I LOVED Poppet and Widget. Their red hair, their trained kittens, their attitudes – loved them as characters because I think I would adore them as people.

The rest of the book – well, is it okay if I just say I liked it? I know people are raving fans of Erin Morgenstern’sThe Night Circus, but I’m not just. I didn’t dislike it, but it didn’t bowl me over. I really wanted it to.

I enjoyed the premise of the story; I enjoyed some of other characters, too, particularly Herr Thiessen and Bailey. But I could really take or leave Celia and Marco, and while I would love to visit The Cirque de Reve myself, I wished Morgenstern had spent more time there.

I can’t really pinpoint what didn’t work for me. Maybe it was that the build was too slow or that I was listening to it on audio (although I did read the first 100 or so pages on paper and almost abandoned the book altogether.) Or maybe it was that I was hoping for some more of the magic that wasn’t magic woven throughout.

I did really enjoy the ending (which I won’t give away), not so much because of how the plot wrapped but because of the way the story wraps back on itself and becomes rather meta-narrative with it’s comments on storytelling and reality. That, that I enjoyed.

I think I was expecting more magical realism, something like Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s 100 Years of Solitude or Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, and I certainly got that flavor. But as fine a writer as Morgenstern is, I just don’t think she’s in the same league as these giants. Maybe she’ll get there. I hope so.

Have you read The Night Circus? If so, what did you think?

This review by Jeff Alford captures pretty well my feelings about the book, too.