Have you ever gotten drunk from a story? You read a book or watched a movie or listened to someone tell you a tale, and it poured itself into you until you got giddy and wanted to laugh and cry out of the sheer joy the story gave you?
I finished the audiobook of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern this evening. I’m still drunk from the story. I might be hungover tomorrow (although I’m still reading the paperback because, yes, I decided to start rereading it before I’d even finished it), but tonight, I’m enjoying this drunken state.
I love The Night Circus so very, very much. I’m head over heels in love with it. It’s one of the greatest novels I’ve ever read. There are a lot of novels I love, but The Night Circus joins the select group of books (along with Something Wicked This Way Comes, Winter’s Tale, and The Manual of Detection) that make me deliriously happy (and yet sad when they end, because I don’t want the story to be over, I don’t want the characters to leave me) because they seem to have been pulled straight out of my dreams.
The Night Circus touches on so many things that are near and dear to me: love, sacrifice, time, games, magic (both real and stage illusions), dreams and imagination, mystery and wonder, the interplay between performer and audience, the nature of stories…all wrapped up in a delightful, enchanting circus that transcends time and space (it might even transcend the covers of the book). The characters are endearing, the prose is delicious, and it even has multi-layered references to my favorite Shakespeare play, The Tempest. As I went through the last chapter, tears of joy and sorrow rolled down my cheeks. The Night Circus is something very, very special indeed.
For my last trick, I’m going to disappear into visions of paper birds and magical clocks and baroque cauldrons of snow-white fire. We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and this dream will never end.