Gemma's Reviews > Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
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's review
Feb 24, 2011

did not like it
bookshelves: hype
Read in February, 2011


The first book I've read in a while that I've truly and sincerely hated with passion. And that is because there is no passion in this book.

On the back cover, it has all these raves like "thrilling romantic story", "a complex elephant, equally complex love... in this uterly transporting novel richly full" and most ridiculously "gorgeous brilliant and superbly plotted". Lies, every last word. Don't believe any of it.

It wanted to be deep. It calls itself deep. Nothing about this book was deep. Not the characters (bland type guy, whiny but 'sweet' girl, her mean husband). Not the love (a couple of smalltalk type conversations, some sobbing into each other's arms and then a sex scene thrown in just for the sake of it--which by the way, made it officially adultery, which makes it even more immoral than it already was). Not the storyline (you can't make depth out of nothing). Certainly not the elephant, who I think was in this book just so they could come up with a title for it.

All the book club ladies love this book. And the last book club favorite I read (The Help) was excellent. And this one was just awful.

Seriously, the story was going nowhere. Nowhere. It could have been a diary. The only good thing about it was the old man's narrative, which was kind of amusing.

It wasn't dreadful, until the ending. The ending was what made me hate it. It was... happy. Sickeningly so. In every single possible way; happy. These characters did not deserve happy. They deserved to get pushed off the back of the train and be stranded starving in the middle of nowhere land until they died.

Incidentally, that was the fate of the only characters that almost made their way to likeable. Sick.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Gemma And then I read that they were making a movie out of this, and further more, Robert Pattinson is to play the main character. Just when I thought I couldn't possibly hate it more...

Celise Sorry you didn't like this. I felt the passion was more between the lines and that most of what was felt was at least realistic.

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