stand by what I said last year, one of the best books I've ever read...

  17. I love the way you wrote this post - and all the pinterest pics are awesome too. I'm on page 95 so far and trying not to rush through it although I totally wanted to stay up all night and do it all at once. :)

    1. Thank you Leanne! I'm amazed at the mileage this post has garnered -- it just keeps going and going -- it's the most popular post I've ever written! I'm so glad you are enjoying the book, it's such a wonder of loveliness....:)

  18. Wow Melissa!! I love this review. I read this book back I think in January and absolutely LOVED IT! It's definitely one of my favorites as well of all time :) I loved how you used the images to express your love and ideas about the book, such a great idea. I think I'm going to have to reread it soon, because it was just soo good, and I usually don't reread because there are just so many books but this one deserves it. Thanks again for the post!

    1. I'm so glad you liked it Miss Jess! I have been waiting for just the right time to re-read it. Its been just shy of a year, I think it's time. :)

    2. I think I'm going to plan on rereading it in Oct/Nov. Doesn't that time of year just seem perfect for that book? :)

    3. oh yes! I think I'll do the same :)