Honestly, I tend not to buy books that I’m not sure I will be interested in at least, love obsessively at most.
One such member of the latter is indeed The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I was just rereading the reviews/reading updates that I wrote on this novel in my book blog the first time I read it and I couldn’t help but smile. I have passed this book recommendation on to no fewer than four or five people and have referenced it COUNTLESS times in writing for my roleplaying games, weaving into a particular character’s storyscape and drawing other characters into it like the winding circular pathways of the Cirque itself.
When I began The Night Circus, I noted:
9/22/2011 – I bought and started this book while on a weekend vacation in New Orleans a few days ago. It has been quite a long time since I have been instantly captivated and charmed by a book and The Night Circus does that beautifully. The characters are intriguing, the world colorful and lovely and intriguing. It is a world that you want to sit and watch unfold and that is a very encouraging start to a book.
As I read through and marveled at the story that Morgenstern had woven, I was captured and enraptured entirely. I reread and gushed and thrilled and wept and rejoiced. When I finished it a little over two weeks later, this was my final entry:
10/8/2011 – FINISHED: I finished this book in the quiet of a sleepy Saturday morning and in the company of friends. No better way to do so, I think. I have to say that I was quite pleased with the ending, with the way that the important parts of the stories were laced together and bowed, like the laces at the entrance to Widget’s dream and memory tent [my personal favorite].
This has been the first book in a long while to capture me as it has and I must tip my hat to Miss Morgenstern. She has perhaps only one grammatical quirk that could tend to annoy me, if I decided to let it. But I won’t.
Thank you, Erin, for an amazing debut. May all your future efforts be as fruitful and, if I and other reveurs may dare to hope, perhaps someday we may all return to the Circus together.
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Sometimes, books just do not turn out the way that you hope they will. When I read Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange, it was at the height of the Austen supernaturals. Books such as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Sense and Sensibility and Seamonsters, and Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter were huge then and so I picked up this particular volume to see if it would be any good and appropriate for my 8th-grade classroom. Throughout most of my review/reading updates, I was very pleased with Grange’s writing, her description and the lyricism of her dialogue as well as her command of the Regency and the world abroad at the time. She is a true Austenian and it composes the majority of her writing career, which I find absolutely amazing and stunning! Darcy’s story was interesting and she built up a villain in the background that left me waiting with bated breath to see what would come of this building conflict. Therein lay the rub, though. This was my final entry on this novel:
FINAL UPDATE, 10/17/09: She dropped it, right at the end! Awwwww, it had such potential but the climax came so late that Grange seemed to cop out at the end of it. It had so much meat for a wonderfully dramatic falling action and resolution. Instead, she chose the safe way, gave Darcy a way out and made it, in my opinion, far too easy. The potential that was built up disappeared into the night to lick his wounds for another hundred years (which it was just a scratch really), and I am left unsatisfied and disappointed.
Grange’s writing is lyrical and lovely but…the full meal just wasn’t there. Sorry, darling, but you missed it. By about a mile. In the end, you could have strayed from Austen’s style and done us all a great service.
I generally despise being hard on authors because I understand how difficult it is to create and be successful in this particular art medium. But, at the same time, a writer as well as a reader, I have a critical eye. And the ending of this book has colored my feeling towards it in its entirety, unfortunately. When I left my teaching job, I left the book behind in my classroom and, even before then, never bothered to pick it up again once I had finished it, sadly enough.
Novels and stories are like threads. Some threads are grasped and grasp in return, woven into a tether that never fully lets me go. And some threads are cut loose so that they may soar off like spider silk and, hopefully, find someone whose heart is right for them to tether themselves to.