Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Erin Morgenstern's Victorian-era fantasy, The Night Circus, has already received much attention. Two old magicians each train a student from early childhood in order to use them as pawns in their game. The competition takes the form of a fabulous circus and lasts for many years. The entirely black-and-white circus contains marvels of every kind. The conceit that circus goers remain totally ignorant of the fact that magic makes it all happen seems pretty far-fetched, however.

As often happens with something that I've been meaning to read for ages, it was the audiobook that propelled the story from TBR to reading underway. The incomparable Jim Dale is the narrator for the Random House edition [13.5 hours]. Morgenstern's broad cast of characters are all pretty much placeholders to move the action forward, but Dale imbues each person with vitality and a distinct voice. I don't know if I would have persevered with the printed book but I enjoyed being immersed via audio. The circus itself is the star of the novel.

I would recommend this to readers who enjoy historical fiction imbued with magic and a touch of romance.

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