Kelsey's Reviews > Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
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Aug 12, 08

bookshelves: general-fiction, 2008, easy-reads
Recommended for: Anyone who wants to "run away and join the circus"
Read in August, 2008

"I am ninety. Or ninety-three. One or the other.

When you're five, you know your age down to the month. Even in your twenties you know how old you are. I'm twenty-three you say, or maybe twenty-seven. But then in your thirties something strange starts to happen. It's a mere hiccup at first, an instant of hesitation. How old are you? Oh, I'm--you start confidently, but then you stop. You were going to say thirty-three, but you're not. You're thirty-five. And then you're bothered, because you wonder if this is the beginning of the end. It is, of course, but it's decades before you admit it..."


This is the first paragraph of the book Water for Elephants. For myself, such plucky writing immediately draws me in. The image of a cantankerous old man telling us his story is amusing...but the story itself is even better! After reading I debated on the "star-rating" that I would give this book. My decision: 4.5 stars. An amazing book by any standard.

The writing style of this book is fluid. You can easily read this book without getting confused or lost. The author, as a critic has previously stated: "bring[s:] that world alive for the reader: I could smell it, taste it, feel every word of it."

Water for Elephants tells the story of a young Jacob Jankowski, who after a string of misfortunate events ends up on a circus train. The story describes hardships, love and loss. For myself, reading any story that takes place during the great depression is an eye opener. Though this IS a fiction book, it is probably a pretty decent account of what life was really like back then.



**HOWEVER, BE WARNED: THIS BOOK DOES CONTAIN SOME VULGARITY AND CRUDE LANGUAGE/SEXUAL CONTENT. DO NOT READ THIS BOOK IF YOU CANNOT HANDLE WORDS/DESCRIPTIONS THAT MIGHT TOUCH ON THESE AREAS.**

Overall I think this is a very enjoyable read. Characters are well built and enjoyable to read about. Plot/scenes are very intriguing. Sometimes the vulgarity was a little over the top, leading me to my slightly lower rating. However, I was still very content with the book and would recommend it to any who would want to read it.
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