The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there when yesterday it was not. The black sign, painted in white letters that hangs upon the gates, reads:
Opens at Nightfall
Closes at Dawn
As the sun disappears beyond the horizon, all over the tents small lights begin to flicker, as though the entirety of the circus is covered in particularly bright fireflies. When the tents are all aglow, sparkling against the night sky, the sign appears.
Le Cirque des Rêves
The Circus of Dreams.
Now the circus is open.
Now you may enter.
Erin Morgenstern is a writer and a multimedia artist who describes all her work as “fairy tales in one way or another.” She has a degree in Theatre from Smith College, an ever-growing collection of jewellery made from skeleton keys, and a cat on her lap. She lives in Massachusetts. THE NIGHT CIRCUS is her first novel.
The Review By Kimberly Livingston ~ The Night Circus
The Circus Arrives Without Warning…..
Over my many years as a reader I have come across gems of novels that become permanent residents on my bookshelves; to be pulled down and dusted off on occasion and re-read like connecting with an old college friend. Not until The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, however, had I ever finished a book, immediately turned back to the beginning and read it again, and then a third time. I am currently in possibly my 13th reading of the novel, though spacing reading intervals at more closely to the passing of the equinoxes than moons now. I would have been the quintessential rêveur! Still, like the tents in the story, The Night Circus never ceases to divulge new secrets with each reading.
I am a plot person, through and through. Some people savour books, I devour them! I also am not one to play a movie in my head, neither visualizing the characters nor the setting. When I read, generally, I hear words in my head. I may occasionally see action, perhaps a backdrop, but never details. Perhaps this is why The Night Circus is so bewitching to me. Ms. Morgenstern’s setting and characters are painted so vividly that with each reading I have slowed myself to be immersed in the sensory overload she writes with. To see the colors, smell the caramel aroma coming off the pages is a feat never before has an author accomplished for me. Truly, The Night Circus is Le Cirque des Rêves…. The Circus of Dreams.
The product of a NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month) inspiration, Ms Morgenstern has now attained cult status. Google Night Circus anything and you will come up with everything from inspired art, party and wedding themes, right down to the wannabe cast list for the movie many are hoping will someday become a reality. (Mine stars Robert Downey Junior as Chandresh, Helen Mirren as Tante Padva, and Donald Sutherland and Sir Ian McKellen as Prospero and Mr. A.H-)
But I have decided a movie could never truly do Ms. Morgenstern’s novel justice. As talented as these actors are, and as much as I love them (yes, I did just find a way to admit publicly that I love RDJ), they will never be able to become the characters in my mind. So I have given up on that and come up with an even better Wunschtraum. The Night Circus and Cirque du Soleil, I have decided, are the match made in heaven. No other company today pushes the boundaries of what is possible in theater to the same extent that Chandresh Christophe Lefèvre of The Night Circus could hope for. No other venue could entice all the senses as much.
Until the time that others realize the perfection of that union, I will have to content myself with falling in love with Ms. Morgenstern’s short, sharp writing in this novel all over again. Happy 131st birthday to Le Cirque des Rêves!
The various colourful book jackets!
Huge thanks to Kimberly Livingston for your review. All opinions are Kimberly’s own.