How can I put this in the nicest way possible? The Night Circus
was a book about porn and lies. Now bear with me here; I'm going somewhere with this. It really was just porn disguised as a novel, with a heaping helping of lies on the back cover. It was Purple Prose
wrapped in all flavors of porn: Description Porn
, Costume Porn
, Food Porn
, and Scenery Porn
. So much of it. It was 80% porn, 10% lies, and 10% Relationship Sue
. Porn porn porn.
Erin Morgenstern spends the majority of the book forgetting about the rule Show, Don't Tell
. She tells the reader repeatedly that the two main characters are in love, a romance for the ages. That's the first lie.
The second lie is that this book is about a duel of the ages. The "duel" is a battle of interior design. But not like Trading Spaces, which is actually interesting. These two illusionists/wizards are not actually doing any dueling. They are walking through each others spaces and judging the design merits of them, and then trying to top that.
Let's address this scandalous abundance of porn. The Scenery Porn
is the "duel" we're subjected to. There's pages worth how beautiful spaces are decorated in red and black and white, and OH! how whimsical the rooms filled with clouds and creatures and games are! It's all very nice, but there is hardly any story to speak of between these descriptions. The Food Porn
will have you salivating, but starved for substance (white chocolate balls filled with red ganache. I mean, wow!)
So what happened? Well, the book is a series of descriptions. It jumps between events with little detail. It does not allow us to see the developments of characters, nor actually experience the blossoming love between Mary Sue
and male Mary Sue
Celia and Marco. We are expected to love these flat as cardboard characters despite the fact that they are truly wizards who hardly do any magic
and one of them is a cheating bastard
and a Jerkass
Its impossible to become invested in the characters in this book, and they are not memorable whatsoever. I can think of no interesting qualities about either character at all. The only intriguing characters were Widget and Poppet, and they hardly got any time to shine. To top it off, the reader is rewarded to a steaming pile of Deus ex Machina
at the end.
If you want substance, SKIP THIS!!!!!!!