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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern


The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des R?ves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway?a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love?a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per*formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

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  • Might 'The Night Circus' cast 'Potter'-like spell?


    Can magicians and their bags of tricks cast a spell like Harry Potter's wizardry?

    Publisher Doubleday has high hopes for Erin Morgenstern's debut fall novel, The Night Circus, thanks to bookseller enthusiasm and word that David Heyman, producer of the eight Harry Potter films, is in talks to produce the film version.

    Summit Entertainment, known for the Twilight movies based on another best-selling fantasy series, in January bought the rights to Circus, which goes on sale Sept. 13.

    "I don't want to push on the Harry Potter thing too hard," says Alison Callahan, executive editor at Doubleday. "They are very different books. But the fact that Heyman might be signing on invites comparisons. You're never going to shun that by any stretch of the imagination." She will only say that the novel's hardcover first printing is "more than 100,000" copies, a sizable amount for a debut novel.

    Set at an enchanted circus at the turn of the 19th century, The Night Circus tells the story of a competition between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who are pitted against each other by their fathers. Romance, rivalry and plenty of suspense ensue. This is an adult novel, but Callahan says it's appropriate for teens.

    "Everyone who read Harry Potter wished they could go to Hogwarts," says Callahan, "and with The Night Circus, you wish you could go to Le Cirque des R?ves. You wish you could take part in what goes on in these tents. In terms of world-building, she really constructed a flight of fancy that is so singular."

    Vivien Jennings, who is founder of Rainy Day Books Inc. in Fairway, Kan., is swooning. "This is the book booksellers dream of finding," she says. "I would love to go to the night circus (where the novel takes place); in fact, I dreamt of going to the night circus both times I read the book."

    Jennings also is predicting success of epic proportions.

    "Let's say The Help and The Da Vinci Code were high-water marks in our bookselling history. My prediction is The Night Circus is the 200-year flood. I loved (those books)," she says, "but this is better than The Da Vinci Code and better than The Help. It's a whole different level of writing."

    In an interview at Comic-Con in San Diego last week, Morgenstern, 33, who also is a painter, told USA TODAY that before she ever had characters, she visualized the colorful performers and contrasting black and white tones of the tents and circus setting.

    "I paint very messy. I throw paint around," says Morgenstern, who now lives in Boston. "So when I let myself do the same sort of thing with my writing, and I would just write and write and write and revise, that's when I found my rhythm in writing."

    She's still coming to terms with the excitement bubbling around the book and movie deals.

    "It's gotten so big so fast and it's not even out yet," Morgenstern says. "I keep waiting for things to get back down to whelming, but they stay at overwhelming."

    And predictions are that high level of excitement will last for a while.
    "I've been in this business 36 years and have sold a lot of books in my time," says Jennings. "And I can tell you right now, this book is going to be a best seller right out of the chute."
  • David Heyman circles 'The Night Circus'
    Harry Potter producer in negotiations for Summit project

    David Heyman, producer on all eight Harry Potter films, is in negotiations to produce an adaptation of Erin Morgenstern's yet-to-published debut novel "The Night Circus."
    Summit had no comment Wednesday. Warner Bros.' final Potter film, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" opens Friday amid sky-high expectations.

    "Night Circus" is centered on two young illusionists battling out their fathers' age-old rivalry amidst an enchanted circus, bound by a fated love, and destined to affect the lives of all around them.

    The book will be published by Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group in September. It generated significant notice during last year's Frankfurt Book Fair.

    Richard Pine, Morgenstern's publishing agent, will exec produce.
  • strandedstrangerstrandedstranger PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    By the looks of it, I Hope it's not Harry Potter-meets-Romeo and Juliet..
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