Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Book Review - Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants
Sara Gruen
Algonquin Books
350 pages
April 2007

This'll be short and sweet because I really don't want to give anything away.

This story opens with a piece of masterful foreshadowing...the climax of the story is laid right out on the first three pages. However, just enough key details are left out so that you don't really know what happens until those three pages are repeated toward the end of the book. You think you do, but you don't. Bwahaha.

Having lost everything, young Jacob Jankowski leaves his studies at Cornell and mindlessly ends up on The Flying Squadron of the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. The author weaves the history of the Depression Era traveling circus with a sweet yet murderous love story, all told through the eyes of the 93 year old Jacob whose failing mind could never forget. Oh, and I can't forget to mention the "trainwreck" sex know, the kind that will scar you for life if you keep looking, yet you can't tear yourself away. (This was a circus, remember.)

I admit that the book didn't get to "can't put it down" status until about 3/4 of the way in. It was good, but I could put it down and forget about it for a few days. Once I hit a certain point though, it could not be torn from my hands. I stayed up until 3 am that night just so I could finish it, and then I laid awake for another couple hours thinking about it.

This is a definite must-read...4 out of 5 stars from me!


FairiesNest said...

Good to know, we're reading this for book club next month and I've been putting off getting started. Thanks!

Samantha said...

I will have to check this book out. :) I'm always looking for a good read.

Terry said...

See you should always listen to your Mother! I told you so.
Love ya