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Archive (2011 Group Reads) > Water for Elephants - 2/2011

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message 1: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4115 comments Mod
Please join in discussing Water for Elephants.


message 2: by Gnatalby (new)

Gnatalby So I definitely thought Marlena killed August all the way up until the end and I had to flip back to make sure it was deliberately ambiguous.


message 3: by Tuğçe (last edited Feb 21, 2011 11:26AM) (new)

Tuğçe Gökırmak (tugcenidasevin) I thought the same for most of it, then after August hit her and Marlena lwft him, I started to think what could have happened and what could he have done more so she killed her. And was looking forward to find out then it all turned on Rosie, even when she lift the stake I was thinking maybe she'd lend it to Marlena ;-) I enjoyed the book, really liked it. I definitely want to watvh the movie but I must admit I cannot picture Reese Witherspoon as Marlena, dont really know why


message 4: by Tiffani (new)

Tiffani (gocartgrl) | 60 comments I loved this book. I am so excited for the movie, but I agree that the choice of actors don't seem to fit the characters. I can't see Robert Pattinson as Jacob, though the trailer looks pretty good.

I really enjoyed getting the story from the perspective of both the old and the young Jacob. I think in help my understanding of the character and to sympathize with his story.

And I loved the ending with him running off to the circus as an old man with his walker.


message 5: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (porkchop0911) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6b2Xh...

here is the trailer if anyone is interested in it.

I am not yet finished it i still have a ways to go. I agree with the characters they are kind of off from what i have pictured. I like when stories go back and forth into someones life it really gives you a sense of what they are about and just gives a deeper meaning.


message 6: by Tuğçe (new)

Tuğçe Gökırmak (tugcenidasevin) I have watched the trailer before reading the book so I think it affected my idea on Robert Pattinson being Jacob, besides after watching Remember Me I kinda like him in those kind of roles but even in this situation I couldn't picture Reese Witherspoon as Marlena, don't really know why. But I am looking forward for the movie.


message 7: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (porkchop0911) I dont think she portrays the old time picture of a circus performer also its not a role she normally plays. I keep seeing her in legally blonde.


message 8: by Tuğçe (new)

Tuğçe Gökırmak (tugcenidasevin) Yeah you are right, I think that's what it is, she has this devillish (in a cute way) smile and looks probably stuck on my mind from Legally Blonde and cannot picture her a naive, silent, caring Marlena :)


message 9: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (porkchop0911) I think it would have been better to get a woman that never really hit the big screen so our view of the cast is not contaminated.


message 10: by Gnatalby (new)

Gnatalby She also has a very contemporary look, she doesn't really fit the depression era aesthetics of what a circus performer would look like.


message 11: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (porkchop0911) Yes i totally agree with you on that era when i think of that era i think flappers and stuff. For some reason i see maybe drew barrymore or kate winslet.


message 12: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4115 comments Mod
Amanda, they would both be great.


message 13: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (porkchop0911) it has a titanic feel to it where it goes back and forth with the present and then with the past so maybe that is why i chose kate winslet.


message 14: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4115 comments Mod
Here is a discussion question, please post your thoughts if you would like!

Water for Elephants moves between a story about a circus and a story about an old man in a nursing home. How do the chapters about the older Jacob enrich the story about Jacob’s adventure with the circus? How would the novel be different if Gruen had only written about the younger Jacob, keeping the story linear and never describing Jacob’s life as an old man?


message 15: by Gnatalby (new)

Gnatalby Andrea wrote:

Water for Elephants moves between a story about a circus and a story about an old man in a nursing home. How do the ch..."


Part of what made it bittersweet was knowing that Jacob "ends up" alone. So even while you hoped he got together with Marlena, you knew she died and he ended up alone in a nursing home, unattended by his children. I think that also allowed us to interrogate the idea of a happy ending, a little bit, before giving us what I thought was a really nice, low key happy ending of old Jacob running away with the circus.


message 16: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4115 comments Mod
I like how you summed that up! It's true, we didn't get the ending we thought, but it was still good in a sweet way.


message 17: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (porkchop0911) It was sad to hear about the assisted living facility that he was in. My great grandma was in one of those and we visited her more then 3 times a week. A lot of the residents that were living there were lucky if they even seen their family once a week. I jut couldnt have imagined not seeing my great grandma. Its said to think back in the day you always took care of family but now adays we are just too busy to deal with those problems. Its pretty sad. I just cant wait till the movie comes out to compare.


message 18: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4115 comments Mod
Amanda, working in the medical field I see a lot of elderly people who are without the help of anyone. It is so sad to know that they either have no family or family that can't even take the time to bring them to an appointment. No matter what I was doing I would always make time to bring my mother to an appointment.


message 19: by Tuğçe (new)

Tuğçe Gökırmak (tugcenidasevin) Gnatalby wrote: "Andrea wrote:

Water for Elephants moves between a story about a circus and a story about an old man in a nursing home. How do the ch..."

Part of what made it bittersweet was knowing that Jacob "e..."


I totally agree with you on that. It helped me to accept the possiblity of him running away with the circus, I even wanted him to do that. It was sad to read how alone he was and how he accepted the fact that his own children have their own worries, that they are already old in their own ages. But what I felt is Jacob was alone almost all through the book even when he was 23 he was alone, until they got each other. Even when he was telling the story of his 23 years old, with all the happenings there he was not confiding in anyone. If the old one wasn't there it wouldn't feel real as much I suppose. I wouldn't be connected with him like I did, knowing after all he has been through, he is alone now and not happy with it either. He would an ordinary 23 years old Jacob for me and also an ordinary 90 or 93 years old Jacob. Like Amanda mentioned, it felt like Titanic in this way.


message 20: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (porkchop0911) I think if I was Rosemary I would have taken a lunch break just to take Mr. Jancowski to the circus there is nothing more gratifying then knowing you have made someones day even if they are not going to be around much longer. Knowing what he did in his past with the circus and everything what is one hour out of your day. One day guess what I will be there. Well all be there one day. I just hope someone takes the time out to go the extra mile for me.


message 21: by Gnatalby (new)

Gnatalby Amanda wrote: "I think if I was Rosemary I would have taken a lunch break just to take Mr. Jancowski to the circus there is nothing more gratifying then knowing you have made someones day even if they are not goi..."

It's pretty common for nurses not to have a real lunch break, and even when they do it's like 30 minutes, not a full hour.


message 22: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4115 comments Mod
Working in the medical field I can say that staff is encouraged to keep an appropriate relationship with the patients. Trust me, this is easier said than done when you get to know pwoplw and you want to help them more than you should.


message 23: by Christy (new)

Christy (christy_t) Tugce Nida wrote: "I thought the same for most of it, then after August hit her and Marlena lwft him, I started to think what could have happened and what could he have done more so she killed her. And was looking fo..."

I'm with you on this sentiment! I thought that Marlena was responsible right up to the moment Rosie picked up the stake. I even flipped back to the beginning to check how it had opened to see what I missed. :)


message 24: by Christy (new)

Christy (christy_t) I agree with the comments about Reece Witherspoon being cast as Marlena in the movie. I pictured someone younger in the role, mostly because I didn't really see Marlena as older than Jacob while reading the book so the fact that she is in her mid 30's strikes me as off.


message 25: by Tuğçe (new)

Tuğçe Gökırmak (tugcenidasevin) Anyone seen the movie?? I am planning to see it this weekend, it is across the cinema's here ...


message 26: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (porkchop0911) I thought it comes out April 22nd.


message 27: by Tuğçe (new)

Tuğçe Gökırmak (tugcenidasevin) Well I am in IStanbul and in the adds it says it is coming out today, hope that wasn't a some sort of joke :D I am kind of excited to see it...


message 28: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (porkchop0911) Yeah i know maybe things come out sooner there then here. I could have swore it said the 22nd but thats alright. I am so excited too. I keep talking about it to my grandma and my boyfriend that we have to go and see it since i read the book. They are excited to see it too.


message 29: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4115 comments Mod
i'm planning on seeing it with a bunch of the girls from work. We may wait until it's been out a couple of weeks and the rush is not in full blast!


message 30: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (porkchop0911) you know what andrea that is a great idea...i think i may hold off as well...i always forget about the big crowds


message 31: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4115 comments Mod
The same group of us saw Twilight the night it came out and it was a row of 20-50 year old and then every other seat was 10-16 year olds. All you could see were cell phone lights, clicking text keys, and screaming. With RB staring I can only assume it will be a similar experience...lol


message 32: by Tuğçe (new)

Tuğçe Gökırmak (tugcenidasevin) I watched the movie as I loved the book and wanted to see how they made it. I never was ok with Marlene being Witherspoon since the beginning as you might have noticed but I accepted the fact as I can not change it. Anyway the movie was just ok for my taste. Nothing big, just a film about a couple lived in those years... So it didn't ruin this book for me but definitely ruined future book to movie projects as I will probably not expect anything good out of a great book. I never understand why they even make those changes for the movie versions. The book is already written and obviously really good why change it, why derive from the story. (not talking about the necessary derivations of course)


message 33: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (porkchop0911) Nida i would have to agree. It was a good movie but nothing like that book at all. We were reading widow for one year and i really want to watch the door in the floor.


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