#82: The Night Circus

The Night Circus



Narrator: Jim Dale

Audiobook 13H40

Published by Random House Audio in September 2011

This book counts for

2011 Audio Book Challenge


OK let’s go against the flow here. I got hooked by all the hype around this book and tried it. I have to admit I listened to it all, so there’s at least one positive element I can say: it is suspenseful. Though sometimes I would have liked to have to wait less than to the very end to really know how this was going to resolve.

Apart from that: I didn’t like much this book, probably because I really didn’t understand it. Very complex plot, and I don’t think I still know what was really going on. My hope is that there WAS really something to understand, and that’s it’s just me who was too obtuse to get it. Maybe as a book, it would have been clearer, for instance I could have checked about the time and date of each scene, which I couldn’t do with the audiobook format.

More about the audio format: everyone goes wow for Jim Dale, but seriously I thought his voice did not fit AT ALL for the characters. Most of them are young people, especially the 2 main protagonists, and his voice sounded way too old for them.

And right from the beginning he really got on my nerves, by pronouncing “Le cirque des rêves” inadequately. Whether you are a very famous narrator or not I don’t care, you have to do a bit of research if you have words in another language, if you work as a professional and are paid for what you do. The expression comes many times in French at least at the beginning of the book, and each time, he pronounces “cirque” with the i as in “bird”. Unfortunately, this way of pronouncing the ‘i’ is not French, so the word “cirque” should be pronounced with the “i” you use for instance in the first letter of the word “idiot”. If the author deliberately used the phrase “Le cirque des rêves”, it should then be pronounced as the French do, please.


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. [Goodreads]


Erin Morgenstern is a writer and a multimedia artist, who describes all her work as “fairy tales in one way or another.” She grew up in Marshfield, Massachusetts. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two very fluffy cats. [Goodreads]




For once, I will not include any here, as I can’t agree with any of the ones I find for instance on amazon. I may have missed something big here.


October 2011 wrap up

Not sure what happened this past month, where all the days of October went, but the fact is my wrap up is rather poor, and I’m still 8 reviews behind!

I read only 6 books, with a total of 1120 pages, which is a poor average of 36.12 pages/day; well, I have actually already read over 450 pages from Murakami’s 1Q84, but I only count finished books, so 1Q84 will boost my November rap up for sure – over 900 pages byt itself, and so far I enjoy every line of it.
Actually, this books is really getting me: yesterday night after work, I surprised mtyself checking that there was really just ONE moon. And I am not even kidding. Sorry I won’t explain more here, you will just have to read the book yourself!

To go back to October, I listened to 3 audiobooks, 26:10 hours long, which is an average of 50 mn/day, not too bad actually – which means I have done more painting on rocks, as I listen to audiobooks while painting!


Germs: Biological Weapons and America’s Secret War, by William J. Broad, Stephen Engelberg, Judith McCoy Miller – 320 p.
This book was so creepy, would have been perfect choice for a Halloween Reading Challenge, even tough it is pure NON-fiction. I really had no idea all this was going on, apart from  a few articles on anthrax some years ago, we are given absolutely no information on tests and use of biological weapons on our own territory.


Road From The West, by Rosanne E. Lortz – 360 p.
It was great being part of the Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour featuring this novel.

The Winter Palace, by Eva Stachniak – 440 p. upcoming review
I received this book an an egalley, it will be actually published in 2012, and I enjoyed it very much. This is my most favorite month for October.
I’m amazed at the number of great historical fiction writers these days; it’s definitely my most favorite genre.


Unfortunately, I have not reviewed yet any of my 3 audiobooks listened to this month. But it will happen.

Lilith, by George MacDonald – 10:30 hours
I don’t know why it took me so long to plunge into MacDonald’s books. I really enjoy Lilith extremely. I felt in it the same wdith and depth as Tolkien

The Three Sisters, by Anton Chekhov – 2 hours
I got this one as a free download, and I thought that was a nice way to discover Chekhov finally. I was rather disappointed.

The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern – 13:40 hours
I thought that everyone just loved this book, but even though the average rating in Goodreads is rather high, there are lots of people who did not enjoy it. I’m among those. This was way too complicated for me, I probably did not understand a thing, plus I did not like at all the narrator. More about all this in my upcoming reviews.

Reading Challenges

2011 Audio Book Challenge – Addicted- Listen to 12 Audio Books: 10/12
My Dewey Decimal Challenge – Master Level =4.  26/4!
2011 Non-Fiction Challenge – 7-9 books from different categories: Future Jeopardy Champion. 22/9!
Europa Challenge – Ami Level =4. 2/4.
Japanese Literature Challenge – 1 book between June 1, 2011 and January 30, 2012: 2/1

Did you notice a little change? I now try to insert the picture of the author when I review a book, to insert a bit more of color

*** *** ***

November starts fantastically with 1Q84 and an audiobook I requested from my library a while ago: Before I Go To Sleep. I really enjoy it very much so far, plus the narrator Orlagh Cassidy is so good, as usual.

Before the end of the year, I plan to read 2 more books for the Europa Challenge. Murakami’s 1Q84 will fit perfectly for my Japanese Literature Challenge, and I think I will let it at that. I have another Japanese novel I really want to get to, but it will be great in 2012 for the challenge of 52 bokks from 52 countries I will probably join.

I would love also to finally read The Master and Margarita, and Rebecca!

How was your October month?
What are your reading plans for November?