Nonagenarian Jacob Jankowski reflects back on his wild and wondrous days with a circus. It's the Depression Era and Jacob, finding himself parentless and penniless, joins the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. There he meets the freaks, grifters, and misfits that populate this world. Jacob introduces us to Marlena, beautiful star of the equestrian act; to August, her charismatic but twisted husband (and the circus' animal trainer); and to Rosie, a seemingly untrainable elephant.
Beautifully written, with a luminous sense of time and place, Water for Elephants tells of love in a world in which love's a luxury few can afford.
©2006 Sara Gruen; (P)2006 HighBridge Company
"Water for Elephants resembles stealth hits like The Giant's House, by Elizabeth McCracken, or The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold, books that combine outrageously whimsical premises with crowd-pleasing romanticism. . . . With a showman's expert timing, [Gruen] saves a terrific revelation for the final pages, transforming a glimpse of Americana into an enchanting escapist fairy tale.” (New York Times Book Review)
"Just like a circus, the magic of the story and the writing convince you to suspend your disbelief." (Booklist)
"Gruen skillfully humanizes the midgets, drunks, rubes, and freaks who populate her book." (Publishers Weekly)
Buy this book. There, the real question is answered but you want details? Fine, take a listen to a story that gives depth and color to anyone's life who starts young and ends up wondering how they got old and didnt notice. Listen to a story about running away to the circus and how a young man got a lifetime of lessons in the real world over some short months. The descriptions of the life in a circus and the characters who lived it are impressive and a joy to listen to. By the end of the story, you will be completely enthralled by the central character and his life story and it will, not might, it WILL cause you to rethink how you treat grand dad in you own life. You can easily lose yourself in the story as it flows around the plot. The prose is well written and the use of two narrators provides an excellent verbal presentation of a young man and his much older self. This book is one of the best narrated stories I have heard in the past three years of using Audible and really makes the listening a real joy.
My wife read this and told me that it was one of the best books she has read. What she likes and what I like are usually like day and night.
Well I also thought this book was one of best and
did not want it to end. A wonderful read for all.
This was the best book I've listened to in a long time! It was definitely a book to listen to--the narration was superb. I don't think I would have enjoyed the book nearly as much if I had read it. I am old enough (past 70) to remember circuses in big tops, so perhaps it appealed to me more than it would a younger person. But for me it definitely deserves 5 stars!
This is my favorite book AND audiobook. The story itself is so engaging. Then the narrators and voices lend such life to the story that you would swear you are watching a movie in your head. It's one of those that stays with you for so long after. And the unexpected bonus is how it reminds you that our elderly treasures have amazing stories to tell if anyone is willing to listen. I was so touched...............
I LOVED this book !! The narration was fantastic. I was riveted from the very first sentence. I did not want it to end… I can not wait for her next book !!
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