Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants

Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) Sara Gruen

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  • Publisher: Two Roads
  • Format: Paperback | 448 pages
  • Dimensions: 112mm x 178mm x 33mm | 227g
  • Publication date: 1 April 2011
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1444715984
  • ISBN 13: 9781444715989
  • Sales rank: 1,119

Product description

When Jacob Jankowski, recently orphaned and suddenly adrift, jumps onto a passing train, he enters a world of freaks, grifters, and misfits - the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth - a second-rate travelling circus struggling to survive during the Great Depression, making one-night stands in town after endless town. Jacob, a veterinary student who almost earned his degree, is put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It is there that he meets Marlena, the beautiful young star of the equestrian act, who is married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. He also meets Rosie, an elephant who seems untrainable until he discovers a way to reach her. Water for Elephants is illuminated by a wonderful sense of time and place. It tells a story of a love between two people that overcomes incredible odds in a world in which even love is a luxury that few can afford. Water for Elephants was a major movie starring Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon.

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Author information

Sara Gruen is the #1 bestselling author of Water for Elephants and Ape House. Her works have been translated into forty-three languages and have sold more than ten million copies worldwide. Her new novel, At The Water's Edge, will be published by Two Roads in June 2015. Water for Elephants was adapted into a major motion picture starring Reese Witherspoon, Rob Pattinson, and Christoph Waltz. She lives in Western North Carolina with her husband and three children. saragruen.com facebook.com/SaraGruenBooks twitter.com/saragruen

Customer reviews

By Amanda Gilder 24 Mar 2013 5

A solid story set during the depression. Follows the character of Jacob who, through unfortunate circumstances, jumps on board a train. Little did he know the train belongs to a circus and he soon becomes entwined in their world.

A memorable story with unforgettable characters. This is a must read!!

By Michaela Hernychová 08 Feb 2012 5

I'm not a Great Depression fan, but this book is definitely charming. The main character, Jacob, is well-written and you fall for him immediately. The story keeps you interested from beginning to end. Plus cute animals!
Loved it!

Review quote

'I loved Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. Great story, loads of fun; hard to put down. So what if the heroine weighs 2500 pounds?' Stephen King 'Gruen brilliantly conjures up the whole brouhaha of herding punters into the temporary magic of the big top, and the harsh economic reality of sustaining the show. Both exotic and erotic, Water for Elephants is filled with colour and passion but is also charged with an elegiac sense of loss for an entire way of life.' Financial Times You are so immersed in circus life that you are completely blinded by the thrilling, fatal dazzle of sequins and sawdust. Daily Telegraph Lovely and mesmerising. Kirkus This masterpiece of storytelling is a book about what animals can teach people about love. Susan Cheever There is a tender story of first love, of murder, mayhem and animal and human brutality, of hucksters, whores and the general hoopla created when the circus rolls into town... This book is every bit the fabulous escapist entertainment that the big top once was. Sunday Express 'The most magical, haunting novel I've read in the past few years.' Daisy Waugh, Tatler 'one of my favourite reads last year. It was so cinematic I just knew there would have to be a Hollywood movie... Star of both the book and the movie is Rosie the elephant who is more intelligent and photogenic than any other member of the cast. And that's saying something because the two main human stars are the impossibly beautiful Reese Witherspoon and Twilight heart-throb Robert Pattinson.' The Sun 'Trust us, Water for Elephants is going to be one of the surprise hits of 2011. Sara Gruen's very readable novel is a story of impossible love set in the circus world during the 1930s and is set to be made into a blockbuster film starring Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon. You heard it here first.' Good Housekeeping 'the ending gives you a lift and shows that good triumphs over evil.' Epoch Times 'Definitely worth catching up with if you've missed it so far.' Choice 'Water for Elephants is fun, sweet and thrilling and will pull you into the mysterious life of the circus so far that you won't want to leave.' Guardian 'It's a romantic story that's set in an evocatively rendered era.' Heat 'The writing conjures up the smells and sounds of the circus, the excitement and the magic, as well as the rather tawdry seediness and the both casual and overt brutality... The delightful, fairy-tale ending left me smiling for days at the imagery conjured up by it.' new books