"Take no heed of her...She reads a lot of books."
~Jasper Fforde

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Water For Elephants

I got this book yesterday afternoon.  Less than 48 hours later, I'm done.  I read a 331 page book in less than two days....during school.  That doesn't happen to me anymore.  Not with college-level assignments and a part-time job as well.  I guess that just means that this was a really, really good book!  I quite simply could not put it down!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen is my book club reading selection for November, but since I was scared I wouldn't have time to read it (just like all of my other book club books), I decided to start early so that I could actually find myself prepared for the discussion.  I had no idea that I would finish this early!

Water for Elephants is an amazing book, and I seriously recommend it!  The plot grabs your attention early on, and keeps you interested all the way from the start of the Prologue to the end of Chapter 25!  The tone varies from dramatic and powerfully sad to humorous and amusing.  It's an emotional roller coaster that leaves you feeling satisfied.  To be honest, I was a bit leery about how the novel would end, but I believe I can safely say that I'm satisfied with it.

A quick summary: Jacob Jankowski is in his nineties and living in a nursing home.  Even though he can't remember his own age, he still remembers all of his adventures from his life in the circus as though it were yesterday.  He worked as the veterinarian in the menagerie for the Benzini Brothers Circus during the Great Depression.  It is here that he meets two very important ladies: Marlena, a beautiful circus performer; and Rosie, a very special elephant.  However, things are not all perfect for Jacob, as he also has to deal with August, Marlena's charming, but crazy husband, and Jacob's boss.

I hope you all enjoy this as much as I did!  And please tell me what you think if you've read it :)


  1. I've heard a lot about Water For Elephants movie. I didn't know about the book. This is going on my reading list. Of course I should look for the English version in Internet.

  2. I think I was coming down off of 'The Time Traveler's Wife', when I picked up 'Water for Elephants...or was it'Three Junes'?' Either way, it wasn't what I needed to keep that high going. Gruen writes a little close to the surface for my taste, very cut-and-dry. It was certainly a cute story, Hollywood-ready. Glad you liked it. What's next on your list?

  3. Steven,

    I agree that Sara Gruen's writing is a bit cut-and-dry, but I think it was a nice reprieve from the heavier poetry I've been reading for classes. Also, I think that's why I was able to finish the book so quickly. After this, I'm going to dive into another Chesterton novel: The Man Who Was Thursday. This one is supposed to be a pretty good mystery. After that, I turn to a small stack of books I brought from home. :)


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