Sunday, September 16, 2007

Water For Elephants

A slight change in my book review routine.

Two members of my Book Club have kindly offered their own mini-reviews for your perusal. (Just took a bit of friendly persuasion…)

My own take on Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen?


Now, if a book with a circus theme had been recommended to me, I might simply have nodded politely and taken a pass. However, since it was the book chosen for September’s Book Club meeting, no pass was allowed - and I’m so glad it wasn’t.

This is one of the benefits of belonging to a Book Club – you end up reading books you might never choose on your own. And nine times out of ten, you’re grateful you did. Water for Elephants was one of the nine!

Why did I love this book so much?

Because I love elephants? Perhaps. (And I do love elephants – I’m fascinated by them. I once took part in a Bathe the Elephants demonstration.)

Because I love circuses? No. Clowns scare me.

Because I love “behind the scenes” scenarios? Could be.

Bottom line, it was a delightful mixture of things. The characters were charismatic, the dialogue realistic, the setting fascinating, the plot intriguing and the story had a bit of a twist at the end.

But enough from me – read my guest reviewers opinions.

“Water for Elephants is a beautifully told story of a young man's coming of age during the depression era of the 1930s. The reader will be enthralled by the author's insight into the underbelly of chaotic circus life, where a tender love story unfolds amid jealousy, murder and greed. I enjoyed every page of this book!”

“An insightful look into the life of circus performers in the pre-Depression era, with an equally informative account of society as a whole during that period. The reader is treated to perspectives of a well educated young man thrown into the life of a transient, as well as his recollections and challenges of living in a senior’s home. Part commentary, part love story, part factual documentary, it is a wonderful read, allowing the reader to truly care about the characters.”
Megan Winstanley

My thanks to Tanya and Megan.

Do read the book. You’ll love it.

It was a hit with my Book Club – and nine “ladies” can’t be wrong!


Mamma said...

My book club chose this too. I wasn't psyched for it, but this has changed my mind. I think it's coming up in a few months. Thanks for the review.

Beth said...

I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. I certainly was!

oreneta said...

Thank you for the review, but now I need to know about your Bathe the Elephant experience...


Beth said...

It was a great experience. They were HUGE! They were led down into a big (of course it's big) pool and splash around for a bit. Waves, overflow...
Basically all we got to do was help rinse them off with hoses and then pat them. But I was thrilled because I am fascinated by these creatures - not sure why...

Beth said...

I love elephants too...ever since Dumbo!

Another book to are keeping me busy!!!!

JR's Thumbprints said...

Neat review. Another cool author (and Michigan resident) worth reading is Bonnie Jo Campbell. Her first short story collection, "Women and other Animals" is awesome. Her experience working in a circus is fairly evident in "Circus Matinee" and "Gorilla Girls." Also, her story "The Smallest Man in the World" made the Pushcart Anthology.

Beth said...

Hey, maybe my "love affair" with elephants began with Dumbo too.

Thanks. I've noted the author.
"Women and Other Animals" sounds particularly intriguing!

Shari said...

More books for me to earmark for future reference. I am already putting them in a Word Document so I have a list handy when I go to the library. :) I finished Diesel's book yesterday.

Beth said...

Good idea as to making a book list in Word. I add recommended books to my Amazon Wish list - whether I buy them from Amazon or not.
And Diesel's book is a hoot!

Tim said...

I loved Water for Elephants, too, and I'm a guy.

I loved the veterinarian character, and the ending was perfect.

Beth said...

Oops. I didn't mean to imply that only woman would like this book!

And I found that "both" endings were great.

hip_ragdoll said...

What a great idea to get your book club to do mini-reviews. "Water for Elephants" has been on my 'to read' list for, um, MANY months, and I have to keep remembering not to let it slip through the cracks...

Maybe I'll move it to the top of the pile.

After I pull myself up from UNDER the pile.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review, I have this one sitting on my book shelf and I keep thinking I just can't get into it, without even picking it up. I am going to start reading it this weekend. XOXO

Beth said...

Do give it a try - you won't be disappointed - it's wonderful!

Crystal said...

Anyone read Riding Lessons by Sara Gruen? It was excellent.

Beth said...

Not yet - but it's on my list!