"The night is dark and full of circuses." -- relia
Things that transpired between starting The Night Circus
and finishing The Night Circus
- 4 weeks
- Hosing cat's litter box out on two different occasions
- At least 4 movies in theaters
- Losing my wallet
- 2+ NYC outings
- 30K+ of productivity
- Bumpy flight from Philadelphia to Dallas
Things that transpired between starting Sorcery & Cecelia
and finishing Sorcery & Cecelia
- Flight from Dallas to LAX
Does that tell you something about the experience of finishing The Night Circus
? Have you learned from my mistakes? Because you should.~Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus
: AT LAST. At last I can review this unadulterated piece of derivative horseshit. Actually, I don't even know if 'derivative' is the right word, because I honestly don't know if the author has read enough books to derive anything from them. You probably remember my continuing adventures
with this book. The most chilling moment was when I turned to the back and among the acknowledgments was a nod to inspiration from Punchdrunk, the company that does Sleep No More
. It was like a hand reached out and touched me. A slimy, cold hand.
I guess this book's second worst crime, after boring me out of my disproportionately large hat-defying skull, was its criminal waste of its only remotely promising character -- Chandresh Christophe Lefèvre, a half-Indian half-French mercurial dilettante who was apparently only around to start the circus, be fickle, be unworthy of our heterosexual male hero, and accidentally fuck things up for other people. Sorry, dude. You should've tried being in a different book, one with more plot and less ahistorical bullshit. Aside from that, words cannot express how much I grew to loathe both principal star-crossed lovers by the end of the book, but not as much as I grew to loathe the book itself and its yawning lack of plot, noticeable setting, world-building, characterization, or reasons for me to keep reading other than stubbornness. There was also a dash of considerable, laughable Orientalism, but it didn't even stand out in the scrap heap.
There's not much else to say about this. It's a lot easier to review a book with some flaws, or many flaws, than it is to review one with few -- or, in this case, one that's entirely comprised of flaw. I don't know what about this book wasn't a flaw. I guess it acts as a decent cautionary tale against writing in time periods because they're fashionable when you don't know anything about them, publishing your NaNoWriMo, or naming twin characters "Poppet" and "Widget" and causing this reviewer's frontal lobe to disengage and try to fly out of his head in an agonized attempt to escape the excruciating insipidness of the book.
Unless it gets the movie deal that's been rumored, in which case this reviewer will have to dance a long slow dance with Mr. Jasper Daniel
and then remind himself that the world does in fact contain actual serious real-world injustices much worse than the existence of The Night Circus
.~Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer, Sorcery and Cecelia
: Since I feel a kind-of obligation to being forthright just in case it ever comes up, I disclaim that I have a very passing professional acquaintance with the authors of this book. So I also feel like it'd be weird to review it in-depth. It's one of those things I should've read five years ago. Just to note that I read it, though, and my basic reaction: it was good, it hopped along entertainingly, it was a breath of clever plot and capable writing after the long asphyxiating period of trying to get through Night Circus
(along with Brandon Sanderson's questionable command of the English language, at other intervals). I mean, it had the usual charming ahistoricism and glossy G-rated false nostalgia of any Georgette Heyer-inspired pastiche, and it was incredibly Heyer/Austen, almost predictably so -- the two most major male characters were like, direct mirrors of the Duke of Avon and Mr. Darcy -- but it did it well so I enjoyed it. This isn't a genre I go to for an accurate picture of the early 19th century anyway, so probably neither should you, but this book is good and deserves the moderate acclaim it's gotten.