Monday, March 3, 2014

The Night Circus: RA Reviews

Last semester, a group of RAs met to discuss The Night Circus.  The following reviews were submitted by RAs.

Erin Morgenstern paints a picture of a magical circus known as Le Cirque des Rêves, or Circus of Dreams, that is unlike any other circus in the world. Draped only in black and white, the circus that appears in a new location overnight without warning and features mystical tents that can hold an entire garden made out of ice, carousel animals that breathe, and moving statues. The circus was to be the stage of two magicians who are pitted against each other in a mysterious challenge. The Night’s Circus delivered exactly what it had promised, a quick and enjoyable read to pass the time. Morgenstern does a beautiful job describing the circus in images so vivid that it makes the reader want to step into the book and enjoy the circus. That being said however, any analysis of the actual story will leave a person frustrated. The story had started off as an interesting premise but eventually devolved into simply another tale about star-crossed lovers. The constant time skips serve nothing more than to perplex the reader. Although the major qualm I have with this book is the ending. Throughout the novel there was plenty of build up towards a climax in which the challenge is explained, however it did not happen. Truthfully the ending felt like Morgenstern was running out of time and needed to come up with a conclusion quickly since it left the reader confused with more questions than answers. However, other parts of the ending were so cliché and predictable that the reader could guess what was going happen before part two of the book. I would recommend this book only if it were to be used as a time-killer say on a long plane ride or relaxing on the beach.

The writing, plot, and execution of her story wasa lackluster to say the least.
I prefer imagery to complement a plot rather than substitute it.
The book dragged on and felt incredibly tiresome due to her never-ending descriptions.
I wouldn't even recommend it to someone looking for an "easy" read. It was just all so predictable.
I would write more about it but I've honestly tried to forget as much of it as I could in the last 3 months...

The Night Circus was an enjoyable book with a slew of characters and luxurious settings. Personally, I did not feel that this was a book for a critical reader out for a tale that would engage his or her ideas about the world, but if one was looking for a light read filled with a mysterious romance, the Night Circus is a wonderful place. The characters are not quite believable, but a little more dreamlike in nature: the powerful Celia, the handsome Marcus, the marvelous Chandresh, and the dark Alexander. The settings and the description of the more physical details can carry the reader into a land of plush from the several extravagant rooms where the Midnight Dinners are held to the circus. The night circus with its never-ending paths, physically impossible tent contents, exuberant decorations, fantastical clock and mouth-watering delicacies is like a dream and found only at night. It leaves town and pops up in a new place without warning. The story and the whole experience of The Night Circus is perfect for those looking for an escape to a magical late 19th century.

I really enjoyed reading Night Circus. While it wasn't a book with a lot of depth, it was a quick, easy read full of wonder and great description. The story was captivating and Erin Morgenstern created a place I could easily get lost in with the circus. That being said, many of the characters were overshadowed by the circus, and Morgenstern used a few odd writing techniques that did little to add to the story. Overall, I would recommend this book to pretty much anyone who's looking for a light, easy read. It's definitely a page-turner.

I thought that The Night Circus was a very fun read. It was quick and easy, not a book that demanded too much from me. I thought that the characters could have been better developed, but then again, I also feel as though it wasn't the kind of book that was trying to win a Pulitzer or anything. Overall, I give it an A-.

Overall, I did not enjoy Night Circus. While it was a quick read, the characters were poorly developed and the author failed in her attempt to mimic an older writing style. Ridden with clichés and cheap imagery, the novel could rely only on plot for value. However, due to the lack of character development, I was uninvested in the characters, and so uninvested in the plot, which, I found, was predictable anyway. Furthermore, the author’s employment of multiple perspectives did not enhance the quality of her work, as such a tactic often does in other pieces of writing. Perhaps, overall, I was disillusioned because any author who tries to write about magic is competing with the genius of J.K. Rowling, and Stephanie Meyer has already covered a niche market of lovesick preteens who do not appreciate good literature.