Well, it’s time to slowly catch up on my backlog of book reviews. 🙂 And my Shakespeare course is inspiring me to write more often, so here’s the first of the lot. Here is a book review of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.
I had been hearing about this book for over a year; a lot of good things and a few bad things and I hesitated before trying it for myself because I’m very picky about the books that I read, which is why I can’t remember giving a book less than three stars in the recent past. I have been in the mood for slightly lighter reads, and I have been reading a lot more science fiction, magic realism and even some fantasy, which makes for quite a change because I generally only read ‘literary’ fiction. This is evidenced by the fact that I finally read Game of Thrones. (Woot woot!) By ‘lighter’ fiction, I don’t mean books that are necessarily happy, but books that tell stories that aren’t innately socially important and consequently gut-wrenching. Now that we’ve established that, let us talk about the book itself. I bought it on my Kindle before going on my trip to Shillong, and I started reading it on the plane.
I gave this book 4 stars. It had its flaws, for sure, in that it left me quite bewildered about the timeline in places, but overall it was a magical read. I am not one to use that word lightly, and I really do mean magical! It was all about the atmosphere the author creates with her words. The descriptions of the night circus really evoked all the senses, and the imagery was almost overwhelming.
I liked the main characters very much, but I found the love story a bit unconvincing to be honest. It didn’t damage the overall veracity of the story, though, so I digested it reasonably well. The other secondary love story was something I adored far more. I won’t give away anything about it because I want you to experience that, it you read this book.
I really liked the ending of the book even though I didn’t like the climax. The reason for this is that the characters and the night circus itself far outweighed the story itself, which is actually more impressive than not, when one thinks about it. Towards the end of the book, I didn’t feel like stopping and I skipped going to dinner with my friends and stayed in, read the book and ate chips. I didn’t feel satiated until I’d finished reading it. Now that’s powerful!
My favourite character in the book is Widget, and anyone who reads the book will immediately be able to tell why, I think. Again, I won’t give anything away because everything about this book is in the atmosphere and the people.
This is a book well worth the read, and Erin Morgenstern has earned herself a life-long fan. I am given to understand that she’s writing another book, and I will definitely pick it up, despite the flaws in this book, because I feel like she’s one of those writers who’ll mature with experience. This was very much a first novel, very raw and emotional and somewhat exotic, but it was an excellent novel nonetheless. It transcended its flaws somehow. It’s worth a shot for sure.
That’s all for now,