Monday, December 3, 2007

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

I've heard buzz about this book for some time and I can't begin to tell you how many times I've picked this one up in the bookstore to gaze at its cover only to put it down. So, when a co-worker brought the book in to me recently proclaiming that I just had to read it, I decided then that I must finally stop and read this one. Disappointed, I was not! Having been craving a wildly exciting book for months, I was delighted when I was immediately captivated after turning the first page.

This story follows Jacob Jankowski as he recounts his days in the circus during the Depression. We are first introduced to Jacob as he is in his nineties and living in a nursing home facility. As word of a circus being set up near the nursing home spreads, the residents begin watching the set-up and Jacob is transported back to the 1930s where he was in college studying veterinary medicine. Through an unfortunate string of events, Jacob joins up with the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth where he meets owner Uncle Al, animal trainer August, August's wife Marlena, and many of the circus crew. A page-turner and full of delightful imagery, I simply could not put this book down. I especially enjoyed the interview with the author at the end of the book where she recounts how she began writing the book along with her detailed research. I highly recommend adding this one to your wish list this holiday.


Have the T-Shirt said...

I have a terrible habit of buying every book I see that interests me and then having to work my way through my THREE shelves of unread books. The good thing about my habit is that there are always worthwhile books to choose from, the bad thing is that great books like "Water for Elephants" take me a while to get to.

In the case of "Water for Elephants", my 17 year old son took it off the shelf and read it and prounounced that it had to be my NEXT read.

He was right, it was a wonderfully crafted, very entertaining book.

Inarticulate Fumblings said...

Thanks for the recommendation. The book sounds really intriguing. This will officially be my in-flight reading material when my partner and leave for Argentina in two weeks.

It sounds like you are having no trouble finding books to read. If you haven't read A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry, it's a must read. It's about 12 years old but still makes my top 5.

Pam said...

have the t-shirt: your bookshelf sounds exactly like mine. I can't begin to describe the stacks of books I've picked up that have set unread for quite some time. Had not my friend placed this book in my hand and said READ IT! I probably wouldn't have so soon.

inarticulate: I will add that one to my long list of books to get. ;) It sounds great.

Pam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Natasha said...

Hey! I like your critique. Maybe I'll take a little look at this book. But also wanted to let you know that I have posted a new entry in my blog and you should check it out!


Anna said...

I also picked the book up and put it back a million and one times before buying it. It was worth it!