- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks; New edition edition (5 April 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0340935464
- ISBN-13: 978-0340935460
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 19.6 x 2.2 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (439 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,203,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Water for Elephants Paperback – 5 Apr 2007
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Gruen's portrait of this world is satisfyingly rich and outlandish... Any reader of this inspiring novel (written in only a month) will be immersed in circus life; blinded by the thrilling, fatal dazzle of sequins and sawdust. (Daily Telegraph)
'Gruen brilliantly conjures up the whole brouhaha of herding punters into the temporary magic of the big top, and the harsh economic reality of sustaining the show. Both exotic and erotic, Water for Elephants is filled with colour and passion but is also charged with an elegiac sense of loss for an entire way of life.' (Financial Times)
'I loved Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. Great story, loads of fun; hard to put down. So what if the heroine weighs 2500 pounds?' (Stephen King)
Lovely and mesmerising. (Kirkus)
This masterpiece of storytelling is a book about what animals can teach people about love. (Susan Cheever)
You are so immersed in circus life that you are completely blinded by the thrilling, fatal dazzle of sequins and sawdust. (Daily Telegraph)
There is a tender story of first love, of murder, mayhem and animal and human brutality, of hucksters, whores and the general hoopla created when the circus rolls into town... This book is every bit the fabulous escapist entertainment that the big top once was. (Sunday Express)
'The most magical, haunting novel I've read in the past few years.' (Daisy Waugh, Tatler)
'one of my favourite reads last year. It was so cinematic I just knew there would have to be a Hollywood movie. . . . Star of both the book and the movie is Rosie the elephant who is more intelligent and photogenic than any other member of the cast. And that's saying something because the two main human stars are the impossibly beautiful Reese Witherspoon and Twilight heart-throb Robert Pattinson.' (The Sun)
'Trust us, Water for Elephants is going to be one of the surprise hits of 2011. Sara Gruen's very readable novel is a story of impossible love set in the circus world during the 1930s and is set to be made into a blockbuster film starring Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon. You heard it here first.' (Good Housekeeping)
'the ending gives you a lift and shows that good triumphs over evil.' (Epoch Times)
'Definitely worth catching up with if you've missed it so far.' (Choice)
'Water for Elephants is fun, sweet and thrilling and will pull you into the mysterious life of the circus so far that you won't want to leave.' (Guardian)
'It's a romantic story that's set in an evocatively rendered era.' (Heat)
'The writing conjures up the smells and sounds of the circus, the excitement and the magic, as well as the rather tawdry seediness and the both casual and overt brutality.... The delightful, fairy-tale ending left me smiling for days at the imagery conjured up by it.' (new books)
The gritty, compelling New York Times bestselling novel of star-crossed lovers and circus life, set in Depression-era USASee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Jacob Jancowski is studying for his final exams in veterinary medicine when the death of his parents leaves him in dire straits, both mentally and financially. In his confusion and despair he finds himself wandering, and before he comes to his senses he's jumped a train and entered a new life. It's a life full of highs and lows, a fast learning curve for a fresh faced lad from an Ivy League University.
Jacob, however, finds his niche and so unravels a wonderful story of an unknown time in a traveling circus.
Alongside this runs the current day Jacob, an old man in a nursing home, waiting out the end of his days, when the circus comes to town....
I loved the way the two stories were woven together at the end of the book, but I'm not going to give anything away. You'll have to read it!
My book of the year this year was Joanne Harris's "Gentlemen and Players", but at the last minute I think this book has pipped her to the post!
The action in Water for Elephants is fast-paced; more than sufficient to keep the reader glued to the pages. `Pit stops' to the action comes in the form of the story reverting back to the nursing home of the present-day, where Jacob is finding his aged infirmity almost intolerable. These respites back to present-day are brief though, and inevitably the narrative shoots back quickly to Jacob's circus days where the action regains its breakneck speed.
Gruen has really done her `homework' while researching for this novel. She's created a circus world that's wholly believable; one that you feel right in the midst of (especially when she intersperses the chapters with contemporary circus photos). Gruen tells us in the `author's note' at the back of the novel that she had researched extensively for Water for Elephants and it shows! So much so that you can almost smell the menagerie, and the sawdust of the circus ring.
What really makes Water for Elephants special for me though (aside from the great storyline) is the characters. Gruen has done a remarkable job of creating some truly colourful and memorable people in the pages of her novel. Uncle Al (the circus boss) and August (the animal trainer) are characters you're going to love to hate. Marlena, Kinko the Clown aka Walter, and Camel are character's you're just going to love. You're going to love the chief protagonist Jacob Jankowski too.Read more ›
I brought this as I thought it may be nice to read before the film comes out...I honestly was mainly interested in the film for Rob Pattinson but I must say I am glad I have read it as it is a excellent book and I didn't put it down so I finished it in a day and half and was gutted when it ended.... It is fantastically well written and I am now excited to see the big screen adaption as I think it will be excellent and no longer just for my R Patz fill.
Really is worth the read.
This is cute and rather sentimental, the kind of book where people seriously say 'I think I loved you from the first moment I saw you'. I guess I expected something more atmospheric (this could be pretty much have been set anywhere, at other times than the 30s - a brief excursion to a speak-easy and laying off workers really isn't enough to ground the period), and a more surprising or engaging plot.
Ideal for when you need something relaxing, non-taxing, and fun.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I Really enjoyed this book and found it very interesting too. Well written and well paced, I would recommend it.Published 6 hours ago by lindac
I'm still waiting for the penny to drop here. Everyone raves about this book as one of the most romantic stories of our time....I've had more romantic one night stands! Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
This was an outrageous but exciting story.... And if based on some truth as to how things were then shocking but gripping. Well worth the read. Read morePublished 2 months ago
A wonderfully refreshing read. I didn't know anything about the theme of the book & learned a great deal about the history &the trials & tribulations of circus life in the USA. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Jamface