Sunday, 8 September 2013
152/111 - The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
I bought this book almost two years ago to the day. I bought it at Gatwick airport on my way to a holiday in France with Luke, and I remember being excited to but it because it had just come out and because I was at an airport I was able to get it in a large format paperback instead of a hardback, so that was a novelty. I had heard things about it and I remember being interested in it as the author wrote it, or started writing it, during NaNoWriMo and that now it has obviously been published by a major publishing house.
The reason I've read it is that it's the book I selected for my book club with my friends last time they were at my flat. I had loads of recommendations, however they wanted us to read something that none of us had read before, so I showed a few different ones to people and we decided on this, and we will be discussing it later this month when we all meet up again. The last book we had at book club was The Blind Assassin, which I didn't enjoy reading all that much.
This book was okay. I downloaded a copy onto my iPhone as well so that I could read bits on my lunch break without having to lug the book round with me, which was nice. I was always quite surprised by how much I had progressed in the physical copy of the book when I went back to it, which for me adds to the feeling that you should be able to have a physical copy and an e-book license for the books you buy. If they're doing this with CDs and DVDs nowadays, why not with books?
Anyway, onto the actual book. It's set in a world where magic is real, and you have two old dude magicians who have been challenging each other over the decades. In this instance, they must each train up a student so that they can do battle in a public arena, which takes place in this circus, called Le Cirque des Rêves. I really enjoyed the first half of the book, kind of getting them to the point where they were ready to do battle, however I felt that the second half dragged on quite a bit. This was partly to do with the overly flowery description of all the circus acts and tents and oh my goodness, how sumptuous and magical it all is, which became a little tiresome eventually. Obviously the two students, Celia and Marco end up falling in love, which puts a dent in the plans of their instructors.
I really enjoyed the story, however I didn't feel particularly close to any of the characters, and wasn't really invested in the love story element because I didn't care enough about the characters. They were a bit hollow, and I understood their motivations and their back stories, but for some reason I didn't care about them enough. I think I part because they all took themselves rather too seriously, and there wasn't much lightness or levity or anything.
So, this was fairly good and certainly entertaining, but not as amazing as I'd hoped.
Next, I really think I need to re-read The Shining, as Doctor Sleep is coming out in about two weeks, which I'm definitely going to want to buy and read immediately. Pretty exciting stuff.