NPBC – The Night Circus

It’s time for another session of the No Pressure Book Club!

This month’s selection is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will.
To read the full description, click on the title link above!

Meeting location is Starbucks. Skinny iced peppermint mocha, please and thank you!

Unfortunately, I was unable to meet with the group last night. Driving along the route I chose to take, I noticed this:

My first thoughts were hmm something’s burning. The wildfire in Colorado came to mind. We will be traveling out there next Saturday to spend the week visiting my parents.

Getting closer to where I would get on the interstate the smoke was stronger.

The picture can not do it justice… the smoke was incredibly dark and thick, it appeared to be boiling and rolling upwards. Across the street police vehicles had traffic stopped and I thought perhaps there was a fire at an old factory area that is further down the road.

Turning onto the on-ramp for the interstate I noticed that traffic was at a standstill. Coming to the end of the ramp I could see people, out of their vehicles, standing on the road. Another vehicle was circling back around, the driver told me that there had been a wreck involving a truck and 18 wheeler.. they were on fire. To read the article of what happened click here. Following the previous vehicle, I circled and drove down the on-ramp(that in itself felt very weird.. wrong way!), making my way back to the interchange into what was an ever-growing sea of vehicle confusion. I made it home safely, grateful not to be involved in anymore than what was encountered.

This morning, Shellie – the founder of the NPBC – filled me in on some of the discussion and let me know I was missed by the group. Here are some highlights followed by my own thoughts.
** Spoiler Alert** Please do not read this section if you do not want to know any details about the book.

The group:

1. agreed they liked/loved the book. Two loved it and two of us liked it–(I’m in the liked group)

2. Poppet and Widget were beloved characters, Celia was also a favorite. Bailey was also well liked. I agree. One lady, P, believed Marco had an evil streak in him. I liked him, but didn’t care how long he strung Isobel along. I understand tho, he had a need for friendship with someone since his life lacked so little social interaction and I feel Isobel took her feelings further than Marco expressed. But he could have set clearer boundaries for their friendship/relationship.

3. wished there was more information provided about the two father/master/trainer figures and the reasoning behind and details of the duels. Also, despised the evilness in how “Prospero” treated and “trained” Celia. agreed and agreed.

4. discussed that it was a very detailed book. Yes, I really liked trying to picture the elements of the circus in my head.

5. everyone liked the ending of the book. It is believed there maybe a sequel, if not a trilogy, of the story. Speculating on what the story may continue to develop into: perhaps it gets darker, one that goes into a good vs evil theme. One lady, K, she hopes it evolves into a deeper storyline with the characters involved and to include more info on the father/master/trainer figures with more action into the account. I, too, liked the ending. Also wondered if the parts that were read as if you were in the circus was actually the story that Widget is telling, as per the request of the Man in Grey “A”, to own the circus.

The Night Circus unfolded in a different direction than I was expecting when starting it. Based on the description I imagined more: more action based duels, different uses of magic, more interactions between the two magicians, more information. However, I came to enjoy their displays and admiration of each other. The labyrinth they worked on together, each room an answer to the other’s previous design, I imagine would have been wonderful to explore. Not to mention the circus itself: the sights, sounds and smells.

Personally, I would like to read the book through again. A lot of switching back and forth occurs: of dates, of stories, and point of views. Now that I know what happens (and what not to expect) a reevaluation of the story and connecting details I may have skimmed over or not fully grasped the first read through will be interesting.

What were your thoughts about The Night Circus? Anything in particular stand out to you?

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2 thoughts on “NPBC – The Night Circus

  1. Great review – though how scary that your drive to the club ended with a cloud of smoke! I can only imagine what that must have looked like in person.

    I really, really want to read The Night Circus. It’s been on my list forever! I had heard that it was hard to follow on the first read so I think re-reading is a great idea. You’ll have to let us know if it makes the book even better.

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