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.
We listened to the book on the trip back and forth from work and it was difficult to turn it off when we arrived. And the readers do an excellent job of narration.
This is one of those books that makes you sad that you are finished with it.
I'd like to read other books by this author.
This is the best title I have purchased from audible. Normally I listen on long drives or to go to sleep at night, but this book was so good I listened to it through out the day. The action and such towards the end was appropriate for us Rubes. :) I would love to see a sequel, Jacob at 103!!
Didn't know if I'd like a book about a circus, but this was a great book. The narrators were great. They made it vivid & real. I couldn't wait to get back out to the car every day to listen to this book. Great ending.
This story is told in two voices of one character: Jacob at 25 and Jacob at 90 (or 93). Though I thought the younger narrator's reading was overly melodramatic, I loved the older one, and the story was so great it deserved 5 stars anyway.
This is a fascinating look into the circus business circa 1930...gritty, violent and rambunctious...with a love story woven in and marvelous characters with real depth. It's also a realistic but loving look at life in a nursing home.
I'm looking forward to reading more by this author.