Every so often, a novel comes along that knocks me off my feet, ties me up and leaves me bound, unable to escape until I turn its final page. Even after that final page is turned though, these novels live in my memory, constanly ekeing their way into my thoughts and colouring my discussion of other, inferior novels. I’ve been lucky enough to have this experience twice in the last handful of months; first with The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht (REVIEW) and now with The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.
Chandresh Christophe Lefèvre enters not a single tent on opening night. Instead, he wanders through pathways and concourses and walks in loops around the courtyard with Marco in tow, who is taking notes whenever Chandresh finds something to comment upon.
Chandresh watches the crowd, discerning how people decide which tents to enter. He identifies signage that needs to be adjusted or elevated to be easier to read, doors that are not visible enough and others that are too predominant, drawing too little attention or too much of a crowd.
But these are minute details, really, extra oil for inaudible squeaking. It could not be better. The people are delighted. The line for tickets snakes around the outside of the fence. The entire circus glistens with excitement. (p. 101)