The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern: Bad for your teeth.

The Night Circus

I think it’s fitting that I should describe this book, which is about a circus, as a bit like Candyfloss. You know, thick and puffy and tasty looking, but actually quite unfulfilling since it dissolves in your mouth leaving your stomach empty. And also it sticks to your fingers. And it’s bad for your teeth. In the end I ate 154 pages of the stuff, which I think is rather piggish of me considering I wasn’t enjoying it. Mainly I ate it because I bought it, I hate the thought of not eating food I paid for. But with more than 300 meals on my to-read menu I think the Night Circus has used up its fair share of calories. 10 days in total and I didn’t see a single trick worth applauding. Too busy trying to get the sticky shit off my fingers.

So here’s my defence for quietly slipping out of the tent before The Night Circus’ last act:

– The descriptions were incredibly detailed, so on the surface it seems bizzarre that I couldn’t get hooked. But try as I might, there was no emotional investment on my part. The style was too impersonal – you know, the voice of an unfeeling narrator who merely describes the scene, what people say and how they behave. It was impossible to gage how anyone was feeling except myself… which was, I have to say, rather bored.

– The “You really expect me to believe that?” notion washed over me every time I dipped into The Night Circus. An orphan raised by an obtuse caretaker, without any social integration whatsoever (not even a name) is instructed in the arts of ‘manipulations’ which he masters to the highest level quickly and easily yet never asks any questions? Really? The man has a personality as deep and intriguing as a puddle. The girl, sadly, is equally as mundane, despite showing much promise at the start (she had some Roald Dahl Magic Finger spunk about her, but was sadly short-lived).

– Due to the lack of depth on the part of the characters (which would normally come when you have been given an opportunity to understand how they are thinking and feeling) I couldn’t suspend reality sufficiently to enjoy the “magic” at all. So instead of magical realism, it felt like flat out fantasy. Which who knows, maybe it IS fantasy. If so, I shouldn’t have bought it, my bad.

– And also, Blah blah blah. I don’t know, I just thought 4 bullet points would be more effective in making my point.

Ok, well there you have it. I guess the moral of the story is listen to your dentist. Stay away from Candyfloss.


The Night Circus
 by Erin Morgenstern
View all my reviews

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3 thoughts on “The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern: Bad for your teeth.

    • It’s a shame because I think the Night Circus was well written – so it bothered me that the story didn’t grab me. But I don’t know, some books require more patience than others, and also a particular mood. I look at Cormac McCarthy on my shelf for example, and know I love him to bits, but feel really glad that I read him 10 years ago when I was prepared to devote much more time to a single book. It just depends where we’re at at any given moment, doesn’t it? And sadly for Morgenstern, it seems there are a few of us out there that just couldn’t stick around for the final act. Having said that, a 3.8 average rating on Goodreads is not bad going, so she certainly does have her share of fans.

  1. Hi Nadine

    Well I enjoyed your extended metaphor here! Very clever and entertaining. Thanks for deciding for me not to read this if I ever come across it.

    My, your postings are coming thick and fast. I don’t know how you find time to read them all, let alone review. Here’s a good place to ask if you’ve got onto your re-read (or surely skim through) of Ithaca as a prompt for a review? At last I’ve emailed Lisa at anzitlovers about getting a copy to her, so your review (so long as it’s not along the lines of Night Circus!) would be really nice. I’m looking into Goodreads now too Did you say it was NZ? It seems American to me.

    And on the subject of Night whatever, I strongly recommend The Night Book by Charlotte Grimshaw if you’ve not reached it already. She has an eye for all the nuances of character and her view of NZ politics is witty and unflinching. The sort-of sequel ‘Soon’ is out and I must get to it.

    Have just finished Arabian Sands by Thesiger on Interloan. It plods along at camel pace but is compelling. I’m damned if iIknow why, in this era of overt sexual tolerance, the internet writers on him and his exploits are so hung up on his vague and barely expressed homosexual tendencies. Get over it and admire the camels! is what I want to say to them.

    Hope might catch you lot on Skype this evening. Love, Lynleyxx

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