Nancy's Reviews > Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
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liked it
bookshelves: audio-books, historical-fiction, library-books, i-saw-the-film, award-winners

I wasn’t planning on reading this story, but my co-worker insisted. Since we had so much fun reading and discussing The Help, I decided to borrow the audio book from the library.

Craig enjoyed the story more than I did and gave it four stars, while I gave it just three. We both enjoyed the alternating perspectives, from that of Jacob when he’s in his early 20’s and working for the Benzini Brothers circus to the old Jacob, when he’s 90 (or 93) and living in a nursing home. We loved the large cast of fully developed and memorable characters, and the well-researched and realistic details of circus life.

What I didn’t enjoy so much was how the story went from a fascinating look at life and hardship during the Great Depression, to circus life – its magic, sparkly costumes, and performing animals, and the harsh living and working conditions – to a tepid, plodding romance between Jacob and the kind, beautiful and lifeless Marlena.

The tacked-on, sappy ending was disappointing too.

Overall, it was an entertaining story, just not one that will stay with me.
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Reading Progress

March 24, 2011 – Started Reading
March 24, 2011 – Shelved
March 24, 2011 – Shelved as: audio-books
March 24, 2011 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
April 8, 2011 – Finished Reading
July 25, 2011 – Shelved as: library-books
September 5, 2012 – Shelved as: i-saw-the-film
May 22, 2015 – Shelved as: award-winners

Comments Showing 1-13 of 13 (13 new)

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Kwesi 章英狮 I've read this book last year and I like the book but in the end I easily forget everything.

Stephanie *Very Stable Genius* Yeah, same here.....I can't remember much, I know there was an elephant.

Nancy The elephant was one of the best characters. :)

Nancy I saw the movie on the plane from Poland and have the same issues as I did with the book. The film was competently made, but it just didn't stand out enough. Most of the characters were rather bland. My favorite character in the movie, besides Rosie, was August.

Joseph Longo I did not particularly like this novel. It was entertaining in part, but forgettable.

Will Byrnes This did not deserve to sell so many copies. Some interesting elements, but not top notch.

Nancy I think this is one of those books that try to be all things to all people, and it failed.

Will Byrnes Yep

message 9: by Forrest (new)

Forrest Good to know. I'll save myself the boredom!

Joseph Longo I agree, Nancy. Some good parts, but basically over-rated.

message 11: by Irma Sanderson (new)

Irma Sanderson I loved this book will premiere it for ever I have past it on to friends and have had a great response I think if u are my age u would see a whole new message

message 12: by Nancy (last edited Jul 16, 2014 03:25AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Nancy Irma Sanderson wrote: "I loved this book will premiere it for ever I have past it on to friends and have had a great response I think if u are my age u would see a whole new message"

If it's so great, then where is your review?

Brenda Spence I read, enjoyed, remembered the hardships, and moved on to my next book. I looked for another book by the author but thank goodness did not find.

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