Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Narrator Jim Dale does an astounding job with this novel of fantasy and magic, where a young man and a young woman are bound by their mentors in a competition with vague and unknowable rules. Le Cirque des Reves is their competition arena - a remarkable black and white circus where the illusions are real.

The book has a steampunk aura, without the gears and mechanics. Perspective shifts in time and character, from the magicians to an artistan clockmaker, from circus entertainers to boy entralled by the the circus, and even an odd occasional third-person narrative telling "you" where you are and what you see. It all ties together, but the shifts (like magic) put you off-balance and allow the reader to view the wonders from all angles.

The novel takes place all over the world, with a true multi-cultural cast of characters - the kind of narration Jim Dale has made his calling card. I was captivated, and the myriad possibilities of the fantastic setting allowed me to wander wherever the story led without anticipating the finale.

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