Friday, November 22, 2013

A Magical Mystery Circus

When I think of circuses, what comes to mind are clowns in mini cars and small dogs and elephants performing tricks.  But lurking along with this image, I think of a different kind of circus and carnival, one that exists in the tradition of  mysterious and sometimes dangerously eerie carnivals and circuses, much like the classic Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. If you are drawn to the dark and possibly dangerous variety of entertainments in a tent, you'll want to pick up the shimmering story of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.   The Circus of Dreams known as  " Les Cirque des Reves"  in the story appears mysteriously overnight in select cities.  The color scheme is always black and white with an occasional splash of red and the entertainment is always breathtaking and masterful . The story is a bit like a chess game, with the characters making strategic moves that will establish their dominance in a game not of chess, but of magic.  The magicians are rivals from many years back and it is their gifted magician apprentices who play out the moves in this circus that surpasses any yet in its entertainment and design.  Celia and Marco create amazing wonders such as a blooming garden made all of ice and acrobats soaring without a net in their quest to outdo each other in a competition neither of them understands.  What they don't expect is the attraction between them. Set in the late 19th and early 20th century, the story evokes a Paris and London of an imaginary time when magic is truly magical.  The author Erin Morgenstern is an artist and the pictures she paints of the settings in this story are rich and fantastical.  Read this story to imagine a circus you would want to visit in your dreams.

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