Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants

4.06 (1,079,550 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Over 10,000,000 copies in print worldwide #1 New York Times Bestseller A Los Angeles Times Bestseller A Wall Street Journal Bestseller A Newsday Favorite Book of 2006 A USA Today Bestseller A Major Motion Picture starring Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson, and Christoph Waltz Jacob Janowski's luck had run out―orphaned and penniless, he had no direction until he landed on a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. A veterinary student just shy of a degree, he was put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It was the Great Depression and for Jacob the circus was both his salvation and a living hell. There he met Marlena, the beautiful equestrian star married to August, the charismatic but brutal animal trainer. And he met Rosie, an untrainable elephant who was the great hope for this third-rate traveling show. The bond that grew among this group of misfits was one of love and trust, and ultimately, it was their only hope for survival.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 335 pages
  • 137.16 x 208.28 x 25.4mm | 385.55g
  • ALGONQUIN BOOKS OF CHAPEL HILL
  • United States
  • English
  • 1565124995
  • 9781565124998
  • 131,859

Review quote

"Gritty, sensual and charged with dark secrets involving love, murder and a majestic, mute heroine (Rosie the Elephant)."--Paradeshow more

Flap copy

Though he may not speak of them, the memories still dwell inside Jacob Jankowski's ninety-something-year-old mind. Memories of himself as a young man, tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Memories of a world filled with freaks and clowns, with wonder and pain and anger and passion; a world with its own narrow, irrational rules, its own way of life, and its own way of death. The world of the circus: to Jacob it was both salvation and a living hell. Jacob was there because his luck had run out--orphaned and penniless, he had no direction until he landed on this locomotive "ship of fools." It was the early part of the Great Depression, and everyone in this third-rate circus was lucky to have any job at all. Marlena, the star of the equestrian act, was there because she fell in love with the wrong man, a handsome circus boss with a wide mean streak. And Rosie the elephant was there because she was the great gray hope, the new act that was going to be the salvation of the circus; the only problem was, Rosie didn't have an act--in fact, she couldn't even follow instructions. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and ultimately, it was their only hope for survival. Surprising, poignant, and funny, "Water for Elephants" is that rare novel with a story so engrossing, one is reluctant to put it down; with characters so engaging, they continue to live long after the last page has been turned; with a world built of wonder, a world so real, one starts to breathe its air.show more

Rating details

1,079,550 ratings
4.06 out of 5 stars
5 38% (412,141)
4 38% (406,742)
3 18% (195,545)
2 5% (48,817)
1 2% (16,305)

Our customer reviews

This is a really magnificent memorable story and was a great read. Beatifully written from the perspective of both the old man and the younger man and also had an interesting historical context. Highly recommend this book.show more
by Dee Jones
I devoured this book. From beginning to end it is a book that maintains your interest. The storyline is terrific and the characters are wonderful. I definitely recommend this fantastic book.show more
by Samantha Wahrenberger
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