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"Water for Elephants" Book Discussion

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message 1: by Nikki (new)

Nikki ****SPOILER Alert *****
if you haven't finished you probably don't want to read this



I think the way it is written in two times truly makes the story what it is!
I absolutely loved that he runs away with the circus! seeing his life in the "assisted Living facility" compared to his memories (or what seems to him more the present) of the work on the circus really made me find myself rooting for him as he makes his escape!


message 2: by Maggie (new)

Maggie Sullivan | 21 comments I agree completely. I was heartbroken when his family didn't show up to take him to the circus, but I relished in the idea that even as we age life can bring new experiences and oppurtunities. Who knows what's around the next turn in the road?


message 3: by Marcia (new)

Marcia Martin | 2 comments I loved the perspective of the old version and the young version. I too think it made the story what it is. Many truths to the old version. I also thought it was very interesting to learn what a rough life circus people lead. I'm glad I never joined the circus.


message 4: by Maggie (new)

Maggie Sullivan | 21 comments I agree, Marcia. I was always in awe of the performers, but honestly the idea of never really having a home or roots was scary to me as a child. I never threatened to run away to the circus. I was more the "run away to Grandma's house" kind of a kid.


message 5: by Brandie (new)

Brandie Sump | 14 comments So was I Maggie and my grandmother still loves to chat with me and play cards whenever I have time which is cool.

I liked this book as well.


message 6: by Maggie (new)

Maggie Sullivan | 21 comments It will be interesting to see what they do with this book in the theatrical version coming out soon. Robert Pattinson, of the Twilight movies, will be playing the lead character. Interesting choice?? What does everyone think?


message 7: by Marcia (new)

Marcia Martin | 2 comments It's always amazing to me how they change and what they change when they make a book into a movie. I am anxious to see this one especially. I'm sure they'll exploit the sex.


message 8: by Brandie (new)

Brandie Sump | 14 comments I think Rob will be a great Jacob. In fact, Hal Holbrook, the actor who is gonna to play the older version of Jacob, said of Rob, when first meeting him, that Rob looked like him when he was Rob's age which is an awesome tidbit. If I remember correctly I read about this either on msn.com or in parade magazine last sunday. I just thought to let you guys know that.

For me, I like Rob as Jacob because sometimes Rob can pull off Dramatic roles like in the movies Remember Me and as Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and I have no doubt that he will pull off the role of Jacob Jackowski with flying colors.


message 9: by Gina (last edited Jun 19, 2011 09:08AM) (new)

Gina (gmelger) | 1 comments This was a good book, took a while to get into, but once I figured out the time changes it was really easy to follow. The characters developed well. I hated that his family didn't show up to take him to the circus. I think that if the author hadn't given us the ability to know both the young and old Jacob we wouldn't have cared for him as much.


message 10: by Tuesdee (new)

Tuesdee | 19 comments At first I thought it would be difficult moving between past and present - however, as many people have said, it actually helped develope the story.
I was also very sad that they left him in the home and forgot him - I used to work in a long term care facility, and to many people do get forgotten. However I'm glad Charlie just accepted him and took him with. It shows that there is always the chance to do something different, and there is always life left in everyone.


message 11: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Moore | 5 comments I enjoyed this book also. The characters were fascinating, I usually read for character, the time period was well portrayed and the subject of circuses was revealing. I thought a lot of my grandparents who were adults during the depression when times were tough and people seemed to band together or reveal the harshness of their character.

I also liked the nursing home aspect as both my parents have been in one since 2006, I lost my dad, but my mother is still there. The idea of escaping would appeal to them greatly!


message 12: by Kari (new)

Kari Walker | 7 comments Now that I've read what the circus entails, no, I do not believe that I would dream of running away to the circus. . . Though I'm sure everyone dreams of running away to something grandeous at least once in their lifetime; that must be human nature.

I loved this book! I picked it up with great trepidation because I had already seen the movie, and a big fear of mine in movie before book is that I will hate seeing the actor's faces as I read through the text (insert Twilight here). In this case, movie before book did not detract from my reading, though I did picture Reece and Rob's faces. I think the reason is that Sara Gruen is a master of detail, and show, so I found myself fully enthralled throughout my reading. I think that the book would have lost a lot of charm and the desire to root for Jacob had we not seen older Jacob and younger Jacob throughout the text. I did feel a sadness though knowing that the one thing most important to Jacob was Marlena, yet the five products of the two of them put Jacob on a rotation and ultimately forgot about him in his later years. What does that say about where we are as a society? I do feel that the portrayal was indicative of modern day culture, but what about the rest of you? I feel it was appropriate for Jacob to run away, at the end, to what he knew best.


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