“Do you adore Le Cirque des Reves?” she asks him.

“Yes,” he says without hesitation.

“More than anything in the world?” she adds.

“Yes,” Bailey says.

“Then you are a reveur.” 

– The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern page 309-310 (nook version)

Well then I’m a reveur!  I just finished this wonderful novel by first time novelist Erin Morgenstern and will read whatever she comes out with next.  The Night Circus is opulently written; full of style and a richness that begs it to be read outloud in story telling fashion of ole. (speaking of which I’m currently recording my own audio version).

The Night Circus takes place from    begins with two strange men striking a bargain that pits two young people against each other in a game of illusion and magic.  The rules are undefined and the circumstances the loser will endure are  unbeknownst to them (for now).  The setting : a otherworldly-esque circus that appears without much warning and only operates at night.  It is within these tents and fairgrounds these two young people will try and gain the upper hand and challenge each-other and themselves at game that they are forced to play.  Until – of course – they meet; and fall in love.

But the novel is so much more than that.  The cast of characters that we take this journey with are some of the most interesting bunch I’ve read about in the longest time.  You really find each of them so fascinating.  The contortionist – Tsukiko whose history is spell – binding.  The circus proprietor Christoph Chandresh and his excessively sumptuously secret Midnight dinner parties – which are written in such a delectable manner that you are there and want to be nowhere but and wish you were invited to something an eighth as cool as it in reality.  Tante Padve, the Burgess sisters, the delightful Mr. Barris (these are known as the “conspirators of the circus”).

You watch the Murray twins, Poppet and Widget (born on opening night under strange goings on) grow and you root for them and they become a bigger part of the picture.  Bailey as he himself grows and finds himself a spoke on the wheel of the Night Circus wager.  And of course Marco and Celia the opponents who captured each others hearts and are entwined in deeper more profound ways than the circus can ever have imagined.

The sights and sounds and tastes that Morgenstern creates are just simply wonderful.  Written in careful precise prose of the era that the story takes place in ( circa 1873 – 1902) and the images you see within your minds eye as each illusionist steps up the ante with their creations are jaw droppingly beautiful.

And I must mention the wonderful creation, of what I term, a co-narrator.  The story is written as to be told via the commonplace omnipotent narrator.  Yet through the novel we are introduced to Friedrick Thiessen.  Mr. Theissen makes clocks, and he’s rather good at it; beyond – he’s gifted.  Well when he notices a creation of his adorning the mysteriously appearing Night Circus he enters the gates; and is transported into this land of illusion, splendor and wonder.  So much so that he begins to write about his experiences making numerous visitations to the circus.  Other fans begin to write to him and they begin a “fan club” of sorts.

These are the Reveurs (dreamers)

and you become one too.