Gwen Ellis, January 24, 2012 (view all comments by Gwen Ellis)
Water for Elephants
I was first introduced to the story through a movie I was viewing on a long, long flight across the Atlantic. I liked the story and soon found the book to read. The story is of circus life in the days when circus life was the ultimate dream of many young people��"running away to join the circus. Then I remembered when the Clyde Beatty Circus came to my tiny Montana hometown. Because of a railroad strike, the circus needed to offload the animals and put them through their acts as well as to rest them. My brothers, both pre-teen kids went to help the circus set up. I remember how rough the roustabouts were and how lovely the leading ladies. I remember the pungent mixed smell of popcorn and animal dung. It all came back when I read this wonderful gritty story so full of passion. And...I adored the surprise ending.
mjwo, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by mjwo)
The book was well researched; there were times while reading where I could almost smell the cotton candy, sawdust, animals. Gives a behind-the-scenes look at the treatment of both people and animals in presenting "entertainment". Once you start reading, you won't want to put it down.
adricantu, January 14, 2012 (view all comments by adricantu)
This book constantly kept me turning the pages. It's full of drama and suspense. I could not put the book down and I would recommend it for anyone.
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill -
As a young man, Jacob Jankowski was tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. It was the early part of the Great Depression, and for Jacob the circus world was both his salvation and a living hell. A veterinary student just shy of a degree, he was put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It was there that he met Marlena, the beautiful equestrian star married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. And he met Rosie, an untrainable elephant who was the great gray hope for this third-rate traveling show. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was ultimately their only hope for survival.
Ninety-something-year-old Jacob Jankowski remembers his time in the circus as a young man during the Great Depression, and his friendship with Marlena, the star of the equestrian act, and Rosie, the elephant, who gave them hope.
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