Water for Elephants
I’ve noticed that some have said they wanted to like this book due to the high praise others here have given it. I will try not to gush. But honestly, this is one of THE best books I have EVER read.
From the beginning to the magnificent and most satisfying end, I was entirely delighted. Not every page was perfection I will admit but my annoyance was due to my own impatience about wanting to get back to a certain character rather than learning a bit more about another.
It is quite clear from the moment you begin that the author did some seriously extensive research about the Depression era in general and circus life specifically.
The way the author, Sara Gruen, weaves the story between present day and older Jacob (at 90 or 93, he can’t quite remember) and the flashbacks to the past (when Jacob was in his 20s) are fantastic. She handles aging and its inherent frustrations quite well; and Jacob is funny, endearing, and intensely likable.
I enjoyed this novel so much, I immediately took it to my parents and insisted they read it. Usually they stick to Nelson DeMille and Janet Evanovich novels (whom I also enjoy) so I knew this would be a little outside their comfort zone, but they humored me and read it. They both loved it! My father was as impressed as I at the ending, the satisfaction of it.
They both commented that some of the nursing home scenes were depressing; Jacob discussing his failing memory or lack of motor skills. But I say again, the ending completely makes up for anything depressing in the home, at least for my family!
Truly an amazing novel and I daresay, should be on the list of best books for the 21st century. I read this book straight through, without stopping to sleep.
Just an FYI, I actually HATE circuses. I find them tedious and beyond boring. NOT my sort of thing at all. Ugh. This book transcends all that.
P.S. The movie? Not nearly as good as the book. Too much edited out and too much non-book stuff put in. Choose the book!