Repeat after me, “Gwen does not appreciate literary fiction.” The word “appreciate” is such a great one to use in this case. Sounds much better than, “Gwen hates literary fiction.”
Gwen also struggled with the correct way to punctuate the above and most likely, failed.
However, I was sucked in by the beautiful cover and the crazy-good buzz that The Night Circus was garnering. Almost as quickly as I was sucked in, I was spit back out by the preponderance of superfluous words. For me, that is the definition of literary fiction. Why describe say, the color blue as baby blue, when you can do it so much better by saying that the blue was light, reminiscent of the sky just before dusk over the hills of Tuscany and reminds you of the blanket your aunt gave your baby brother that he took on the Aegean sea vacation you took with your parents when you were six and he was three.
Too many words. Yes, they are beautiful. Yes, I am sure that they took a lot of time to come up with. No, I was not on that ocean trip with you, when you were six and your brother was three, so really I have no idea what color you are describing. If you had just said baby blue, I would have been with you instead of on that three hour tour with Gilligan.
So, in the spirit of literary fiction, as paid homage to above, here are my thoughts on The Night Circus.
It took me a long time to get into it. Once I knuckled down and stopped muttering at the descriptions of everything, I enjoyed the story. Then the ending let me down. If you enjoy flowery writing and find yourself easily lost in fantastical stories, this is totally the right book for you.
Am I pissed off that I read it? Heck no, I was able to finish it, so it wasn’t even close to the top ten worst books that I have read this year. There were some very poignant and thought-provoking moments. It was also another lesson in learning that sometimes the most buzz-worthy books aren’t for me and once again, “Gwen does not like literary fiction.”
Countless times, countless I tell you, I pick up literary fiction and think, this is the one, this one will be different. What is the definition of insanity again?
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern