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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 (18989 )
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4.6 (10900 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Zin589 04-05-11
    Zin589 04-05-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    2
    Overall
    "Wonderful Narration!"

    The narration kept me engrossed for long periods of time. It was a wonderful story that really drew me in and made me care about the characters. Most of the time, I would listen to this at the gym. I couldn't wait for my next session on the treadmill!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    suzie skiatook, OK, United States 04-04-11
    suzie skiatook, OK, United States 04-04-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    3
    Overall
    "exellent book hopefully the movie can compare."

    Wonderful book. The characters really came to life. At first I worried that it would be a sad story about a sad life. But instead it was a beautiful story about the rich and full lifes of several remarkable characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zachary Raleigh, NC, United States 04-04-11
    Zachary Raleigh, NC, United States 04-04-11 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    1
    Overall
    "New favorite book"

    This book is absolutley spectacular. The narrators David LeDoux and John Randolph Jones are really enjoyable. I highly recommend. I wish there was a part two.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Russell 04-04-11
    Russell 04-04-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    45
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    276
    27
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    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Overall
    "A Little Darker Than I Expected"

    Loved the book. Nice touch of using a different reader for the present and the flashbacks. The story kept me wondering what the next page would reveal. The author did an excellent job of describing the feelings of an old person in an assisted living home. Touched my heart.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan Layton, UT, United States 04-03-11
    Jan Layton, UT, United States 04-03-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    "Not the best"

    I like the voice of the elderly gentlemen and his story however was not to crazy about the story itself. Did not like the way the womens voices in the story were portrayed. Very weak. I think reading this story would be better than listening to it on audio.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SBNRM 03-31-11
    SBNRM 03-31-11 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    67
    8
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    3
    1
    Overall
    "LOVED IT!!!"

    This book was amazing!! I truly felt like I was right there, a part of the Circus! I wanted to read this before the movie came out, and I sure am glad that I did! It was hard to stop listening to it. The characters are so real. This is the type of "feel-good" story that you dont want to end.

    If you are looking for a book with romance, some comedy, a little action/adventure, and a few tears; then this is definitely the book for you!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CC 03-29-11
    CC 03-29-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    73
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    207
    49
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    9
    Overall
    "A TRUE WINNER!!"

    I really didn't have much interest in reading this book as the summary didn't spark any interest from me - it just didn't seem like the type of book that I would read. However, I decided that since it had received such great reviews, that if I was ever going to read this book, listening to it might be the way to go. I am so glad that I decided to listen to the Audible recording. The story in and of itself is absolutely wonderful, but listening to the narrators brought this story to life. BEST NARRATED BOOK I'VE EVER LISTENED TO!!! Couldn't wait to continue the story each day and when it was over, I immediately started it over again. It is that good!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather Corbett, OR, United States 03-29-11
    Heather Corbett, OR, United States 03-29-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    48
    1
    Overall
    "Wonderful!!!!!!"

    This book is one of the best books I have heard. The writing is amazing, as is the narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Lockport, NY, United States 03-28-11
    Richard Lockport, NY, United States 03-28-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    50
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    45
    32
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    2
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    Overall
    "Excellent in every way"

    This is a superior read and well narrated. My biggest regret was when it ended, but what an ending!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    alena 03-28-11
    alena 03-28-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    62
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Just loved it!"

    I really loved this book! I've been going through the Audible essentials list, and this is a truly great audio book. The ending in particular is really sweet. I love the way the dual storylines get woven together. The 90, or 93 year old Jacob reminded me of taking care of my partner's 92 year old grandmother-- I always loved the little snippets of stories that survived in her mind. Such a sweet book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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