Monday, May 14, 2012

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

This atmospheric fantasy novel for adults is thin on plot and character but rich in setting: a monochromatic circus that travels all over the world and opens at midnight. The two protagonists, Marco and Celia, are both called magicians, but they are obviously performing something deeper than sleight-of-hand. As young students, their teachers - both practitioners of rival theories of magic - magically bound them together in a future duel, with the circus for a chessboard.

The book's video trailer describes some of the pleasures of the Night Circus tents, which are a feast for the senses and the high point of the book for me. The next best thing to the Night Circus's Cloud Maze tent is the Cloud City art installation that is going up on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art this summer.

There are a lot of comparisons to Harry Potter, but I think they're superficial. It's a fantasy novel, the movies (the Night Circus movie is in development) will share the same producer, and they even have the same audiobook narrator, Jim Dale. Just as HP fans could dress up as Hufflepuffs or Gryffindors, Night Circus fans called Rêveurs wear black and white (with a touch of red to set themselves apart from the circus performers).

No comments: