Kristen's Reviews > Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
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did not like it

This book is so terrible it made me physically angry. It's predictable, cliched and unimaginative. The good-hearted poor boy meets the good-hearted beautiful girl, who's involved with the bad-hearted, controlling man. Whatever will happen?

Seriously. Don't buy this book. I know the cover is pretty, and the title is intriguing, and the summary is enticing. It's all razzle-dazzle. Kinda like a circus itself.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 1, 2007 – Finished Reading
September 25, 2007 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-7 of 7 (7 new)

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message 1: by Monine (new)

Monine Oh dear. If a book makes you physically angry, you might want to get that checked out.


Danielle lol..funny. perhaps your expectations were too high--did you expect a life altering experience?


Nadine Doolittle I don't think the reviewer had expectations that were too high. I believe as readers and book buyers, when we pick up a work of fiction that is praised to the skies by supposedly reputable media--only to find the emperor is stark naked--then, yep, angry is pretty much what happens.


Carli Wow, that's impressive! You predicted a bum with Jake leg, a murderous, Polish-speaking elephant, a horse being fed to animals, and an old man running away from the home to join the circus? You should be a fortune-teller. Maybe at a circus?


Kristen I'm not active on Goodreads, but I do get e-mail notifications periodically that people have liked this review. Signing back in to see these comments compels me to post. I know this recently became a movie starring several popular actors, which has regenerated interest in the book. But I will reiterate: This is a derivative, cliched book. The only part I found engaging was the details about the elephant, which the author states in the afterward were taken from true stories. While the details here may be interesting and unique, the plot is irredeemably cliched. It just upsets me that a book can become popular because of good marketing and, later, a movie deal with Big Stars. There are so many better books out there to read. And that’s just my opinion, but that’s what this site is all about. I don’t believe in labeling a book “good” just because it’s popular. I’ve read plenty of popular books that deserve to be lauded. This, frankly, just isn’t one of them.


Roberta Liguori So many people with different opinions and likes and dislikes it's nuts. Personally ever since I was a kid I loved listening and learning from old people who lived in that wonderful era of building this country and what they did for fun etc. going to the circus was one of the highlights of the year I mean this is before television was in households and if you were lucky you might own a radio,anyway I loved this book it reminded me of talking to older people who lived in that era and their wonderful stories and from what I was told by the people who lived during this time it was pretty close to right on. I believe the author did lots of research on this topic and brought it to life beautifully!!


Emmyisdabae guess what? buy this book it is a tale of love and is one of my favorite books. don't listen to her or anybody else this book is amazing!


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