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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Water For Elephants: Mini-Review

The fifth in a series of mini-reviews because my lazy butt is way behind on book reviews.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Reason for Reading: IRL Bookclub
Rating: 4/5

I have read some mixed reviews of this book, about a soon-to-graduate vet student at Cornell who drops out of college when his parents are killed and winds up joining the circus. So it wasn't one I had on my list of "must-reads". But I'm glad I picked it up for bookclub, because it was a fascinating look at the circus of the Depression era.

The lingo used by the circus workers. The "cooch tent" where bootleg liquor is passed around. The callous attitude towards workers, the hierarchy between workers and performers. This book is about a lot of things. An elephant with a will of its own. Power and corruption. True love. Friendship. Grief, and recovering from tragedy. Gruen balances these themes neatly, only losing the reader occassionally with her multitude of supporting characters that blend together.

Should I read it? Yes, especially if you've ever wanted to run away and join the circus.


Yasmin said...

I love these mini-reviews...they're great...short, sweet and to the point. I just moved this book up on my to read list.

Literary Feline said...

I've been wanting to read this one for awhile now. It sounds like something I would like.

DesLily said...

I've read this book last year and really liked it.. though I did find that things that happened to him in the hospital/ rehab place was all too true.

Alice Teh said...

I don't have any plans to run away and join the circus, but I do plan to read this book. :D

Stephanie said...

I really enjoyed this book when I read it a few years back.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this book when I read it as part of a book club in Korea. Great story but I must say I was a little dissapointed at the end.

Marg said...

I really enjoyed this book when I read it a couple of years ago, and I have recommended it to a couple of people successfully as well.

Trish said...

So glad you liked this one!! I think for me there was a little too much hype because I felt let down, but I would definitely revisit it someday. Was it a good book for book club discussion??

Anonymous said...

Horrible book is horrible.