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Water for Elephants Audiobook

Water for Elephants

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Publisher's Summary

An atmospheric tale of life and love in a Depression-era traveling circus.

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

What the Critics Say

  • Book Sense Book of the Year Award, Adult Fiction, 2007
  • Audie Award Finalist, Fiction, Unabridged, 2007

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (18997 )
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4.4 (10984 )
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4.6 (10907 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Meg HELOTES, TEXAS, United States 04-09-11
    Meg HELOTES, TEXAS, United States 04-09-11 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    2
    Overall
    "Truly great"

    What a story! I loved every minute of this book. The voice and storytelling ability of both readers fit their character perfectly. You really can't have picked a better book when it manages to provide not only an entertaining escape from your daily routine but also an enchanting, and somehow still very relate-able, perspective on life's great joys (and familiar nuances).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caroline Alameda, CA, United States 04-08-11
    Caroline Alameda, CA, United States 04-08-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    44
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    19
    7
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    Overall
    "Fantastic!"

    Wonderful story (although a little dark and sad in the beginning), enhanced by David LeDoux's narration. Couldn't wait to get in my car every day to pick up where I'd left off.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jmom 04-08-11
    Jmom 04-08-11 Listener Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    2
    Overall
    "This is a Great Book!"

    Loved the characters, story kept me wanting more. Listened to it all within 2 days!
    I would highly recommend this book to anyone!

    The only part I didn't like was that at first I couldn't make out what the older man narration was saying but I got used to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah BATTLE CREEK, MICHIGAN, United States 04-07-11
    Sarah BATTLE CREEK, MICHIGAN, United States 04-07-11 Member Since 2017
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    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Loved it!!"

    I absolutely loved this book!!! I found myself taking any opportunity I could to listen to it. This was my first book purchased on audible and I am MORE than happy that I decided on it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Louise Galt, CA, United States 04-07-11
    Louise Galt, CA, United States 04-07-11 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    111
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    "A beautiful story and a compelling reader."

    I throughly enjoyed the story and the readers brought the story to life. As a nurse has worked in nursing homes for several decades, I especially appreciated the relationship between a very caring nurse and the main character.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lannette Ajo, AZ, United States 04-07-11
    Lannette Ajo, AZ, United States 04-07-11 Member Since 2010
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    115
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    109
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    Overall
    "Nice story, but would have liked more detail."

    I had to read (listen) to the book twice to really appreciate it. It is a nice story with good characters and narration. I would have liked to see more in-depth character development as well as more details about the circus acts and the overall experience of that kind of travelling life. Thought it would be a bit more gritty, but a good read to the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Natalie Catania 04-07-11 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    31
    5
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    "Great listen!"

    Best book so far! I would really recommend for people with imagination. A must buy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fatina Bisat 04-06-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    32
    5
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    "Very entertaining story"

    I thought the book was very well researched. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the both narrators ( one at age 23 and the other at 93) .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela Queen Creek, AZ, United States 04-06-11
    Angela Queen Creek, AZ, United States 04-06-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    5
    4
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    1
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    Overall
    "Is it possible to give no stars?"

    I am so baffled as to why this was a best seller and why they are making this book into a movie. I could not finish this book. The characters are bad people, crude and mean. The story is boring to tears. The writing is not interesting. And the story is really predictable. After the first two chapters I just read the "cliff notes" on wikipedia and decided that my time was better served than suffering through the rest of the book. I am going to try to see if I can get a refund from Audible...it was that bad.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sara 04-05-11
    sara 04-05-11 Listener Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    2
    Overall
    "WOW"

    Hands down the best book I have experienced in a very long time.This is one of those books that you will remember for the rest of your life. The narrators were awesome as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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