Tuesday, March 13, 2012

9 Days of Madness; Book Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Chris Allinotte's 9 Days of Madness begins another unsettling round next Sunday. As part of the line-up, all I can say is: No more happy pills. We're taking a trip to the dark side of the psyche. So drink your juice, Dolores, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

For a list of my fellow incarcerated, click on the link. To those about to descend into the depths of Madness, I salute you. (it's not a very polite salute; sorry)


Book review: Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus-- Age-old bets, orphan magicians, and a competition whose outcome is determined in a very disturbing manner all within the colorful, imaginative, and highly detailed world of The Night Circus.

Celia Bowen is left with a note pinned to her coat at her father's place of employment, and soon, the little girl's tragic beginnings are left behind in a cloud of strange, magical and often painful education. Meanwhile, her father's associate is busy plucking a boy from an orphanage and training his own magician, but little Marco's education is vastly different.

When both are ready, they join the Night Circus, a public venue in which to pit them against each other. A traveling circus imbued with magic in its very fabric, the two work in relative obscurity, for many years not even knowing who their opponent is. When their identities are revealed, the competition becomes something else altogether. And when they finally realize how the game is ultimately won, events take on a singularly tense, and heartbreaking, tone.

This book generated a lot of buzz last year, and I can understand why. The scope of imagination here is second-to-none, and it was easy to get lost in the Circus. The story itself somewhat meanders at times, and the cast of characters was intriguing and mostly well-drawn. I think I would've enjoyed this book far more if I had ever been able to let go of the disconcerting feeling that I was reading a rough draft. The writing seemed unfinished, choppy, and often left me unfulfilled. In fact, I would be more at ease with the ending if the overall presentation had been tighter and more polished. As it was, I add the ending to the list of unsatisfactory aspects of this book.

Overall, an incredibly imaginative journey with much to recommend it, but I was disappointed with some key aspects. (however, I do recommend you also check out the reviews on Amazon, as I seem to be in the minority when it comes to this book)

1 comment:

  1. Good review on The Night Circus; I've had my eye on it.

    Also looking forward to your mad story!