Heavy Expectations for THE NIGHT CIRCUS

You can’t help but wonder if the debut novel, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Doubleday, 9/13; Audio, RH Audio and Books on Tape; Large Print, Center Point), will be swamped by the weight of its expectations. Last month, USA Today reported that booksellers are expecting it to be bigger than either The Help or The Da Vinci Code. On Friday, Wall Street Journal reported that the fates of  no less than two businesses rest on its success.

The studio behind the planned movie adaptation hopes it will fill the hole left by the Twilight movie franchise, which it also produced. To help ensure that, Summit has promoted the book on the Twilight Facebook page.

Comparisons are also being made to Harry Potter (Summit is in talks with HP producer David Heyman to take it on). There is one definite similarity to Harry Potter; Jim Dale, beloved for his HP readings, narrates the audio version (RH Audio and Books on Tape).

The WSJ also reports that booksellers see the book as no less than a cure for the recession, with some planning publication-day parties featuring magicians, contortionists and Tarot-card readers. For balance, the story adds a few caveats; crossover fantasy is a crowded marketplace, this book was written as a stand-alone rather than a series, and, since it’s published as an adult title, it won’t be displayed in YA.

Library holds are beginning to build, but not yet to levels that indicate a blockbuster.

If you haven’t received a print ARC, digital copies are available through both Edelweiss (click on green “Download Review Copy” on the right) and NetGalley.

3 Responses to “Heavy Expectations for THE NIGHT CIRCUS”

  1. Wendy Bartlett Says:

    I don’t think so………..it’s just not appealing to a wide enough cross section of readers. My fantasy sci/fi folks liked it, but the rest of my reliable early readers didn’t like it at all. I’m afraid these folks are in for a let down.

  2. Jan Says:

    I loved it, and think it’ll do well. It’s very well written, and I think that’s a great selling point.

  3. Allan R. Says:

    My experienced fantasy/sf readers have been polite about “Night Circus,” enthused about “The Magician King” (and eager for the concluding volume), quite taken with the new two-part Patricia McKillip, despite its YA status (“Pegasus”) and really taken with the supernatural strain in the recent “Deep Creek,” which uses both Native American and Chinese magic in the murder hunt.