I have a confession - I did not finish this book. I am listening to the audiobook and I have about 2.5 hours left, but I can't bring myself to listen to them despite having a story line I was initially interested in and beautiful writing, not the mention the rich voice of Jim Dale.
The Night Circus follows three story lines: the challenge between Celia and Marco, the creation and characters of the circus, and Bailey, a young man from Concord, Massachusetts who wishes to be rescued by the circus like so many characters in fairy tales. It really is too complex to try and explain to someone without spoiling; each detail builds upon the one before it and eventually manifest into a bigger picture.
These story lines are interwoven through multiple decades by the phenomenal writing of Erin Morgenstern. She has the ability to describe setting, character and dialogue utilizing all five senses and I was immersed in the story line from the very first line.
So what happened?
The Night Circus is written with vignettes that jump across decades, continents, and story lines. While this normally isn't a problem to read, listening to a story written in this form is an entirely different and confusing experience. I could only listen to the book for about an hour at a time without getting antsy so a book that would normally take me 1-2 days to read would eventually elapse into a 13 day listening experience due to the length of the audio. Even when I forced myself to listen to a few hours per day, I would mentally wander or distract myself with something else. I think if the story was told in a more linear manner I wouldn't have such a difficult time with the book.
Despite my inability to finish the audio version of The Night Circus I might still pick up a physical copy of the book to read so I can finish the story. I would highly recommend this book, especially for an event like RIPVIII because it was generally creepy at the very beginning and has an overall, fantasy/noir feel.
The Night Circus was published in 2011 by Anchor Books.