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Saturday, July 24, 2010

"Water for Elephants"

Okay, I'm back from a very Pinkalicious birthday party that my daughter got invited to, then a gut-busting Chinese food for lunch, and now I'm ready to blog about Water for Elephants that I finally finished last night!  Though, a nap sounds about good right now too!!  :D
by Sara Gruen, 335p, 2006, rating=4

Initially I was going to rate this book a little less than a four because I was disappointed that I couldn't fly after reading it.  I heard quite a bit of wonderful raves and so my expectations were high... too high.  But the writing was too good to forget.  It was crisp, lively, and fun.  The characters were engaging and colorful.  The storyline was interesting, informative, and passionate.  You will definitely know more about circus life after reading this book!  An overall excellent read.

I'm curious to see how the film version turns out.  I can't seem to picture Robert Pattinson as young Jacob so if he pulls this off, he is definitely versatile!

Synopsis:  Jacob Jankowski is currently ninety-one or ninety-three, he couldn't remember which, was narrating his life story, present and past.  Presently at a nursing home and in his past during his adventures with the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth circus.  He recalls at age twenty-three loosing his parents.  Devastated, he was unable to finish vet school from Cornell University and found himself jumping into a traveling train.  There his circus life begins. He lands a job as their veterinarian, ranks in the upper-middle of the food chain, and hopelessly falls in love with Marlena, the star equestrian gal, and Rosie, a seemingly dumb elephant.  His new life leads him:  to befriend a dwarf; to hide an old man dying from drinking a Jamaican ginger extract from being redlighted (thrown off a moving train in the middle of the night as punishment or to avoid paying them); to hate his paranoid schizophrenic boss; to survive a stampede; and to find a way to end up with his loves.  Now in his current old age, he reminisces and then stumbles again into a circus adventure.

My quote-ables:
"Keeping up the appearance of having all your marbles is hard work but important." pg. 65
"Bathing is even more embarrassing, because I have to strip down to my birthday suit in front of a nurse.  Now, there are some things that never die, so even though I'm in my nineties my sap sometimes rises.  I can't help it." pg 107


  1. I didn't know much about this book when I picked it up recently, but I knew a lot of people really liked it. I ended up really liking it. The whole story surprised me, I guess I didn't realize it was about the circus. I didn't know they were going to make a movie...I'm kinda R.Patted out right now I don't know if he's exactly who I'd have in mind for the lead on that.

  2. I like that the book made me care about the dwarf and the Old man, characters I didn't like in the beginning.

  3. @Autumn--Yeah, didn't picture him either. Though he was actually pretty good in Remember Me. Yeah, did picture him either.

    @BookQuoter--change of heart characters just doesn't get old for me!

  4. I'm a new follower for follow friday! I'll have to check out Water for Elephants based on your review. I compare books to the movies made from them on my blog, come take a look some time

  5. I am a new follower! Thanks for hopping by my blog! I picked this book up when I found out they were making the movie. I do love Reese Witherspoon and I am a major Twilight fan. But I havent read it yet. Thanks for the review and the follow!


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