Friday, June 29, 2012

"The Night Circus"

     Hello, BlogWorld! I'm sorry I've been gone for such an infernally long time, but--as you all are very aware--I'm bad at posting. I promise to start posting more often (it's summer now, and I'm in a new town with nothing to do, so I have no excuse). I also promise to post more than book reviews, but I've read so many good ones recently, so that might be tough. Today's piece of modern literature (and yes, I said modern literature. There is such a thing, kids. Good books don't have to be old and boring): "The Night Circus" by Erin Morgenstern. 
     Here is the description from
Front Cover
   The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves , and it is only open at night.
   But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
      True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead. 
Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

     Reading this, you might think that this is just another fantasy romance, equivalent to garbage such as "Twilight" (sorry, Stephanie Meyer.) No, sir. This book is filled with amazing imagination, vivid characters, and a plot so intricate and woven together, I'm surprised nobody in the film industry has claimed it (but as soon as I graduate, Morgenstern, I'm coming for you.) 
     But what good would literature be without a message? After all, that is the point of fiction, isn't it--a story set in even the most fantastic of worlds has no value if it cannot be applied to reality. And the message of "The Night Circus": Nothing is ever black-and-white. This book explores morality and ethics in all its many forms--the corrupting force of power, the danger of pride, the cruelties of enslavement--while maintaining a great story in a wonderful world (and yes, even a decent romance). This book will be impossible to put down (I stole my mother's Kindle to read it), and will leave you thinking long after you do. 
     So give up "Shades of Grey." This is the real expert on grey-scale moral quandaries. And there's no porn involved.  

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