This was a terrific read and hard to put down at night. It was like running away to join the circus and becoming very connected with the story's most unusual characters. The writing is so rich one can almost smell the smells and hear the sounds of the train, the animals, and the music. All of the characters are enticing -- even the ones who are despicable in nature. I found myself really cheering for the main character in both his present situation and the past events of his life. I will never look at a circus or a nursing home patient the same again.
I loved this book. It is about a 93 year old man in a nursing home who had joined the circus when he was a young "almost veterinarian" during the depression. It's not the usual type of book I pick out, but am I ever glad I did. What a story. It moves skillfully back and forth between his life then and now. You'll laugh and cry as you listen to his exploits. The author paints such a believable picture of circus life, that you'll wonder if he was ever in the circus himself. The ending is a real surprise, too. Don't miss this one.
When my friend recommended this book to me, she couldn't say enough about it. How right she was! I work in the healthcare industry and appreciate how Sara Gruen captured the spirit of how the eldest members of our society can tell a story. More importantly, what is left with us after they have shared their histories. I recommended this read to my mother and she read stayed up until 6:00 a.m. to finish it in a day. A must read!
I liked this book. The story was interesting and sentimental. The readers were very believable. I didn't give 5 stars because of the bad language and discriptive sex scenes that I had to fast forward over.
Gruen does a terrific job of describing the settings. Listening, one easily can picture the scenes in which the acting occurs. I have a very strong "visual" image of the rail car where Jacob, Walter, the horses and Camel lived.
The 90 or 93 year old Jacob is a marvelous character. Life in a nursing home has never been described as well as this narrative.
Perhaps this is a sign of good writiing, but I grew to dislike the young Jacob early in the book. I found him to be a self-centered young man. He overreacts, thinks everyone should see things his way and is interested in himself above all others. I disliked him so much I nearly quit listening.
But I'm glad I listened, anyway. Sometimes, good writing does this to you.
I am a book listener and this was the best. I cannot decribe how this book took me into the world of this carnival and took me forward to the book ending. The only downside that I can mention is the VERY end was a little weak. I was expecting more. Still a five star and more. Love the charactors and the narrators. Both narrators are exellant. So real. Thanks to the author and I hope she provides many more just as good as this one. I look forward to them.
I was thoroughly entertained from beginning to end. I laughed heartily, felt sad, was horrified and cheered. I actually responded aloud when something struck a chord. I'll listen to this book again, and hope to catch things I didn't get the first time around. That is truly a first for me. Well done!!!
This story is both beautiful and horrible. There were times when I was cringing as I listened due to the brutality of some of the circus workers in the depression era. Some may find it hard to listen to for that reason. but it is a beautifully written and narrated novel. And the ending was just what I needed!