Water for Elephants
12 journalers for this copy...
1. Please make a journal entry when you receive the book and after you've read it.
2. Please PM the next person in line when nearing the end of the book as to keep the book traveling.
3. Please read within a month.
4. Enjoy it and happy reading!
List of participants:
1. PrincessJCM (Ireland)
2. madmadge (UK)
3. Annodyne (UK) ship anywhere
4. Kizmiaz (Portugal) Europe only
5. QueenSissi (Portugal)
6. virgulina (Portugal)
7. preciousarwen (Portugal)
8. pedrogamavieira (Portugal) <<---the book is here!
9. followdream (Switzerland in Oct.) ship anywhere
10. ana-b (Netherlands) ship anywhere
13. Bluestocking88 (Washington) only in US
15. dabercro (Utah) only in US
16. vzfamily (Ohio)
17. Bookbug79 (Pennsylvania) ship anywhere
19. ndspider (Georgia)
20. Gran-ducato (Chile) ship anywhere
21. snufkin81 (South Africa) international surface mail only
22. Elsita (Portugal)
23. arugh48187 (India)
24. passiontoread (Pennsylvania) home!
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Mailed today - happy reading :-)
I'm PMing the next in line and will send it out when I get the address. Thank you so much passiontoread for giving me the opportunity to read Water for Elephants - it will stay with me a very long time.
Just about to pop to the Post Office to post this to Annodyne. Happy reading.
I'm really pleased to be taking part in this bookring, which judging by previous Journal Entries is for a great book! Going to make a start on this right away....
Just one thing - animals like Rosie certainly have the ability to remember both kindness and cruelty, but do elephants really smile?
I have kizmiaz's address, and hope to post it on tomorrow.
3/10/07 - Edited to confirm that the book is now on its way to kizmiaz in Portugal.
I'll get to it soon.
At first I wasn’t expecting much, the thing that drew to me to it was the cover and the title, I hadn’t heard of the author before and didn’t even looked it up before I got the book, but once I started reading that prologue I was pretty much hooked.
I really enjoyed the story and especially the way it’s written. The narrative is very well structured and as we accompany Jacob’s delusion at old age, with its natural limitations, we get the rush of his younger day’s adventurous life in the circus, it’s a good balance.
The characters are great and the research done by the author really shows all through the circus part of the book.
Once I started getting into the story, especially the one about young Jacob, I just couldn’t stop thinking about how good these guys in the circus had it, even though it doesn’t look that way, in a time when millions of people were unemployed and starving all over the US. The hobo alley episode really brings it to perspective, those were bad times indeed.
To wrap this up I just want to say that it was a darn good time I had reading this book, right up to the very last page.
The interview with the author and the Book Club questionnaire are very interesting and make this edition the more valuable for that.
I’ll be sending it on today (06.11.2007).
Sending it to Virgulina as soon as I get an address.
It arrived today, I'm really curious about this story. :-)
I have some ideias to share with you all:
*I think Jacob could have been a stronger person but, at the same time, he is the only one in the book who has a handle on a moral compass and as a reward he spends most of the story beaten, broken, bleeding, swollen and hungover.
*I'm sure Marlena wasn't the only woman-performer in the show and I think this book is a bit lacking in feminine characters...
*I wanted more... For example about other performers and about the animal trainning.
*I have a passion for Elephants and I fellt in love with Rosie. I just can't imagine, even with a special wagon, how it was possible on those days to transport such a huge animal by train. I know they were transported like this but it's difficult to imagine. Probably dangerous for the animal!
*I was never a circus fan but I think this book can really give us a glimpse of the magic of this kind of show. I can even imagine Uncle Al under the spotlights saying "Welcome to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth!"
*Some of the dialogs in Polish should be translated...
*The research was superb: the circus vocabulary, the detail of the music they play when there's trouble, the day-by-day life on a train, the set-up and take-downt each time the arrive to a new city, the show choreography... everything. The photos are a 'must'...
*Jacob's life in the present is very plausible and the book ending is lovely (less plausible but lovely even so)... The articulation between past and present is very well balanced.
*I delighted myself with Albert's fate. Not a stupid bull at all ;)
*It was a really cozy read. :)
[This book reminded me of a very old film (Trapeze, 1956). The first movie I saw with Burt Lancaster where Gina Lollobrigida plays the game of love with Tony Curtis and Lancaster (trapeze artists). I saw it 20 years ago and i liked it because i think this film shows well the atmosphere of the circus also].
I have send it to PedroGamaVieira yesterday (Feb 19th) and i have to thank kizmiaz who recomended this book at the portuguese forum and to passiontoread for organizing this ring. Thanks you a lot. I will look for more Sara Gruen's books. :)))
PS-I forgot to tell passionread that i have changed my screenname from PreciousArwen to CenouradoLado.
Now, about the book... it is enchanting. It's is great the way the author crates the atmosphere of the circus and you can really enter it and live it deeply. That's the most interesting there is to this book. The pictures are fantastic, they really help create the atmosphere.
WARNING: From now on there may be some spoilers, so if you haven´t read the book, proceed at your own risk...
The story of the young Jacob is actually very trivial. You know it immediatly. You can see it coming, and if you can't the prologue is there to take care of it. There's a poor, pure young stable boy (almost a vet, though), the princess of the horses, and bad, bad dark knight, tied up by marriage to wich, she was trapped. The bad, bad dark knight gets to be a victim of hymself and all his bad deeds and the dragon, a dragoness, actually, like in Shrek, but is actually an elephant, like Dumbo or Dumbo's mother gets him right. He dies and the pricess is now free to marry stable boy, "as soon as the ink dries out".
But at the same time that is one of the marvels of the book: the story is so simple and the ambiance is so penetrating that you open it like a music box: like a beautifull, fragile secret. You know you heard it before, and since the music quickly repeats itself over and over, if you didn't know the tune, you will soon. But still you don´t want to close it, you don´t want it to end, you want to believe the litle toy is actually a ballerina dancing to that tune.
And that is the big marvel of ilusion: you are an active part of it, you make it with your will and you sustain it. You know there´s a trick, but you want to believe it. Just like the circus, is it not?
Loved the story of the old Jacob. I feel very attached to it. I do agree thar the end of the story isn´t very plausible, but still, once again, I would love to believe it.
Thank you so much, passion to read and CenouradoLado.
I'll send a pm for followdream to pass it on right away!
Picture: Marc Chagall - Le Cirque
Thanks for sharing!
I just adored Rosie, she's just a love!
When I read this book, I always remembered a Christina Aguilera's videoclip with the song Hurt, about a circus...
I won't write more, because all of you wrote so much about the book already!
Thanks for sharing, passiontoread!
I think I'm sending the book to ana-b, because followdream only receives the book in October...
Sending this to ana-b, I have her adress already.
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
Sorry for the delay!
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
On its way to Ohio.