Afterthoughts: The Night Circus by Erin Morgernstern

A model of avoiding lifestyle creep

Treating podcasts like medicine

Dark Light

The Night Circus is the most chaotic and vibrant portrait of a book I have ever reading my modest book journey up until this point. I picked it up after seeing it’s intriguing cover on the best-selling books stands every time I wander into a bookstore.

The most memorable aspect of the writing was how the prose sparkled off the page. Having noticed it being classified as a Young Adult novel by some on goodreads, I was preparing myself for a plot-heavy classic hero/heroine story fighting off evil with the fate narrative. Imagine my surprise as Morgenstern meanders between the eclectic cast of characters in the early parts of the book. What is sacrificed in pace is made up in the vibrancy of the cast which then manifests into the circus. At times I felt like I was there walking through the circus with Herr Thiessen himself. In fact, reading passages from this circus felt like day-dreaming or lucid dreaming or both. It is both imaginative yet grounded enough that it feels authentic.

The polished exterior that Morgernstern builds up slowly unravels to reveal an unimaginably layered web of narratives. My experience was that towards the second half of the book, it dawned on me how figurative and fluid the symbols were. Everything from the Circus, its performers, the rêveurs and everything in between could be interpreted as one part of the larger “game”. The fact that each chapter is coming from a different characters’ perspective only adds to the puzzle. While I don’t think it necessary to think too deeply on what exactly this symbol means or that metaphor is alluding to, it offers an avenue for overthinkers to really invest into the story. My need and desire grew more ravenous the deeper I got. When I come to read this again, I imagine that I will learn so many things that I missed the first time around.


Recommended. I didn’t start off enjoying the Night Circus, but the further I got in it, the greater my appetite grew.

Related Posts