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Water for Elephants
by Sara Gruen | Literature & Fiction
Registered by Cinderess on Monday, February 23, 2009
Average 8 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by GreyF0x): to be read


12 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by Cinderess on Monday, February 23, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Pleased to see this in my charity shop bookcase for 60p as I've looked at it new before. Hope to enjoy it as I particularly like the title and front cover. :-) 


Journal Entry 2 by Cinderess on Wednesday, April 15, 2009

9 out of 10

Loved this! So original. It's really effective weaving the past and present throughout the book. You also feel as wrenched away from the main story as the old man is from his memories by his sudden wakefulness.
Meticulous historical research has obviously gone into the writing. It makes me curious to find out more despite never being interested in, or liking, circuses.
I liked the photos too. Might see if I can find the photo books the author cites at the end.

I think this copy travelled from America because there's only a price in (US) dollars on the back. 


Journal Entry 3 by Cinderess on Tuesday, August 18, 2009

9 out of 10

I have this back after I lent it to a friend who's really enjoyed it:

"Excellent, I really enjoyed it. I liked the flashbacks, it's a nice way of revealing the story. The elephant driving the stake through X's heart was a great touch."

(I haven't included the name because I hate JEs which tell you everything.) 


Journal Entry 4 by Cinderess at Bremen, Bremen Germany on Wednesday, August 19, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 5 yrs ago (8/19/2009 UTC) at Bremen, Bremen Germany

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I loved this and hope you like it too. 


Journal Entry 5 by wingApoloniaXwing from Bremen, Bremen Germany on Monday, August 24, 2009

This book has not been rated.

A wishlist RABCK!

Thank you so much, Cinderess, this is most welcome and will be read soon :-)
 


Journal Entry 6 by wingApoloniaXwing from Bremen, Bremen Germany on Thursday, September 10, 2009

8 out of 10

A page-turner! I really appreciate well researched books such as this one. I’ve never been fascinated by the circus world, always thought it isn’t such a good life for the animals, but couldn’t put the book down – the story just caught me... it’s a glimpse into another (sub)culture. Behind the facades of the “spectacular” show nothing is spectacular, what remains is a cruel, harsh world, especially with the backdrop of the 1930s Great Depression and prohibition. The background story of grumpy, old Jacob having his flashbacks was wonderful. A special bonus: the novel is beautifully illustrated with vintage photographs of circuses of that time. 


Journal Entry 7 by wingApoloniaXwing from Bremen, Bremen Germany on Thursday, September 10, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Bookray:
- ETMadrid, UK, ship EU
- pingucb, UK, ship UK
- teggers, UK, ship EU
- mafarrimond, UK, ship int'l
- Hayes13, Italy, ship int'l
(Gzusgirl and dakini6 asked to be skipped)
- hyphen8, US, ship US if possible
(svoight already has a copy)
- daniellechonody, US
- Moody-Blue, US
- mssaver, US

This book has gone AWOL and is now exploring the US mail service. Hopefully it finds some new readers and we will hear from it again some day....

A replacement copy stands in and continues the ray. Thanks a lot mssaver! 


Journal Entry 8 by wingApoloniaXwing at by mail, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases on Monday, September 14, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 5 yrs ago (9/15/2009 UTC) at by mail, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases

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On its way to ETMadrid
Happy reading! 


Journal Entry 9 by ETMadrid from London, Greater London United Kingdom on Wednesday, September 30, 2009

This book has not been rated.

We're having pretty monumental postal strikes here in London so this is lucky to have made it through to me in relatively good time. It's particularly welcome, adorned as it is, and as another I received today also is, in colourful stamps. Thank you. I'll most likely start this when I finish my current book. Thank you too for the stickers - a help to me as I don't have a printer or any labels. 


Journal Entry 10 by ETMadrid from London, Greater London United Kingdom on Tuesday, October 06, 2009

8 out of 10

I have just finished this and really liked it too. I like the fact that the author was inspired after seeing some circus photographs of the time. The story is very easy to read, I'd be tempted to say almost too easy, had I not been so impressed with the sensitivity with which she writes of the elderly Jacob's daily routine in the nursing home. The ninety-three (or ninety!) year old's latter experience and emotions are remarkably like that of my very recently departed ninety-four year old grandmother's. As far as the circus is concerned, to read at the end that many of the anecdotal elements in the story are drawn from real events, certainly gives it credence. In my mind she has written a delightful and entertaining story that manages to capture some of the roughness, economic strife, romance and reality of a railroad circus at that time. She indulges us in an almost-(but not quite!)-cheesy happy ending, but I don't mind about that too much! I certainly never knew that circus companies ever travelled by train, so even that was a discovery.

I work in a small bookshop and recommended they get in a copy. The British edition of this has a really genuinely tacky picture on the front and I would never have selected it based on that. Shame - I can see it might well sit around our bookshop for a while due to its poor cover...

17/02/10 Addendum: Last night I saw the 1953 film "Man on a Tightrope" by Elia Kazan. I'd recommend it to all readers of this book! 


Journal Entry 11 by ETMadrid at Southwark, Greater London United Kingdom on Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 5 yrs ago (10/14/2009 UTC) at Southwark, Greater London United Kingdom

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And off it goes to its next reader. 


Journal Entry 12 by pingucb from Lower Kingswood, Surrey United Kingdom on Saturday, October 24, 2009

This book has not been rated.

I received this a few days ago - apologies I haven't had chance to journal it until now.
Am looking forward to reading it - currently halfway through another book, but will start it straight after that.
 


Journal Entry 13 by pingucb from Lower Kingswood, Surrey United Kingdom on Saturday, November 28, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Apologies for the delay in getting to this book. I have finally started reading it last night and am really enjoying it, so hope it won't take me long now I've started.
Will PM the next reader, so I hopefully have their address ready to send it on as soon as I've finished.
 


Journal Entry 14 by pingucb from Lower Kingswood, Surrey United Kingdom on Monday, November 30, 2009

9 out of 10

Well I finished this today and thoroughly enjoyed reading it - I didn't want it to end.
A fantastically entertaining story, clearly very well researched and beautifully written, with a host of well-rounded characters.
It's unusual these days for me to read a book in a few days, but I was taking myself to bed early and then staying awake late so I could just read a little bit more! No higher recommendation in my eyes than me being prepared to lose sleep over it!!
Have PM'd the next reader a few days ago and waiting for a response with their address. 


Journal Entry 15 by pingucb at -- Controlled Release, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom on Monday, December 07, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 5 yrs ago (12/7/2009 UTC) at -- Controlled Release, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom

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Posted off to Teggers today, who's next in line - hope you enjoy it.
Christmas is a bad time to be sending off bookrings - had to join a queue of about 30 people!! 


Journal Entry 16 by teggers from Mansfield, Massachusetts USA on Monday, December 14, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Thanks so much for offering this book, it's been on my wishlist for a while. There's one book ahead of it in my to read pile and I'm hoping to get them done over the seasonal period. 


Journal Entry 17 by teggers at -- Controlled Release, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom on Monday, January 11, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Released 4 yrs ago (1/11/2010 UTC) at -- Controlled Release, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom

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Off to the next reader. Happy Reading. 


Journal Entry 18 by mafarrimond from Hawarden, Wales United Kingdom on Saturday, January 16, 2010

This book has not been rated.

The book arrived safely today. I have a few books to read before this but will get round to it as soon as I can. 


Journal Entry 19 by mafarrimond from Hawarden, Wales United Kingdom on Friday, February 12, 2010

9 out of 10

What a wonderful story! I thoroughly enjoyed it. Will send on tomorrow. 


Journal Entry 20 by mafarrimond at Roma, Lazio Italy on Friday, February 12, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Released 4 yrs ago (2/13/2010 UTC) at Roma, Lazio Italy

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Sending on to Hayes13.
 


Journal Entry 21 by wingHayes13wing from Roma, Lazio Italy on Saturday, February 20, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Arrived this morning, thank you! Will get to it as quickly as I can. 


Journal Entry 22 by wingHayes13wing from Roma, Lazio Italy on Thursday, March 11, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Gzusgirl and daikini6 asked to be skipped. Am waiting to hear from the next in line so I can send the book on to its next destination.

I just loved, loved, loved it! Thank you for sharing this with me. (I will post a better review when I have finished writing it.)
xxH

Here's the review:

I found it hard to write a review of this book. I wonder why, as I liked this book very much.

I loved Jacob's impressions of the old age home, his desperate frustration with living there, with having no other alternative. I loved the way the different nurses and patients are shown through an old man's eyes. This story is told along with another story in flashbacks. The second story is Jacob's life as a young man about to finish veterinary school and how he managed to find himself on a circus train instead of in a "normal" life with a wife and family in the house where he grew up.

There is a nice mystery, a very good description of circus life during the Depression including a lot of brutality, craziness and humanity. It is ultimately about how important it is to have choices in life, to make them when you don't have them, and to use your choices well.

Highly recommended.
 


Journal Entry 23 by wingHayes13wing at -- Mail or by hand-rings, RABCK, meetings, Hawaii USA on Saturday, March 13, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Released 4 yrs ago (3/16/2010 UTC) at -- Mail or by hand-rings, RABCK, meetings, Hawaii USA

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Off to Hawaii! Wheeee! (Can I come too?) 


Journal Entry 24 by winghyphen8wing from Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Tuesday, March 23, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Received today - that was speedy!

I'm in the middle of something else, but I'll try to get to this in the next week or so.

I love the bookmark with the Christopher Morley spaghetti quote: "No man is lonely while eating spaghetti - it requires so much attention." I'm leaving it in the book for the next reader.

Digital scrapbooking credits: fonts are Goudy Stout; Skuntch by S. John Ross at Cumberland Fontworks (registered version); and Palatino Linotype.
Papers from Forest Nymph by Mrs. Schmuck; text path from DeeDoo's Digital Scrapbooking; elephant tiles by hyphen8 (from 2 elephant statues at the zoo).
 


Journal Entry 25 by winghyphen8wing from Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Saturday, March 27, 2010

This book has not been rated.

I really enjoyed this book. I thought both stories (past and present) were well told, the circus and Depression details were fascinating, and I loved the "fairy tale" ending. :)

The circus doesn't travel by train in Hawaii and in fact doesn't make it here very often (I think it's just too difficult), but we visited Baraboo, Wisconsin (former winter quarters for Ringling) when I was a kid.

The last time I saw the circus, we took my grandmother and we all had a great time. Unfortunately there was a tragic incident with Tyke the elephant a day or two later, and I've often wondered what triggered it - was it only the elephant, or was the relationship with the trainers/handlers a factor? Elephats are supposed to be very smart, so I'd think they'd be very sensitive to the way they're treated. I don't think we've had a circus with animals come through since then - I think it's very important to make sure they're well cared for and not abused, but to me circuses aren't quite the same without the animals.

svoight already has a copy, so I'm contacting daniellechonody for an address. 


Journal Entry 26 by winghyphen8wing from Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Monday, March 29, 2010

This book has not been rated.

OOPS! This was mailed prematurely by someone trying to be helpful. It had postage and a "from" address and was waiting for the "to" address, but the helpful elf dropped it in the mailbox earlier today anyway.

I discovered this when I went looking for the package tonight to write the address on it so I could mail it tomorrow!

Hopefully it will come back soon so I can send it out properly. I'm really sorry about this - apologies to everyone involved. :(

If it doesn't turn up in a week or so I'll start seriously looking for a replacement copy. 


Journal Entry 27 by winghyphen8wing from Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Wednesday, April 14, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Hooray, it came back, marked "Returned for better address"! :p

I've put daniellechonody's address on the package and it will be going out again in the next day or two.

Sorry for the delay. 


Journal Entry 28 by winghyphen8wing at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Friday, April 16, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Released 4 yrs ago (4/14/2010 UTC) at Honolulu, Hawaii USA

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Traveling to daniellechonody, take 2. This time WITH the address on the package. :) 


Journal Entry 29 by daniellechonody from Dallas, Texas USA on Thursday, April 29, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Arrived in the mail today. I've been wondering which book I should take on my trip to Australia this Sunday - and now I know! 


Journal Entry 30 by daniellechonody from Dallas, Texas USA on Wednesday, May 19, 2010

9 out of 10

What a great holiday read - I really enjoyed the plot twist!

Have passed the book on to my friend Beth who will mail to her sister who is next on the ring - along with some Aussie Lamingtons 


Journal Entry 31 by wingMoody-Bluewing at Cortez, Colorado USA on Tuesday, May 25, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Arrived yesterday and I dove right in. It's gripping from the start, isn't it? I hardly want to put it down! 


Journal Entry 32 by wingMoody-Bluewing at -- Parks (state and national), Colorado USA on Friday, May 28, 2010

9 out of 10

Wow -- some people just know how to write! The subject matter was fascinating to me, the story was nicely paced, the narrative was engaging and believable. That's a boring way of saying "I loved it!" This is a real page-turner! 


Journal Entry 33 by mssaver at Chicago, Illinois USA on Monday, June 07, 2010

This book has not been rated.

It's here! Hurrah and thanks, Moody-Blue! I'm just a little way into another book, so I'll set it aside for now and get started on Water for Elephants. 


Journal Entry 34 by mssaver at Chicago, Illinois USA on Friday, June 25, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Released 4 yrs ago (6/25/2010 UTC) at Chicago, Illinois USA

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At last! I finally got to the post office to send this interesting book on to Tracy920. It'll be on its way by this afternoon. 


Journal Entry 35 by mssaver at Chicago, Illinois USA on Friday, July 09, 2010

This book has not been rated.

ALERT: I just got a message from the Greensboro post office labeled "Parcel Search Request." Their message states that an empty wrapper with my address was found in the mail and is believed to have been separated from a parcel during handling. I'll fill out the form with details and send it tomorrow. If they don't find it, I'll pick up another copy of the book, register it, and send it on to Tracy920. 


Journal Entry 36 by GreyF0x at Dublin, Ohio USA on Friday, August 12, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Haven't read yet, but will soon. 




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