Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

Again, as with most trendy books, I was ready to hate this book.  I can’t stand Robert Pattison and he’s on the cover.  I can’t stand “poor me” books.  I detest books where you slog through painful events after painful events to reach the “happy” ending.  And I hate sad endings.  I generally don’t like historical fiction.  And I hate circuses, because so many abuse animals.

This was a fantastic read.  I love elephants, so that was my hook.  The story is told by the main character, both in flashbacks to him as a young man, and as a 95-year old in a nursing home, trying to fight back beginning dementia.  I cheered for him at both ages, because I root for people who work at being good people.  I was horrified in places, and fascinated by how he crafted his circumstances so that he could survive.  The ending was genious, and soul-satisfying.  The photograph from the era at the beginning of each chapter actually added to the setting and events.  Of course, I loved the elephant.

I refuse to see the movie now, because I don’t want to spoil what I loved about the book.  I was mulling pieces of this story over all week.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by writingturtle on June 4, 2011 at 3:11 am

    Hmm, I’ve been thinking about this book as a must-read. Since you obviously weren’t expecting much but now love it, well, I guess I’ll go put another book on my list haha. Oh, and apparently the movie is amazing. I do recommend seeing it because my friend went in, expecting to HATE the movie, but it has now become one of her favorite movies of all time. Haha, I guess it goes both ways =P

    Reply

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