I love Jane Austen, and I love anything zombie-themed. So I thought this looked like an interesting read. Put the two together... have a few laughs! SI love Jane Austen, and I love anything zombie-themed. So I thought this looked like an interesting read. Put the two together... have a few laughs! Sure, sounded good at the time. This book is just too ridiculous! I like to think I have a good sense of humor, but nothing about this book was funny or enjoyable. I had to force myself to actually finish it, and I've never been so happy to reach the end of a book....more
Opening quote to Water for Elephants: "I meant what I said, and I said what I meant... An elephant's faithful - one hundred per cent!" By: Theodor SeussOpening quote to Water for Elephants: "I meant what I said, and I said what I meant... An elephant's faithful - one hundred per cent!" By: Theodor Seuss Geisel
This particular book has been on my "to read" list for a long time. I’ve been dying to read it, but for some reason I always end up putting off the books that I want to read the most. It's like I want to savor them and read them as slowly as possible, because I know that there is only this one time that the story will unfold before me without me having a clue as to where it will lead. However, this book I did not get the chance to read slowly... I devoured it in one day! Actually only a few hours! I just simply could not put it down. I was so captivated by the story that I even forgot a meal, but I really didn’t care about that afterwards. What’s a meal compared to this wonderful and engrossing novel!
The story begins with Jacob, our main character, who is either 90 or 93, so he says. He is in a nursing home looking back on his earlier days as a young man when he was part of the great Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth, which was a circus which traveled by train. His flashbacks take us back to the 1930s where life was indeed quite hard. Jacob ends up joining this particular circus completely by accident upon hopping aboard a train one night after he leaves his college exams due to some unfortunate events. He was studying to become a veterinarian, and he gets lucky because that is just what the circus needs. The story then unfolds into a beautifully crafted story with a vivid world that makes it seem like you are the one who joined the circus. The characters like the glamorous Marlena and her Arabian horse act are layered with rich detail. You find yourself just as curious and enamored with her as Jacob is. Then there is August, Marlena’s husband and ringmaster, who has quite a violent temper and a paranoid disposition. It is not only the humans but the circus animals as well, that are just as much a part of the story. Rosie, an elephant, whose mischievous and charming ways you can’t help but love. You can tell Sara Gruen really did her research and upon reading an interview by her after I read the book, she admits to doing quite a bit of extensive research of traveling circuses in the early 1900’s. She even took a few small facts from this research and incorporated it into the story.
To put it quite simply - this book is so captivating that you can’t put it down, and if you do, you’ll end up picking it right back up within minutes. In fact, when I finished the book I felt like starting at the beginning all over again. There is nothing like the first time you read a truly great book. Its stays with you and you think upon it for days or even weeks. I have a feeling this particular story won’t leave me for quite some time. I feel like I could begin this book again right now and be blown away just like my first reading. It's very rare that I put a book on my favorites shelf these days (especially newly released books) but this one was a no brainer. It's quite simply the best book I have read in years! I can't give it enough praise or do it justice with words....more