There is something different about this book, something special that I haven’t experienced for a while. Even the most mundane things in the book, the things that I knew would happen, sends a chill up my spine. It is not the fact that it happens but the way in which it happens that surprises me and delights me. I feel like this book has enchanted me in some way, just like the circus performers enchant their audience. The book in itself is like the circus which it describes; what it contains within it outshines whatever cover that could possibly hold it, but at the same time the two compliment each other subtly.
It is books like these that make me believe that magic still exists, not in a practical, physical form, but in the art of words. It restores my faith in the storyteller, in the writer, and in the child that imagines these fantasies for us.
It is not political, and it is not so deep that it is beyond our comprehension. It is an escape away from the real world, like a good story is meant to do. It makes us forget our worldly troubles, takes away our need to constantly philosophize. Speaking from an English Literature student’s perspective, it is a relief to read a book like this that while carrying some deeper meaning with it, does not need thorough scrutiny in order to be enjoyed. Perhaps it doesn’t speak about society or of human nature, but it speaks to something inside us that we learn to ignore as we grow up.
Like with many good books, I felt this book changing me as I read it. Slowly I began to adapt the voice of the narrator, become part of the book. I love this feeling, of being so immersed in the book that when I finally resurface it feels like waking up or arriving home after a long trip. I don’t remember the last time I finished the book in a day, and certainly I don’t remember the last time I spent the better part of my day reading.
This isn’t a perfect book, one with an ending that I am not entirely satisfied with, but gives me a feeling of closure all the same. It makes me happy, and I think that’s what’s most important.
Some people like to shy away from books that make the best sellers list, but I think the world of literature has become too small and unappreciated to have a barrier between “mainstream” and “indie”. However there is a big difference between a good book and a bad book. But I’ll get to that later.