05 February 2013

The Night Circus ~ Erin Morgenstern

 ~ OK ~

A confection of spun sugar,
As fulfilling as a diet of cupcakes

There was something magical and delightful about a narrative jam packed with evocative imagery.  But really I had to hesitate before the word "narrative".  While the visuals were all there, the plot was flat.

This was like a spiraling stand of elaborately decorated cupcakes. Lovely to behold, something to be admired.   Each more enticing, but really just sameness covered by differing buttercreams and frosting ... and beware of overindulgence!

Or maybe the analogy should be a carousel : all sparkle and promise but not really going anywhere.  It starts, it goes around at a predictable pace accompanied by lights and music, it stops.  That's it.

The main characters, Marco & Celia, were one dimensional, behaving for obscure reasons. Some of the supporting players were interesting, some lackluster.  While the settings and clothing all had an ornate filigree of description, we were left to our own devices to decide why characters behaved as they did and just what was going on.  The lack of substance couldn't be disguised in the end as the plot came to a not-too-exciting climax.  And like the carousel : That's it.  Ride over.  Not for thrillseekers but lovers of the superficially pretty.