Monday, June 30, 2014

THE NIGHT CIRCUS

What to Wear: All black, with a splash of red so you can be recognized.
What to Drink: Champagne.


Let's just get this out of the way: THIS IS THE BEST BOOK I'VE READ IN YEARS. It hit all my notes. I got lost in the story, finishing the book in two days, and I still miss it in a very real way. I usually wait awhile to reread novels, but this could be an exception. It's literary magic. From the detailed descriptions of everything within reach to the truly imaginative and tangible circus tents, I fell headlong into the world of The Night Circus. I am a true reveur. 

The Night Circus tells the stories of Celia Bowen and Marcus, two students of enchantment who have been trained in vastly different ways. Celia is practiced in discipline and showmanship, with a natural aptitude for magic (her shifty father is Prospero the Enchanter, after all), while Marcus, an orphan, learned his manipulations through books and the cryptic words of his benefactor, the mysterious Mr. A. H.— The two are preparing for a duel, set up buy their guardians, the details of which they are not privy.

The star of this story is the stage where said duel is meant to be carried out—The Night Circus itself, which appears with no warning, opening at sunset and closing at dawn. The tents are crowded with mazes made of clouds, frozen gardens, story-filled jars, perfect candied apples, a cast of captivating characters and enough dreamery to make any disbeliever blink rapidly, all contained behind a clock that morphs and moves to tell stories along with the time. Everyone who crosses the threshold (including the reader) is transported into a world so packed with fantasy and fascination, some refuse to forget it. Bailey is one such visitor, and his love of the black and white striped tents leads him down a path he could never have drawn without the pens of the circus' colorful players. 

Go pick up this book immediately. A movie version is undoubtedly in the works, and for once I'm excited to see what the cinematic minds can create from its bones, because Erin Morgenstern's visuals are made impossibly rich through words alone. Buy a ticket, peeking into as many tents as possible, or simply select a favorite and pass the hours within its confines. Become a reveur. Marvel at the Illusionist, whose tricks seem so seamless you are forced to wonder if you've left the earthly sphere. But don't ask too many questions. Some things are loved best as mysteries, and some mysteries are nothing short of magic.

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