The adventures of a Southern Ontario letterboxer and stamp carver
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Book review: Night Circus
I don't really intend to start doing book reviews here, but i just wanted to make mention of a book I read a little while back that really stuck with me: Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.
While it isn't the best book I've ever read, mostly because I love a strong plot and in this book I couldn't really tell what the plot was... Was it a love story? Was it about the masters? Was it about the game? Was it about the circus? Was it about the circus's followers? I'm still not sure, but there's probably some metaphor in there I'm missing. I'm a literalist and don't always catch everything.
However, I love this book anyway because of the amazing and vibrant imagery... and can't help but see the parallels in our hobby.
I do recommend you read it, but I don't think I'm spoiling it if I explain part of the book: the Night Circus itself is a travelling circus of oddities and magical things that has a close cult of followers (why and how the circus and its performers is important, but not for this post).
Part of the intrigue of the circus is never knowing where it is going to be; the circus suddenly shuts down and vanishes, only to arrive unannounced and unexpectedly somewhere else. While anyone can go see the circus, those that are the followers of the circus love it because they understand the magic of it all better than others. They know about the hidden world and help others stay in contact. And so they form a network to relay messages of where the circus has been and where it has arrived so that they can enjoy it as much as possible. And while all of the performers in the circus wear only black and white, the followers imitate by wearing the same, but with an additional red item to let performers and other followers know that they too are followers of the circus.
As I said, I wasn't too taken with the plot - because I wasn't clear what it was - but I did love the eccentric characters, the vivid world, and the lingering mood of this book. It's worth the read. I'm likely going to plant a box in honour of this book, just be sure to ink it in black, white, and red.