"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

After completion of The Night Circus by Erin Morgensten it hit me that my opinion of the book went through a sort of evolution. Here is a timeline which helps demonstrate this evolving opinion of the book---
  • March 2012- I place a 'hold' on the audiobook version of The Night Circus at the public library. It seems to me that everyone in the blogosphere is reading or has read the book and I don't want to be left out. 
  • June 15- The 'hold' is ready for pick up at my local public library branch. I am delighted to learn that the performer for this audiobook is Jim Dale, the actor who read for all the Harry Potter audiobooks.
  •  June 18-29- Listening requires time and I don't have much with the wedding and work requirements. When time allows I listen to a disk at a time. Early enthusiasm vanishes as the tedious, boring bits are amplified by the audio format. I do enjoy Jim Dale's narration. I don't have an actual copy of the book so I can't read ahead when listening is impossible. I tell my daughter, who listens with me occasionally, that I wasn't prepared for the mundane/boring parts. It is also confusing with the time jumps back and forth. I am frustrated but continue listening in an effort to finish. 
  • July 2- The wedding is over and I have to spend several hours in the car returning rental items and running errands. I'm on the last two disks of The Night Circus when suddenly everything clicks. I become completely captivated by the love story, by the stalemate, and especially the conclusion where the reader learns who and why the story is told. 
  • July 4- In preparation for this blog post I read a few professional reviews of The Night Circus. Most are surprisingly negative. I think there is no way the reviewer read the book to the end. It feels like they are stuck in the middle somewhere. 
As a teen librarian students often return books unfinished. They tell me that they just couldn't "get in to the book", but if I push for details they usually admit that they read only a few pages or one chapter. They abandoned the book without giving it a fair chance. That is the way I felt about The Night Circus. If I had abandoned it in the middle, when things seemed a bit tedious or boring, I would have missed the magical ending where all the pieces are drawn together, where the prose penetrated my psyche, swept me up and carried me away.

 Don't miss that final experience.

20 books in July Reading Challenge

2 / 20 books. 10% done!


  1. I had mixed feelings about the book, but am 100% happy that I read it. It was an unusual and captivating read.

  2. I haven't read this, but I've heard it's for a certain kind of reader. I used to not let myself finish a book I wasn't enjoying, but there are so many books i really want to read out there that now if a book is really bad, I won't finish it.

  3. I feel like I should read this one, but am afraid it is too magical realism for me.

    I just finished Chris Crutcher's The Sledding Hill for your challenge! http://www.helensbookblog.com/2012/07/review-sledding-hill-by-chris-crutcher.html

  4. I actually really loved this book, so this is biased, BUT, I don't think audio does this book any favors. I talked to a couple people on goodreads who did this with the audio book and found the time jumps confusing and most of the book to be incredibly frustrating. Not to say you couldn't dislike it on paper, because a lot of people have, I just think that the audio version on this one makes it a lot harder.


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