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Night Circus
Erin Morgenstern
"NEW YORK TIMES" BESTSELLERThe 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 u...

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Comment from [Reddit user] with 15 upvotes on /r/books/


The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern: The premise had me intrigued and I went into this with a bit of a high expectation, but I'm left underwhelmed. Frankly, it reads like a case of 'style over substance' to me. I have to acknowledge the author's imaginative prowess, and her ability to write vivid descriptions and conjure atmospheric and whimsical scenarios. There are pretty imageries and eloquent phrasings, and they help enliven the titular circus and all its nitty-gritties on the pages. There's an atmosphere of mystery and ethereality that I initially enjoyed, but that initial enthusiasm started losing its hold on me as I realised this book is primarily a 'setting-driven' narrative, where the circus forms the foreground and the characters function as devices working behind the scenes (both figuratively and literally, in a way) instead of the other way round. This in and of itself might have had been fine and dandy if that were to be the end goal, but my problem with it arises from the fact that it expects the reader to care about and sympathise with the characters and their ordeals (that are established and handled in a superficial manner), when it makes little to no effort to enable us to do that. The characters come off as hollow caricatures that are mostly defined by their abilities and affiliation with the circus rather than as properly fleshed out individuals. This - combined with the constant back-and-forth jumps through time that lead to a disjointed plot with isolated scenes loosely strung together instead of a cohesive narrative - makes it difficult to be invested in much of the things, including the romantic subplots.

Crazy Rich Asians, by Kevin Kwan: The extraness of the flamboyant rich people talking about going on a shopping spree in a foreign country like one would talk about taking a trip at a moment's notice to the nearest convenience store in the neighbourhood, was kinda amusing at some points but nowhere near 'outrageously funny' as the blurb claims the book to be. I feel the narrative does a half-decent job where it attempts to go for a mock-heroic effect ("...the dinner began with military precision as a battalion of waiters marched in with glowing LED-domed trays"), but the 'serious' drama that ensues halfway through is stuff straight out of Korean and Indian soap operas. Maybe it's due to my familiarity with these shows and the tropes prevalent in Asian television entertainment in general that the tacky, over-the-top drama in the book left me feeling plain indifferent towards the whole affair involving scheming (prospective) in-laws and jealous love rivals and what not. But an even bigger gripe is how dull and flat majority of the characters are, particularly the two main leads. Astrid and Michael are the only characters that I found kinda interesting, but overall the cast is nothing to write home about because they're defined in terms of only two things: physical appearance and lineage. A review on GR said it succinctly: Shallow characters don't mean shallowly-written characters, and the author of this book clearly didn't pick up on that memo.

A Caribbean Mystery, by Agatha Christie: Perhaps the best thing about Christie's books is that you can pick any of them at random and go into it blind and know that you can't go wrong with it. Of course, there might be some titles that can be said to be critically better than others and some that you happen to personally like more than others, but almost all of them are good reads overall. I breezed through this particular book to pass the time on a train journey and, although I won't claim it as a favourite, it served its purpose well - it kept me entertained from start to finish. This also happened to be my first book starring Miss Marple.

Currently reading 4:50 from Paddington, by Agatha Christie and Before I Go to Sleep, by S.J. Watson. Enjoying the former and slogging through the latter.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 11 upvotes on /r/books/

The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern

Mortal Engines, by Philip Reeve

TNC was a delightful jambalaya of The Prestige, The Great Gatsby & Romeo and Juliet. Loved the book.

ME was pretty much an average YA book, at least plot and characters & dialogue wise. The concept of traction cities was unique and fun doe.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 11 upvotes on /r/books/

Finished: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, by Carson McCullers on Sunday. Such an incredible book, without a doubt my favorite read so far this year. Like other readers who have reviewed the book, I can't get over how a young woman in her late teens and early 20s (I assume McCullers began writing the novel in her late teens, as it was published when she was 23 and it would seem a first novel would take several years to complete) could possibly write something which shows such depth of wisdom and authenticity of human experience! It is truly remarkable. I want to read her further works. The Member of the Wedding sounds like it would make a good choice.

Started: The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern. Only have read the introductory chapter, so can't really say much beyond I enjoyed the physical description of the circus itself.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 10 upvotes on /r/books/

About halfway through The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern and almost done with Crazy Rich Asians, by Kevin Kwan. Have mixed feelings about both of them thus far, but gotta acknowledge Morgenstern's ability to write vivid descriptions, and Kwan's extensive knowledge of designer labels and luxury bands.

Started The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison. I recently finished reading Morrison's Song of Solomon and, while I usually don't read books by the same author and/or from the same genre back to back, I made an exception in this case because I'm craving for more of Morrison's rich, evocative prose. Was initially thinking of picking up Sula but then got curious about her first published novel.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 10 upvotes on /r/books/

Mozart in the Jungle, by Blair Tindall - A non-fiction about the world of classical music. I really enjoyed it, and would recommend to anyone whose interested in the subject.

The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern - The characters were pretty flat, but the atmosphere and the beautiful writing made up for that.

Dragonfly in Amber, by Diana Gabaldon - I'm liking this even better than Outlander. Beautifully written, complex story and characters. It's a 900+ page book but I might just finish it in three days.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 8 upvotes on /r/books/

I finished The Alchemist by Paul Coelho last week and I really didn't like the book. In the words of a fellow redditor, the message was overbearing and none of the characters were relatable to me in any way.

I started The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and so far, I am really enjoying the imagery!

Comment from [Reddit user] with 8 upvotes on /r/books/

Finished Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison. An emotionally evocative story and a remarkably good take on the bildungsroman genre. There's an undercurrent of poignancy running throughout the narrative, but certain parts of it in particular are subtly heartbreaking - perhaps not necessarily the break-into-a-fit-of-tears kind of heartbreaking but the kind that makes you feel a sudden heaviness settling in your chest. One of the things that stood out to me about the narrative is how, for a high-octane drama, it can also be lowkey humorous at times. Sometimes it's both at once - deeply poignant and delightfully witty. Morrison's writing is rich and impactful, and the narrative is packed with a lot of powerful and eloquently-written passages. My favourite is perhaps this.

Started The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern and Crazy Rich Asians, by Kevin Kwan. I wanted something that's both engaging and easy to breeze through as palate cleanser that's not thriller/detective fiction, and these two titles seemed to fit the bill.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 6 upvotes on /r/books/

The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern

It was a summer reading book that right from the beginning I was hooked onto. Really enjoyed it. It made me want to be in the world of the book just to experience what the Night Circus is like.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 6 upvotes on /r/books/

Finished: There There, by Tommy Orange

Almost finished: Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro

Starting: The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern

Comment from [Reddit user] with 5 upvotes on /r/books/

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

First part drew me in but it's such a hot mess. Having difficulty continuing, but it's my last book of the year and I'm still hoping to get it done before new year comes. Superstition, I guess! Lol

Comment from [Reddit user] with 5 upvotes on /r/books/

The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern Finally got this one. I've heard great things about it for a while now. I'm only 150 pages in, but already engrossed by the varying characters and premise.

Suburban Vampire, by Frank Posner I found this one for free on The author's voice is very strong and takes a bit of adjustment, BUT it does make the story richer and pretty funny. I mean it is an on point portrayal of how most people would react if they were turned.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 5 upvotes on /r/books/

Finished: The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern. A very enjoyable read. I found the various circus tent tableau very entertaining. I think my favorite supporting characters were the red haired twins and Bailey. Was a pleasant read from start to finish. Reminded me a bit of Neil Gaiman but with a feminine sensibility.

Starting: Dictator, by Robert Harris, the third volume in his trilogy on the fictionalized history of the Roman senator Cicero. Really looking forward to this volume as it begins with Cicero really down on his luck and am dying to find out how he's going to pull himself up from this mess. Of course, I've already had a bit of a spoiler from having watched the HBO series Rome, and know that things ultimately don't end very well for the man, but I'm still interested in seeing how the story evolves when he's the main instead of a supporting character.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 5 upvotes on /r/books/

I finished The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller which I really enjoyed, though it was a quick read. I've heard good things about Circe, so I'll be trying that one soon.

I've now started The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern. Everyone and their mother has told me this book was good, so I'm excited to get into it.

I'm also still reading The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien . My boyfriend and I have been reading it to each other, which is fun!

Comment from [Reddit user] with 5 upvotes on /r/books/

I gave up on The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern roughly halfway through. This is one of those much-loved books that just seems baffling to me.

Started In the Heart of the Sea, by Nathaniel Philbrick. I'm about two-thirds of the way in and loving it so far.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 4 upvotes on /r/books/


The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern

I loved this book. I can understand the criticisms. However, I disagree with most of them. :)


Blood of Innocents, by Mitchell Hogan (book 2, Sorcery Ascendant Sequence)

For an author I'd never heard of, this series so far is....okay.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 3 upvotes on /r/books/

The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern

I really did not like it. At all. But I can understand why some people do.

I also picked up The Gulag Archipelago, by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. The 5 page preface is extremely intriguing. Excited to read the rest!

Comment from [Reddit user] with 3 upvotes on /r/books/

Just started reading The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern for a buddy read with a friend

100 pages in and liking it so far.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 3 upvotes on /r/books/

I started The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern and dropped Dandelion Wine, by Ray Bradbury. The Night Circus is really amazing so far and I feel it'll be a great read. Dandelion Wine didn't really interest me from the beginning and I made it 30 pages in before I felt it just wasn't going to be for me. I may pick it up again at a later time but I'm not sure.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 2 upvotes on /r/books/

Finished Akhenaten: Egypt's False Prophet, by Nicholas Reeves, started The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 2 upvotes on /r/books/

Finished: The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern

Loved this one!

Started: The Witch Elm, by Tana French

Ongoing: A History of Crete, by Chris Moorey

Comment from [Reddit user] with 1 upvotes on /r/books/

Since last week I finished
Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern
Scythe, by Neil Shusterman
and Baccano Vol.6: 1933 <First> The Slash -Cloudy to Rainy-, by Ryohgo Narita

and just started reading The Thief, by Megan Whalen Turner.