• The Night Circus

  • By: Erin Morgenstern
  • Narrated by: Jim Dale
  • Length: 13 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 09-19-11
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Random House AudioBooks
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.1 (132 ratings)

Regular price: $25.68

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Publisher's Summary

Longlisted for the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction
In 1886, a mysterious travelling circus becomes an international sensation. Open only at night, constructed entirely in black and white, Le Cirque des Rêves delights all who wander its circular paths and warm themselves at its bonfire. Although there are acrobats, fortune-tellers, and contortionists, the Circus of Dreams is no conventional spectacle. Some tents contain clouds, some ice. The circus seems almost to cast a spell over its aficionados, who call themselves the rêveurs - the dreamers.
At the heart of the story is the tangled relationship between two young magicians, Celia, the enchanter’s daughter, and Marco, the sorcerer’s apprentice. At the behest of their shadowy masters, they find themselves locked in a deadly contest, forced to test the very limits of the imagination, and of their love....
A fabulous, fin-de-siècle feast for the senses and a life-affirming love story, The Night Circus is a captivating novel that will make the real world seem fantastical and a fantasy world real.
©2011 Erin Morgenstern (P)2011 Random House Audio Go
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Anna on 05-01-14

Loved it

What made the experience of listening to The Night Circus the most enjoyable?

It was so different to any other story I've read/heard. I could imagine the colours and how awesome it would be to make into a movie.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I didn't have a favourite, I was very intrigued as to how they each had importance in the story.

What about Jim Dale’s performance did you like?


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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Reader Girl on 03-27-13

Literary Tapestry

You’re walking aimlessly through a bookshop looking for a new read. You don’t quite know what you are looking for but you feel as though you’ll recognize it when you see it…

I recognized The Night Circus the second I saw it as something I needed to read. Whether I would enjoy or even finish it I wasn’t sure but something told me that I needed to at least try.

This is not an easy book to define but I’ll do my best. It’s essentially two interwoven stories, one tells the tale of a boy visiting the circus each year or so when it passes through his town. He makes friends with two of the children who work in the circus with a charming kitten show and together they explore all the amazing wonders of the circus and it’s seemingly infinite number of tents. One holds a winter wonderland of snow and ice, another simply holds a bowl of perfect black stones that take away your tears for a night. From incredible to subtly beautiful the boy of course falls in love with the circus so the rest of the world is merely a grey blur in comparison.

The other story is that of the two magicians who created and are still creating the great circus. Marco and Celia are in love and though they met as adults they have been in love their whole lives, writing love letters to one another through each magical tent they create. But they are merely pawns in a bigger, darker game played between Celia’s father and Marco’s mentor. The two lovers have been pitted against each other in a battle of wills and power, a battle to the death.

The Night Circus is not for everyone. It doesn’t read like your usual linear story in fact it reads rather like a painting or rather one of those long tapestries. I’m not sure I would want to read too many stories written this way, but this was so beautifully constructed that I could possibly enjoy a few like it.

One thing I think I should mention - The narration didn't quite do this story justice. I can't really fault the narrator BUT I can't help but think this story would have been more enjoyable if read by an English lady.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Moominmamma on 08-17-13

A comic book in wolf's clothing

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No. I would be a bit embarrassed to recommend it. I was totally intrigued by the synopsis of this book, a tall tale about a spectacular and enchanting circus, real magic and a fatalistic wager, it was beautifully conceived but the writer seemed to not to be quite up to the task. Set in the late 1800's, the characters, their behaviour, their language even their dress was all wrong for the time and they all lacked depth. The plot, I gradually came to realise, was a bit thin and the setting was so contrived it became irritating, with too much focus on monochrome (yes, I get it!!) and kittens. This would make a good graphic novel or fantasy film. So...whilst it wasn't bad, it was just not good enough.

If you’ve listened to books by Erin Morgenstern before, how does this one compare?

I haven't encountered her books before.

What aspect of Jim Dale’s performance might you have changed?

I feel this story needed a darker, richer, an altogether more lyrical voice.

Do you think The Night Circus needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

There wasn't enough substance in this for one book, let alone two.

Any additional comments?

I really loved the idea of this book but alas, it was all show and disappointment.

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30 of 31 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Rozemarijn on 02-04-17

Nice idea but very superficial

The ideas are very interesting but the story stays at the surface. It takes a long time to unfold and it barely manages that. Also the fragmented chapters don't help. Really a pity there wasn't much depth or development since the first time meeting the citcus was enchanting.

Also the narator does some really akward voices.

I had to make myself finish this book.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Van Vo on 07-07-16


Absolutely magical story. Loved it. Have recommended to many people who also feel the same way.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Sian Greening on 07-06-16

Disappointing narration of a wonderful novel

I have read this novel when it was fist published and found it a wonderfully rich, lyrical tale. The narration of the audible edition did not at all suit the character of the book. Jim Dale adopted a slurred wheezing voice for many of the characters, including that of the hero, Marco. The twins Poppet and Widget were in particular given accents that made the pair of them sound like old country folk instead of young vibrant kids trying to save their beloved circus. It was so disagreeable to listen to that I have had to abandon the attempt and will instead reread the book myself.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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