Monday, June 6, 2011

Water For Elephants

There are some pretty unsavory characters and happenings that went along with train-traveling circuses during the Great Depression. My imagination ran wild reading all about them in the historical novel Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.

From one week to the next the main character, Jacob Jankowski, goes from getting an Ivy League education in veterinary medicine to mucking-out train cars carrying exotic animals. The less-than-reputable circus is a rag-tag group of performers, freaks and laborers who are on-the-take from patrons of the show as well as eachother. Jacob manages to form a few alliances along the way but risks everything when he falls in-love with the wrong girl (or right girl, depending on how you look at it).

This book is a great example of why I love historical fiction. The author provided incredible insight into the desperation people felt during the Great Depression as well as life on the road (or the tracks, as it were) of a traveling circus.

I was hook, line and sinker for this book from the get-go. I found the plot's twists and turns thrilling...especially the ending.

WOW...what an ending! LOVED. IT!!! (I stayed up way past my bedtime because I could not go to sleep until I finished the book...and then all I could do was lay awake and think about the I-didn't-see-that-coming ending.)

The setting also provided for a handful of sad moments, as well as a few crude scenes and some foul language that I found distasteful. I'm a PG-13 kinda gal...what can I say?

Now I'd like to go see the movie which is currently in theaters, but I have even less time to watch shows than I do to read books. Let me know if you've seen the movie...and your thoughts compared to the novel.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wasn't that thrilled with the book. I think it had been built up so much I was expecting more.

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