Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Real Magic: Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus

It is absolutely enchanting, Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus.

The setting alone--Victorian Paris; London; Munich; New York; and Concord, Massachusetts--pops with color and costumes and caramel apples.

The characters are rich, mysterious, and the plot--a game gone bad between two old old magicians--is different, interesting.

It's a wonder of a read, one that will take you somewhere you've never been, one you'll be thinking about days after you've read (and re-read) the last line.

There, the magic does not end. The alchemy behind the book--Morgenstern's process--that is really something.

The story started as a completely different concept in 2005, morphing into its ultimate manifestation years and revisions later.

30 agents rejected the sweeping, lyrical manuscript that eventually landed Morgenstern six-figures and a movie deal.

The MC, Morgenstern claims, was invented last. How, I wonder? How was that possible? This Celia, she is integral, holds the circus in her very palm--the cover itself.

(While we're on design, you must check out the illustrations that separate the five parts. Hint: it's what you see on one of the Circus rides.)

Better than The Magicians? The next Harry Potter? Twilight rival?

Morgenstern laughs away comparisons.

And she should.

The Night Circus is its own story, a real-life unfolding of paper, of turning of gears.

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