Water for Elephants: A Novel

by Sara Gruen | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 9781565125605 Global Overview for this book
Registered by alsgal of Lewes, Delaware USA on 11/14/2007
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4 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by alsgal from Lewes, Delaware USA on Wednesday, November 14, 2007
From Publishers Weekly
With its spotlight on elephants, Gruen's romantic page-turner hinges on the human-animal bonds that drove her debut and its sequel (Riding Lessons and Flying Changes)—but without the mass appeal that horses hold. The novel, told in flashback by nonagenarian Jacob Jankowski, recounts the wild and wonderful period he spent with the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth, a traveling circus he joined during the Great Depression. When 23-year-old Jankowski learns that his parents have been killed in a car crash, leaving him penniless, he drops out of Cornell veterinary school and parlays his expertise with animals into a job with the circus, where he cares for a menagerie of exotic creatures[...] He also falls in love with Marlena, one of the show's star performers—a romance complicated by Marlena's husband, the unbalanced, sadistic circus boss who beats both his wife and the animals Jankowski cares for. Despite her often clichéd prose and the predictability of the story's ending, Gruen skillfully humanizes the midgets, drunks, rubes and freaks who populate her book.

Journal Entry 2 by alsgal from Lewes, Delaware USA on Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Sending off to brewski as an RABCK

Journal Entry 3 by brewski from Markham, Ontario Canada on Thursday, January 03, 2008
Thanks so much alsgal, I am looking forward to reading this very soon!

Journal Entry 4 by brewski from Markham, Ontario Canada on Friday, January 11, 2008
Thanks again for the RABCK, alsgal!

I enjoyed reading this book quite a bit. It was an interesting glimpse into the world of circus performers. Although the ending was a bit predictable, I still enjoyed reading my way through each page to see what laid in store for Jacob.

I am reserving this to send as a surprise to another BookObsessor.

Journal Entry 5 by brewski from Markham, Ontario Canada on Saturday, February 02, 2008
Dropping this in the mail today.

Journal Entry 6 by candieb from Austin, Texas USA on Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Oooohhhhh... I've been wanting to read this book for a while. I'm so excited! I have a few books ahead of this one, but I hope to get to it this Spring for sure.

*opens books and reads first few*

*slams book*

No, must not get started... must wait... must wait...

Journal Entry 7 by candieb from Austin, Texas USA on Tuesday, August 12, 2008
I'm still working out how I feel about this book. It was so well written, goes seamlessly between the past and the present. The love story (was it between he and Marlena or he and Rosie?) was lyrically written. The author did an amazing job of pulling me back and forth between the two. I even shed a few tears over a few different things. I'm not an animal activist, but certain parts of this book made me very uncomfortable. The history of the circus is pretty well known. We know the animals were mistreated (heck, they are today too), but the author writes so well about this subject that I found it hard to swallow that lump in my throat. It's obvious she did some major research into the subject matter.

When I originally read the description for this book, it was on my "skip it" list, but a few of my friends read it and told me I "had" to read it. I'm so glad they did. This was a beautiful book and definitely in my top 10 for the year.

Journal Entry 8 by candieb at Panera Bread in Austin, Texas USA on Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Will bring with me to the meetup tonight at 7pm at Panera Bread. If no one wants it, I will probably bring it back and find it another home :)

Journal Entry 9 by candieb at a gift, a gift -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Released 10 yrs ago (8/13/2008 UTC) at a gift, a gift -- Controlled Releases



RABCKing to HoserLauren

Journal Entry 10 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Monday, August 25, 2008
I received this today from Candie! You have been far nicer to me than I deserve lol
Thanks so much, I'm looking forward to it!

Journal Entry 11 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, July 28, 2009
When Jacob learns that his parents were killed in an automobile accident, he can no longer focus on finishing his final exams at Cornell to become a vet. Instead, Jacob jumps on a train wanting to escape and winds up on a travelling circus train and experiences the travelling circus live in the 1930s. Jacob soon becomes the vet for the show and learns all about how the circus operates, friendship, and love.

The story is seamlessly told between past and present, as Jacob remembers his life in the circus when the circus starts across the street from his retirement home. He talks about Marlena, his love, and his "bull" (elephant) Rosie, which is a different tale of love and is just as endearing.

As soon as I started this book I couldn't put it down. The characters and animals grabbed me and the tale of living on a train was enchanting. This is one of the better books I've read this year and I've already recommended it to people!

Journal Entry 12 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Will be letting a friend borrow to read this!

Journal Entry 13 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Friday, October 09, 2009
I was sending giz-angel a couple of owed books from swaps and noticed that this was on her wishlist so thought I would throw it in as a happy birthday RABCK!

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