Bethany's Reviews > Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
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's review
Jan 14, 2008

it was ok
bookshelves: 2008
Read in February, 2008

"Water for Elephants" is a perfect example of why the library is my favourite bookstore... it's free and you can bring the the books back. This novel is about a Cornell-educated veterinarian in the 1930's (think the Depression and Prohibition) who misses attaining his degree by skipping the final exams due to a family tragedy that leaves him penniless and unable to face reality. He ends up (what else?) joining the circus and forms bonds with a series of colorful characters and animals (sometimes it's hard to tell the humans from the animals). Complete with midgets, clowns, roustabouts and a beautiful young performer who (of course) is married to his insane, abusive boss. Can you guess who the love interest is? There is nothing new here. Predictable from page one, written in short, choppy sentences with soap-opera dialog, plot points forced together like puzzle pieces that don't quite match-up, characters you mostly hate... even the "good guys", unfinished stories left hanging or hastily concluded, and unnecessary smut leave this book with much to be desired. I gave it 2 stars for the interesting descriptions of circus life in the 1930's (there was obviously some good research there) and for Walter the midget clown and his loyal dog, Queenie. Unless you are just really interested in circuses, skip it!
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Kiersten I love your reviews!

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