The Invisible Circus

The Invisible Circus

by Jennifer Egan
3.5 11


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The Invisible Circus by Jennifer Egan

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 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307387523
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/09/2007
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 331,177
Product dimensions: 5.18(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.79(d)

About the Author

Jennifer Egan is the author of four novels: A Visit from the Goon SquadThe Keep, Look at Me, The Invisible Circus; and the story collection Emerald City. Her stories have been published in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, GQ, Zoetrope, All-Story, and Ploughshares, and her nonfiction appears frequently in The New York Times Magazine. She lives with her husband and sons in Brooklyn.

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Invisible Circus 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The novel was okay. I wouldn't say it was amazing but it wasn't terrible either. Any reader is basically going along while a teenager makes her way through a foreign country and loses her virginity...Egan is a good writer, but I wouldn't necessary recommend it for great reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MaryMedia More than 1 year ago
This has to be one of the best books I've read in a long time. Egan's prose is beautiful and captivating. Wish it had a different title though, something like Keeping Faith. It's the one thing I wish were different. So many passages here that I could just read and re-read. Hope that Egan returns to more stories like this.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book - so much that I read it more than twice. Interesting characters, great usage of the English language. I also recommend her collection of short stories, Emerald City, if you like this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the nice things about picking up novels at tag sales is that there is no great loss if you don't like the story. Such was the case with this book. It started out very promising, with the early chapters--before the main character, Phoebe, set out on her own to Europe--that sucked me in. Unfortunately, Phoebe's European trek to retrace her long-dead sister Faith's footsteps was supposed to be the meat of the story. Phoebe was only about ten when Faith committed suicide in Italy, and her sister's wild life and tragic death has haunted her ever since. Phoebe idolized her sister, was jealous of her at times, and was too young to understand what happened to her. She has a romanticized picture of the 60's in San Francisco as a turbulent exciting time and nothing that came after could match that excitement. I--incorrectly--assumed Faith had died of a drug overdose, so could not understand Phoebe's interest in taking a tab of acid (and tripping out) or her intense relationship with her sister's former boyfriend, Wolf. My guess is that despite her sister's death, Phoebe glamorized her life, so much so, that in taking up with Wolf, she felt she could actually BE Faith. This wasn't a bad premise for a story, but I would have enjoyed the novel more if the author did not try so hard at descriptive writing, overusing similes and metaphors at every turn. It reminded me too much of Jodi Picoult's novels, which have great story lines also, but where an overabundance of (often strained) descriptions actually takes away from the story.

Still, I may pick up another Jennifer Egan novel. The Invisible Circus has promise; I'm just not so sold on the endorsements by Pat Conroy and others.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I wish i could give it a review lower than poor. I couldn't believe how horrible this book was. I was very disappointed. The only reason I finished this book was because I hate stopping halfway through books. I actually told my friends to avoid reading this book.