Friday, December 16, 2011

Night Circus: A Review of Sorts

12/16/11 by Stella Atrium

The opening of "Night Circus" promises an experience similar to "Something Wicked This Way Comes" by Ray Bradbury, but delivers smoke and mirrors instead.  I found a long series of vignettes where the reader must guess at the hidden action behind the few gestures in each tableau.Night Circus

***Spoiler Alert***

There's no protagonist to follow. The only real person is Bailey (Get it? Bailey and circus?)  Bailey is the touchstone as much as a fire or a tree. 

Time stretches out reminiscent of "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus", except there's no eternal struggle between good and evil, and the fate of society doesn't ride on the outcome. 

My final reaction is sadness.  So much talent was resident with the characters with magic, but they could think only to play a game of one-upmanship.  The weight of decadence, exemplified by the contortionist, was more like the society of vampires that Louis finds in Europe in Ann Rice's "Interview with a Vampire."

Lovely writing, though, if the reader has a taste for sorting through old tintypes where the viewer must guess the meaning behind the many pained expressions of ancestors. 

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