Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants Winner of the BookBrowse Award for Most Popular Book An atmospheric gritty and compelling novel of star crossed lovers set in the circus world circa by the bestselling author of Riding L

  • Title: Water for Elephants
  • Author: Sara Gruen
  • ISBN: 9781565125605
  • Page: 282
  • Format: Paperback
  • Winner of the 2007 BookBrowse Award for Most Popular Book.An atmospheric, gritty, and compelling novel of star crossed lovers, set in the circus world circa 1932, by the bestselling author of Riding Lessons When Jacob Jankowski, recently orphaned and suddenly adrift, jumps onto a passing train, he enters a world of freaks, drifters, and misfits, a second rate circus strugWinner of the 2007 BookBrowse Award for Most Popular Book.An atmospheric, gritty, and compelling novel of star crossed lovers, set in the circus world circa 1932, by the bestselling author of Riding Lessons When Jacob Jankowski, recently orphaned and suddenly adrift, jumps onto a passing train, he enters a world of freaks, drifters, and misfits, a second rate circus struggling to survive during the Great Depression, making one night stands in town after endless town A veterinary student who almost earned his degree, Jacob is put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie It is there that he meets Marlena, the beautiful young star of the equestrian act, who is married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer He also meets Rosie, an elephant who seems untrainable until he discovers a way to reach her Beautifully written, Water for Elephants is illuminated by a wonderful sense of time and place It tells a story of a love between two people that overcomes incredible odds in a world in which even love is a luxury that few can afford.

    • ✓ Water for Elephants ✓ Sara Gruen
      Sara Gruen


    About “Sara Gruen

    • Sara Gruen

      Sara Gruen is the 1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of five novels AT THE WATER S EDGE, APE HOUSE, WATER FOR ELEPHANTS, RIDING LESSONS, and FLYING CHANGES Her works have been translated into forty three languages, and have sold than ten million copies worldwide WATER FOR ELEPHANTS was adapted into a major motion picture starring Reese Witherspoon, Rob Pattinson, and Christoph Waltz in 2011 She lives in Western North Carolina with her husband and three sons, along with their dogs, cats, horses, birds, and the world s fussiest goat.



    490 thoughts on “Water for Elephants

    • I think I expected too much out of this novel and therefore had room only for disappointment Though I finished the book in its entirety, I wrote a short review on my blog about halfway through, expounding on the aspects of the book that irritated me I have adapted it herein.First, the main heroine, Marlena, is incredibly flat boring The narrator main character, Jacob, is clearly infatuated with her, but I m not sure why other than she looks good in pink sequins She s married to her arrogant, bip [...]


    • REVIEW CONTAINS SLIGHT SPOILERS I really wanted to like this book I think my low opinion is partially my fault, because I drove into the story with high expectations due to rave reviews I need to learn not to do that.The beginning of this novel was excellent A Ivy League dropout, who formerly studied to be a vet, runs away and joins the circus The time period The Depression and Prohibition America a historical era of uncertainty and chaos I was looking for an intriguing tale of a college youth t [...]


    • I wanted to like this book I really did I even enjoyed the first couple of chapters and was prepared for an entertaining summer read Eventually, however, the lack of imagination, melodrama, and just plain bad writing did it in for me At the risk of beating a dead horse albeit a dead horse with tremendous appeal to book clubs across the United States , let me enumerate the problems spoiler alert not that I suggest you read this book anyway 1 Neither the narrator, nor any of the other characters i [...]



    • SPOILERS IN MY REVIEW I M SORRY ABOUT SPOILING IT FOR PEOPLE, REALLY I AM, IT WAS NEVER INTENTIONAL BUT AS WITH ALL REVIEWS ESPECIALLY MINE THERE ARE GOING TO BE SPOILERS I DELETED ALL THE COMMENTS THAT WERE HARASSING ME ABOUT ACCIDENTLY SPOILING THE BOOK SERIOUSLY, I M SORRY, BUT PEOPLE DON T NEED TO BE COMPLETE AND UTTER ASSHOLES ABOUT IT NOT EVERYONE, TO THOSE OF YOU WHO WERE NICE, I REALLY AM SORRY THAT I SPOILED THE BOOK I FORGET THAT DOESN T HAVE A WAY OF HIDING SPOILERS THEY SHOULD IF I C [...]


    • I picked up Water for Elephants after seeing the movie You know, the one with that Twilight guy who for a change was allowed to smile And to have other facial expressions besides permanently constipated The math is simple.Drum roll Rosie the elephant works better than Ex Lax But on to the book now In addition to Jacob Jankowski s love affair with Rosie the elephant and a noticeably less sweet affair with Marlena the bland chick we get a parallel story of Jacob the old guy who is ninety Or ninety [...]


    • Sara Gruen s Water for Elephants is one of those rare novels, that will be read and re read, discussed and enjoyed for many years, by old and young alike Destined to be passed between family and friends and back again, until the tattered, time worn pages resemble the books beloved central character and narrator.Jacob Jankowski, just days from the final exams at Cornell University that would have attached the respectable Dr of Veterinary medicine forever to his name, had his world forever altered [...]


    • Now THIS is a Good Book When I finished reading Water for Elephants, goose bumps covered my skin Now this is a good book Immediately engrossed, I had a hard time putting it down as I read the story of Jacob Jankowski and his reminiscence of days with the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth otherwise known as a train circus in 1930 s America.A talented writer and storyteller, Sara Gruen takes readers on a bumpy and tense train ride through history This tale defines Americana There is [...]


    • Just to put it out there, I ll admit straight off the bat that I m one of the people who enjoyed this book It was a fast read which I always appreciate, because I m perpetually drowning in a list of books TBR and it was fairly easy to get through I also didn t see the end coming until a few pages before it actually happened, which probably added immensely to my enjoyment factor.I ve been reading all the criticisms of this book in an attempt to organize my opinions after reading this book It seem [...]


    • April 24, 2008 edition of Coastal View NewsThe glitz and grit, glam and sham of depression era circus life limps along in Sara Gruen s Water for Elephants with little aid from her shoddy prose, predictable plot and underdeveloped metaphor Although the book has a flashy appearance and is easily digested, it offers less nutritional value than promised.When his parents suddenly and tragically die, Jacob Jankowski quits veterinarian school at Cornell University just before graduation and finds himse [...]


    • I can count the number of times I ve been to the circus on one hand Actually, realistically, on one finger.We were taken once by my grandparents when I was about five First, last and only time My parents hate the idea of the circus and scorned it with all the pretentious uninterest that would likely scar their children for life, causing them to grow up embittered, solitary and convicted to write scathing, snarky reviews on GoodReads as a form or self expression in order to share their own misery [...]


    • This book was PERFECT and I loved it I want to read it again and again, and I can t recommend the audio book enough.


    • It s truly admirable to place the plot on a moving train and its roving fairgrounds it s like living in a cotton candy cloud There were plenty of chances to dash the reader away, to make poetry out of the circus workers vagrant conditions, to use the animals as characters, not just decor, to avoid cliche This novel is written concisely, but with often description so vague the reader just glides over it Also, the narrator is absolutely unreliable oftentimes he seems hero than human, perhaps the [...]


    • 4 stars It s the 1930 s, in the midst of the great depression and prohibition At 23, Jacob Jankowski is just days away from taking his final exams at Cornell and becoming a veterinarian He plans to join his fathers practice Then he gets the devastating news that both his parents were killed in an automobile accident They were behind on their mortgage and both their house and his fathers practice belong to the bank There s nothing left for Jacob, no home to go to any In a daze, he walks out on hi [...]


    • Actual Rating 1.5 StarsI went into this book with basically no expectations.Outside of the preview I saw for the movie starring Robert Pattinson Reese Witherspoon years ago, I didn t even know what this book was about Turns out this is a story is set in the 1920 s told from the dual perspectives of Jacob Jankowski when he is 23 90 or maybe 93 On one hand, the story follows young Jacob right after his parents are both taken from him in a freak car accident Laden with grief, he abandons his studie [...]


    • 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.


    • This is a very good example of why one should have no expectations when going into a book I wanted this book to be great I thought this book was going to be great A depression era traveling circus and all that entails Awesome The author s voice being likened to Mr Irving Awesome The fact that damn near everyone LOVED it Promising The only other circus book I ve read was GEEK LOVE, and holy shit Awesome All of this lead me to believe that I was about to be blown away.But, it wasn t awesome And I [...]


    • Onvan Water for Elephants Nevisande Sara Gruen ISBN 1565125606 ISBN13 9781565125605 Dar 335 Safhe Saal e Chap 2006


    • I can fully see why this book has such a polarizing effect on its readers the circus setting led me to anticipate this as a fantastical and magical, fast paced read, akin to The Night Circus What was actually delivered was a moving and slow building portrait of life as part of a circus This was densely descriptive and evocative of the life of Jacob Jankowski, veterinarian for the Benzini Brothers circus show, but there was little plot to move the story forward.The novel was split between past Ja [...]




    • I just finished reading Water for Elephants out on my deck Just boo That s my review Boo Not a loud boo, or an emphatic boo, just your average boo Water for Elephants equals boo.Why do I give this a boo rating Mostly for the dialogue The author tries to explain 1930s carnival vernacular through a green carnie s questions about the world around him And the questions come out over simplified and make for unrealistic and stilted conversations Sara Gruen also tries to intersperse a 90 year old s rem [...]


    • 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 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 [...]


    • Reading this was like running a marathon on bloody stumps It took forever and it was painful The subject a vet recalling his days in a failing 1920s circus would ve interested me if the writing had been up to par It wasn t horrible, just amateurish at times Also, the dialogue could ve been better If the characters sounded like they came from the 20s it might ve drawn me into the story, but they sounded like contemporaries who like to use old timey jargon Also, I can t get down with the idea th [...]



    • Such a whimsical and fascinating novel Some of the violence involving circus animals was a little upsetting but overall, I enjoyed reading about Jacob s story I really liked him.


    • In the beginning of Water For Elephants Jacob Jankowski tells us that he is ninety or ninety three One or the other He s not really sure any His body betrayed him years ago and Jacob now fears that his mind isn t far behind Shuffling along miserably behind his walker, he s living out his final days in the nursing home and hating every minute of it Just another invisible senior citizen who s family and the world as a whole has forgotten about When the circus comes to town and sets up its Big Top [...]


    • Ladies and gentlemen Direct your attention to the performer in print You will be amazed, dazzled and mystified by the daring feats you are about to witness Well, that might be overstating a bit The story does open with drama, though A circus menagerie has gotten loose and there is mayhem The narrator, Jacob, sees the ringmaster murdered We then scoot ahead to the present Jacob is in his 90s and looks back, revisiting his ghosts From here, we flip back and forth between Jacob in the present and h [...]



    • Somehow I feel that I have to defend why I liked this book, even though there s no one saying why I shouldn t have enjoyed it Here s what I found most touching the author took an fantastic premise an orphan running away to the circus, a love triangle, an elephant, and the Great Depression and weaved a tale that doesn t make you say bullocks, at every page Gruen outlines use of anachronistic story telling is effective and she is skilled at moving the story along, even adept at highlighting an ag [...]


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