I loved this book. I loved both of the narrators, but the old man was my favorite. He reminded me of my dad so much! As I sit here trying to decide what to write, I get a big lump in my throat thinking about these two incredible love stories, love between the man and his wife, and between the man and the circus.
This book offers so many lesson for life if we readers are smart enough to learn them. Each character is trying to tell us something.
When I read the ending, I wanted to jump up and down and shout, "Yes, yes yes!!!" That is the way it should end!
Think of this book as a circus apocalypse story. Basically it covers a 3-month period in which the main character, an ivy-league vet student, accidentally joins the circus. What is revealed is a totally surreal sinister world. However the main character's life completely changes, and not necessarily for the worse. It's not a totally amazing book but definitely worth listening to. The two readers did an excellent job and the ending continues your suspension of belief.
The story is great, and very well narrated. Loved the interplay between the old and young characterx in the story. The occasional music was unnecessary though, a bit irritating at times.
This is definitely one of the cases where the audiobook format greatly helped in engaging the reader into the story.
I tried reading the paperback once. Put it down after the first chapter. Didn't really grab me that time.
I gave the story another chance after it was recommended by one of the podcasts I listen to. I figured that since I was going to get a free audiobook via the podcast promotion, it wouldn't hurt to try their recommendation. Was not disappointed at all.
Obviously I managed to get past the first chapter this time. Both narrators did an excellent job in portraying the old and young versions of the protagonist and helped contrast and distinguish their differences in character. Without it, I would have missed out on a great adventure set in Prohibition America involving the enigmatic institution that is the Circus.
If I were to gripe, it would just be that the female characters were limited in their emotional range/depth because the narrators are male. Otherwise it is an excellent audiobook production.
Recommended for people who like a good love story/adventure... and of course, elephants. ;)
I absolutely recommend this book.
The story, the narrative, the grand sweep of a long bygone era (not so unlike ours today) left me wanting for more. At the end, I laughed, and I cried, and started a second "listen".
My only peeve, was that their should have been a third narrator for the female characters of the story (but then that might have brought the narration up towards the "Radio Staging" level of audio-drama's.
I consider this an epic story. Spans of a period of time. This one I would definitely recommend the audiobook for the fact that it is written in two different time periods and it is hard to tell which time is which. The audiobook has a different narrator for both time periods. Excellent character development. Good laugh and cry book.