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In Which The Circus Arrives . . . 
23rd-Mar-2013 12:27 am
"Oh I'll just go to the library and drop off my books because clearly getting ready for Nova Albion in a month is not going to give me time to read anything new. Hatting and panicking and printmaking, that is all I'm good for just now."

"What? Oh you want to come along and browse? Alright. I'll be here waiting next to the book sale shelves, contemplating how many unfortunate souls bought those Danielle Steele novels in the first place, for lo, it is a sad world."

"These shelves can't entirely be filled with Danielle Steele titles, can they? I mean, I picked up that hardcover of Fly By Night here for a nickel before. What about this last shelf?"


"Well, damn. I suppose I have two dollars somewhere in my bag for this thing that has been on my reading list for over a year but is still too current for the library to have a copy of."

The circus is coming...

And that is how a copy of Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus ended up in my bag and has been fairly insistent that it never leave my side. I've never met a book with separation anxiety before. Though I suppose such things will happen, if I keep plucking books from the literary equivalent of the animal shelter.

The prose is proving to be deceptively simple so far, engaging in the way that blogs and NaNo writings that come of blogging are—in the best possible way. Sensate, descriptive, tactile. The intricacies in the writing become apparent as the plot begins to unfold; asides here, alliances forming there, this storyline intertwining with that character's thread. It would be easy an easy book to dismiss, on the surface of things, if you don't stick around for the pacing to reveal itself. Still, I hear echoes of Edgar Allan Poe furtively constructing the momentum of his short stories while he misdirects the reader with lurid descriptions and vocabulary to engage the senses. There are passages in The Night Circus which remind me of The Masque of the Red Death in particular. Not bad company to be keeping.

I will say however that the author's predeliction for tea, the making of and the act of consuming, shows. Very much so. Clearly Erin Morgenstern is a tea fiend and no editorial process can take that out of this book.

I approve.

Throw in some contact juggling, little stray book, and you can live in my satchel for as long as you like.

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defunct chronos
25th-Mar-2013 08:42 pm (UTC)
Oh good! I requested that book for Christmas and it's next on my reading list. I look forward to its company.
26th-Mar-2013 04:51 am (UTC)
As I said, the language is deceptively simple. But that's sort of like saying a chess set has no nuance because there's only black and white. A pawn is not interesting in an of itself, neither is a rook. The moves are what captivate, the stratagems, and they are more subtle than the language suggests.

(And perhaps I am sensitized to the topic because I'm engaged in creating my own deck, but Morgenstern's use of tarot cards is spot on while not being heavy-handed and full of portent. In my discussion with sarinda, she rightly points out that they almost act as a character in and of themselves.)
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