Book Review: The Night Circus


I mainly picked up The Night Circus because everyone seemed to be talking about it, and the theme of a Victorian circus, which obviously fits my interests! Maybe this caused me to expect so much more, as, although I did enjoy the book, I wouldn't really class it as an absolute MUST read, or something I would re-read later on. I can't really put my finger on why this is the case... Perhaps because I didn't feel so invested in the characters or I wasn't blown away by the fantasy element of the circus. The plot was somewhat unfulfilling; it did exactly what I expected it to, to the point where I remember hoping I'd be proved wrong with a twist. Great plot if you like a fluffy love story (albeit with a darker edge, but nothing more disconcerting than an old Disney film villain would have been). 

A lot of the reviews listed across the inside covers hark on about the magical descriptions of the circus, although my experience was more like an endless "look at this, look at this, isn't it all so WONDERFUL!?", making it somewhat hollow. 

Perhaps I'm not the target audience after all, I spend much of my own time dreaming up cabaret concepts and it's the spit and sawdust circus, the filthier, faded granduer that inspires me. It just made me want to watch Carnivale again, and muse on how perfect that disturbing, Lynchian circus setting is. I get the impression that this is written for a younger audience.

I wouldn't be surprised if The Night Circus is picked up by Hollywood soon, it seemed almost like it was written for CGI (although if it were done by Terry Gilliam I would be incredibly excited) and Tim Burton. And unfortunately Tim Burton hasn't done anything I enjoyed for some time now.