Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen: Mini Book Review

Water for Elephants
by Sara Gruen
ISBN: 978-1-44340-629-1
Buy from Indigo

Description: Though he may not speak of them, the memories still dwell inside Jacob Jankowski's ninety-something-year-old mind. Memories of himself as a young man, tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Memories of a world filled with freaks and clowns, with wonder and pain and anger and passion; a world with its own narrow, irrational rules, its own way of life, and its own way of death. The world of the circus: to Jacob it was both salvation and a living hell.

Jacob was there because his luck had run out - orphaned and penniless, he had no direction until he landed on this locomotive 'ship of fools'. It was the early part of the Great Depression, and everyone in this third-rate circus was lucky to have any job at all. Marlena, the star of the equestrian act, was there because she fell in love with the wrong man, a handsome circus boss with a wide mean streak. And Rosie the elephant was there because she was the great gray hope, the new act that was going to be the salvation of the circus; the only problem was, Rosie didn't have an act - in fact, she couldn't even follow instructions. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and ultimately, it was their only hope for survival.

Mini Book Review: An absolutely delightful engrossing novel. One of those perfect stories that you pick up and just cannot bring yourself to put it down. A compelling story, intriguing characters and some wonderful historical information about train circuses thrown it - absolute perfection. I also fell totally in love with Rosie the Elephant and for the first time in my life have a sudden urge to join a circus -- well except for the fact that they have clowns and Stephen King and Tim Curry have scared me for life when it comes to clowns.  This is the perfect book to read while snuggled under the covers on a cold night or on a dock overlooking the water on a perfect summer day. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy, you won't regret it.  I haven't decided whether to see the movie yet or not.  I'm not the biggest Pattison fan and I just cannot see him in the part of Jacob. As for Witherspoon, who I do enjoy, I equally don't see her in the role of Marlena. I also would have loved to have seen the older Jacob being portrayed by James Garner instead of the equally talented Hal Holbrook.  

5 Dewey's

I borrowed this from my boys daycare provider, Helen. Thanks Helen -- good call, loved it. But I still don't think I buy Robert "sparkly" Pattinson as Jacob. I will give it a shot though -- when it comes out on video.


  1. I thought this book was excellent - really interesting bits of info that Id never heard of before. Wasnt expecting to like it so much. Not sure about the film. Time will tell I suppose.

  2. I CANt begin to tell you how great this book is,I never knew how hard the circus life was. Jacob is in vet school when tradigity stricks he leaves just prior to compleating his final exams. He jumps on a circus train where he meets and falls in love with Marlena who is married to August a man with many sides. You will hate him and feel sorry for him.