Night Circus Audiobook

It's The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, read by Jim Dale, and it's out unabridged on audiobook CD by Random House Audio. Here's what they have to say for themselves:

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices on downtown lampposts and billboards. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. No ringmaster bellows through a bullhorn, no clowns spray water on the audience, no "step right up" to the strong man. Within these nocturnal black and white striped tents, lies an utterly unique experience, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stand awestruck as the tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and gaze in wonderment at the illusionist performing impossible feats of magic (all suffused with the underlying scents of caramel and cinnamon). Welcome to Le Cirque des Rêves. Beyond the smoke and mirrors, however, a fierce competition is underway--a contest between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in "a game," in which each must use their powers of illusion to best the other.

Unbeknownst to the players, this game is a duel to the death, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. The young magicians practice their magic tirelessly for something their mercurial instructors, Hector and Alexander, will reveal little about, except that it is a rivalry to which they are irrevocably bound. When Celia accidentally discovers that Marco is her competitor, they begin to think of the game not as a fierce competition, but as a wonderful collaboration. It is their combined powers that keep the circus in a perpetual state of enchantment, each one adding impressive new flourishes that seem to be expressively created by one for the pleasure of the other. With no knowledge of how their manipulative masters intend the game to end, Celia and Marco innocently tumble head first into love. A deep, passionate, and magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands. Hector and Alexander still pull the strings, however, and this unforeseen occurrence forces them to intervene, resulting in a painful blow to both Celia and Marco as well as the other performers whose lives hang in the balance. The young magicians realize they can't stave off the inevitable end of the game. They can see only one way out, but it will take an unprecedented display of their talents and the assistance of an unsuspecting character to pull off a twist of fate that would be unfathomable to anyone who didn't believe in magic.

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