Friday, June 24, 2011

Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen was a 2006 bestseller and since, a favorite read for book clubs.  It is the story of Jacob Janowski’s life with the circus.  It is billed as a romance but Sara Gruen spares no detail in chronicling the crude, poor, and dirty circumstances in which Jacob finds himself. The animals are underfed and abused. Jacob, once it becomes known that he has veterinary skills, is put in charge of the "menagerie" and all its ills. Uncle Al, the circus impresario, is a self-serving, creep who slaps people around because he enjoys it. August, the animal trainer, is a certified paranoid schizophrenic whose occasional flights into unreality and brutality often have Jacob as their object.   Jacob spends most of the novel beaten, broken, concussed, bleeding, swollen and hung-over. But he is the self-appointed “Protector of the Downtrodden”, and... he falls in love with Marlena, crazy August's wife. Not your usual romance.

The book was a page turner and now it is a movie starring Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon.  If you have read the book and have also seen the movie let us know how you think they compare.  The library has the book in the adult fiction section.

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