Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Night Circus

I could recommend this book to you and you may still hate it.  It may shake your faith in my reasoning, discerning taste and my book knowledge. You should know that I read this book at a time in my life when I needed to go to a magic circus world for a little bit.  You may not need to go to magic circus, you may be well adjusted and want some Jonathan Franzen in your life. This is not Franzen, Pynchon or even Chabon.  This is Harry Potter for adults.  Are you ok with that? 

Erin Morgenstern is a visual artist and a young Smith College graduate.  She wanted to write a best selling novel? Why the hell not. YOU CAN DO ANYTHING!!!  She admits her first submitted manuscript was a hot mess and they made her rewrite the whole thing.  I still suspect even with the rewrite her editor felt like he or she was bench pressing free-weights on Jupiter. Some think it needed another rewrite. It was obvious the publisher saw the raw material for what it was (Harry Potter for adults--YE$!) 

This is the story of dueling magicians. There is no way to avoid comparisons to The Prestige written by Christopher Priest and made into a movie starring Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale.  A fun game to play is to ask people who is hotter, Jackman or Bale. I was at a table with about six straight guys and the overwhelming answer was Christian Bale.  They were vehement about it.  The answer was definitive and swift.  It was clear they had really thought about it and more than once.  But I digress, this book features a man and a woman who must the death. The magicians are trained by two sick bastards as a long standing bet.  Those bastards remind me of the Dukes in Trading Places.

Do you remember my snacking theory from my review of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter? This book has the most amazing snacks featuring: hot chocolate, warm cider, cinnamon pastries, drizzled popcorn and ten course dinners.  Clearly this was written by someone amidst the throes of PMS. I was ok with it...very ok. 

Morgenstern creates a beautiful setting with her background as an visual artist.  Despite its flaws I liked it.  One trusted friend thought she couldn't quite pull it together. I, however, needed a delicious, beautiful world to live in for 387 pages so I enjoyed it.

If you read this in the fall I would drink some mulled cider.  Any other time, drink with any Bells beer because they are consistently good and no one can argue their talent and craft. Drink a Bells with Christian Bale. Apparently everyone can get on board with that....and I mean everyone.     

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