The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
An exquisitely written book that takes you into a world that you cannot help but wish was real. Not since Harry Potter has a novel so fully taken my breath away and woken such a longing for magic in me. I couldn’t help but savour every word, every poetic scene, every special detail. It is books like these that make me wonder why I bother writing at all. Never will I be able to enchant like this. It is one of those books that will continue to resonate with you long after you have put it down…
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Title: Water For Elephants
Author: Sara Gruen
Publisher: Two Roads
Where I got it from: I bought it for myself for my birthday this year. From Bargain Books.
Water for Elephants is stunning. I don’t know what it is about circus stories but I do tend to always find them particularly charming. Despite the massive differences in writing styles (from John Irving to William Kowalkski to Katherine Dunn and Sara Gruen) circus stories always seem to have an amazing energy that I find rather addictive.
Blurb from Amazon: As a young man, Jacob Jankowski was tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. It was the early part of the great Depression, and for Jacob, now ninety, the circus world he remembers was both his salvation and a living hell. A veterinary student just shy of a degree, he was put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It was there that he met Marlena, the beautiful equestrian star married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. And he met Rosie, an untrainable elephant who was the great gray hope for this third-rate traveling show. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and, ultimately, it was their only hope for survival.
Water for Elephants is about a boy and a girl of course. Because all the best stories are! I honestly bought it because I knew that it was a successful “NanoWriMo” novel and I was curious about it. I’m glad I did. And i’m very keen to watch the movie now…
Wow. How do you even begin to review the strangest book you have ever read? Without a doubt Katherine Dunn is one of the bravest writers out there! The woman has taken the most bizarre story and reported on it so matter-of-factly one almost has to read each line twice to make sure you’re getting it right.
Geek Love is a story of the Benewskis, a carnival family travelling through America. The story is narrated by Oly Benewski who is, of all things, a bald albino hunchback dwarf. Her obscurity, however, pales in comparison to those of her siblings. Between the siamese twins, the aqua boy and the telekinetic child she is hardly special. She systematically tells of how her parents met (her father ran the circus, her mother was a geek – no, not OUR kind of geek – the kind of geek that bites the head off of chickens!) of how she and her siblings came to be (her father fed her mother cocktails of poisons and cocaine and pesticides during her pregnancies) and of how her brother became the leader of the worlds most insane cult.
The entire book is sheer brilliance, not unworthy of being compared to John Irving. As I said before Katherine Dunn writes with pure bravery. She is unafraid to offend or shock her readers, yet she somehow accomplishes this without coming off as disingenuous in the least.
Definitely well worth the read!