The Invisible Circus

The Invisible Circus In Jennifer Egan s highly acclaimed first novel set in the political drama and familial tensions of the s form a backdrop for the world of Phoebe O Connor age eighteen Phoebe is obsessed w

In Jennifer Egan s highly acclaimed first novel, set in 1978, the political drama and familial tensions of the 1960s form a backdrop for the world of Phoebe O Connor, age eighteen Phoebe is obsessed with the memory and death of her sister Faith, a beautiful idealistic hippie who died in Italy in 1970 In order to find out the truth about Faith s life and death, Phoebe retIn Jennifer Egan s highly acclaimed first novel, set in 1978, the political drama and familial tensions of the 1960s form a backdrop for the world of Phoebe O Connor, age eighteen Phoebe is obsessed with the memory and death of her sister Faith, a beautiful idealistic hippie who died in Italy in 1970 In order to find out the truth about Faith s life and death, Phoebe retraces her steps from San Francisco across Europe, a quest which yields both complex and disturbing revelations about family, love, and Faith s lost generation This spellbinding novel introduced Egan s remarkable ability to tie suspense with deeply insightful characters and the nuances of emotion.

  • The Invisible Circus Best Read || [Jennifer Egan]
    491 Jennifer Egan
The Invisible Circus

  1. Jennifer Egan was born in Chicago and raised in San Francisco She attended the University of Pennsylvania and St John s College, Cambridge.She is the author of three novels, The Invisible Circus, Look at Me, a finalist for the National Book Award, and the bestselling The Keep, and a short story collection, Emerald City She has published short fiction in The New Yorker, Harper s, McSweeney s and Ploughshares, among others, and her journalism appears frequently in the New York Times Magazine.

132 Reply to “The Invisible Circus”

  1. 3.5 Stars I have been working my way through all of Jennifer Egan s books Because let s face it this woman knows how to write She depresses me with her beautiful and profound writing And I absolutely adore her for this As for this one, I liked it I stared long and hard at her beautiful, poetic words but her main character bugged me a lot I never understood her goals I mean, I did but I just didn t get the consequence of it She was extremely naive and then she took a trip to Europe to find out wh [...]

  2. Egan s freshman novel, about a girl who, along with her widowed mother, is frozen in time since the suicide of her hippie sister the decade before Set in 1970s San Francisco and Europe, where the protagonist traces her sister s footsteps Started off a bit rough but it s smooth now, and quite vivid One scene on the beach with the sisters and the dying father made me put the book down for a few days the narrator s childhood memory was so real and painful By the end, Phoebe has shed a great deal of [...]

  3. I like Jennifer Egan s writing, in its fluidity The story itself often makes me feel like I am swimming in words But sometimes, I feel like I am being deceived the characters only appear to have complexity and vulnerability It is like watching a movie that you like because it has a lovely way of unfolding, but there is nothing that will linger, afterwards I feel often like the language is much meaningful than the meaning it is trying to or not trying to convey.

  4. This book was recommended by a friend I see now that it is in part her story , i.e dead father, suicide sister, etc so I m not surprised that she enjoyed it I, however, feel that I learned absolutely nothing from this book The main character is an immature young woman, self indulgent, self referential, passive aggressive in her behavior, not particularly likeable The dead sister s boyfriend is a typical predatory male of the I couldn t help myself variety, prepared to hit the road on a whim fuck [...]

  5. when I was reading I knew it ll be a definite five star though the rating wasn t that high I really enjoyed the reading It was kind of fluidal, just going easily and smoothly in its bed,the picture so vivid In the end, slightly near the ending, it changed a bit, there was a tumult, a bit out of ordinary things happening, apparently to absorb the reader even , but it worked vice versa and the worst part was it got predictable Anyhow it s a spectacular piece of writing, expertly written.

  6. If you re coming to The Invisible Circus after reading A Visit from the Goon Squad or The Keep, as I did, you re likely to be disappointed It s different kind of book, straightforward, with all the earmarks of a novel whose protagonist, Phoebe, is destined to lose her innocence The dullness of Phoebe s bedroom met her like a blow polar bear wallpaper, rows of faded stuffed animals, a wicker chair that crackled when you sat in it After graduating from high school, Phoebe decides to travel to Eur [...]

  7. After a promising start, this book failed to go anywhere I lost all patience with the annoying main character, and really had no interest in her quest to find answers about her sister after awhile Her naivete grew wearying, and I longed for the ability to reach between the pages and slap her Egan has a gift for description, but needs work on her pacing Perhaps that improved with her subsequent works.

  8. I think Jennifer Egan is a tremendous writer Her first book shows this talent to great effect, the first part of the book is a brilliantly sad exploration of families and the best of intentions going awry It s smart, clever and wonderfully well written, each line packs an incredible emotional punch It then all takes a turn into this odd love story which left me deeply unmoved If you liked her other books, it s interesting to see how it all started.

  9. Okay, two things are clear 1 Jennifer Egan must not be allowed to dwell onto historical fiction 2 She is a great emotional story teller, please go on Consequently,3 Manhattan Beach needs rewriting.

  10. Jennifer Egan is one of my favorite authors Like many readers, I was wowed by A Visit from the Goon Squad 2010 , but I was dazzled just as much by the novel that preceded it, Look at Me 2001 , whose intricate plot is part thriller, part social satire, and part multi layered identity drama In addition to being stylistically unique, the narratives in both these previous books shift around in time, even looking ahead into the near future Look at Me was even uncannily prescient about Facebook, which [...]

  11. Finished this book at 1AM Jennifer Egan is such a beautiful writer, it almost inconceivable It is perhaps problematic to read The Keep prior to her other novels, because The Keep is so perfect, what with the castle and the baroness and the prison writing program and the descriptions of really good food The Invisible Circus had lost revolutionaries, which are like kryptonite to me I m powerless to resist their appeal is kryptonite appealing to those it renders powerless But also, it s hard to wri [...]

  12. I love Jennifer Egan I read her books in reverse order starting with The Keep , then Look At Me , and then Invisible Circus I love that she explores different themes in each book all three are very different Invisible Circus gets a firm 3 stars from me I loved the overall feeling of living in the world during a time of great change, but not being able to identify just what it is that is happening even though you still want to be a part of it Still, she uses a lot of exposition and towards the en [...]

  13. Pat Conroy is quoted as having said about Egan s precocious debut that if there were any justice in the world, no one would be allowed to write a first novel of such beauty and accomplishment I completely agree I wouldn t say The Invisible Circus is perfect, but it comes very damn near It s a story about love and loss, about growing up and about all those significant things in life It circumnavigates the globe and transcends time, taking its young heroine from San Francisco to the mountains of I [...]

  14. Phoebe lives most of her life reeling from the grief of having lost her father and then her older sister, Faith, before she reached her adolescence.Her sister was a flower child and fell to her death from a cliff in an Italian seaside town At the age of 18, Phoebe decides to pursue her sister s ghost through Europe to see if she can decipher what really happened to her.She explores the shadows of the 60s and the flower children and skirts the memories of her childhood This book is an excellent e [...]

  15. I love books about the hippie generation Not the political side as much as the freedom and adventure I am obsessed with the idea of letting go and experiencing life Which I am too rational to do myself This book shows the paradox between the sheer beauty and danger of that crazy time period It s about sisters and the tug of war between past and present.

  16. I think I read this years and years ago but I remembered nothing Why is it that I retain so little, even from books like this one, which I enjoyed I m so envious of people who can recall with amazing accuracy everything that they ve ever read.

  17. This is a wonderfully descriptive book, set in the late 70 s Phoebe has just finished high school and sets out on an impromptu quest to find out about how her sister died She heads to Europe, following the path her sister made years before.The story is rich, both historically and in terms of her own and her sister s internal emotional struggles I imagine that most who read this would be able to relate on some level to the insecurities and difficulties that the characters face And, if not, there [...]

  18. And unbelievable first novel, yet I was only familiar with Egan s later works, and was anticipating the audacious intellectual flights of fancy of, LOOK AT ME, or the intricately and bizarrely plotted story line of, A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD However, THE INVISIBLE CIRCUS is a very solid and readable examination of a family, and how the mood and tone of the radical sixties changed them forever Although, the focus is on this particular family dynamic, the book also operates as a metaphor to demo [...]

  19. Like, oh my god This soooo reminds me of the time I deferred my enrollment at U.C Berkeley to go traipsing around Europe in an attempt to retrace the footsteps of my crazybeautiful older sister who s untimely suicide from an Italian sightseeing spot served as the catalyst for my burgeoning maturity and stuff And I slept with people Sorry Just a pretty obvious good but not great first novel from a young author super heavy on extraneous descriptions of buildings cafes European streets that serve v [...]

  20. The protagonist, a teenager living in San Fran in the early 70s, has lived her entire life in the shadow of her flower child older sister, who has long been dead due to mysterious circumstances In what turned out to be an extremely satisfying coming of age novel, she goes to find out what happened, travelling to Europe in her sisters footsteps and encountering bohemian characters and sometimes tragic burnouts, junkies and users from her sister s life The mystery s resolution was surprising to me [...]

  21. Egan s writing is at times cloying and manipulative, but the beauty of her language allows the reader become seduced into the near psychotic of the main character Phoebe, and her relationships with her deceased sister Her journey to discover how her sister passed away can seem overwrought at times, but Egan conveys such a sense of the fantastical that the reader is willing to go along with the flow.

  22. I did not care for her other book, The Keep, however, I really did enjoy this book Phoebe lost her sister at a very young age, and she decides to travel to Europe to follow in her footsteps and discover what her last moments were like This book contains an interesting main character, as well as fleshed out secondary characters, and excellent writing I enjoyed it

  23. So beautiful The main character is terribly young and selfish, but the writing is gorgeous and the emotions so palpable it was impossible not to feel for her If only in real life you could have that clarity of thought about what you re experiencing at each moment I cried my eyes out.

  24. Jennifer Egan writes very cinematically in The Invisible Circus , so it s not a great surprise that the book became a movie 2001 By cinematically , I mean that Egan writes vividly of the times and places that the narrative covers, allowing the reader to truly visualize the settings.The book tells the story of 18 yr old Phoebe, who is having a little trouble finding a path through life until she suddenly decides to travel to Europe to visit all of the spots that her older sister Faith visited ten [...]

  25. Isn t it wonderful when you discover an author, read their work and love it, then realise that they ve written a few other books too I LOVE it when that happens I highly recommend this book and will be reading everything by Jennifer Egan.

  26. Beautiful masterful writing her sentences are magic Plot seems a little improbable but I still enjoyed this book greatly

  27. This is the story of Jennifer Eagan learning how to write I LOVED the goon squad and this Circus was really long and boring and trite and just not good She needed and editor I am happy she kept at it because she has become so much better.

  28. This is Jennifer Egan s first novel, and from what I could gather, her suceeding works were somewhat bolder and unconvential in their treatment of the novel form than this one, which is basically a straightforward realistic narrative about a girl growing up and stepping out of the shadow of her older sister who had been determining all her previous life.The Invisible Circus has first novel written all over it While it is very cleverly constructed, there is a certain awkwardness in the way it sh [...]

  29. This will sound hyperbolic, but I feel like I will never be the same after reading this I need time to process, but wow What a powerful piece of work.

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