Nic ~ I’m pretending to read..

7 02 2009

Water for Elephants.

(So pretending to read ended up with me actually reading.  Who woulda thought?)

Running away to the circus, unrequited love, top hats, and Proboscidea: Elephantidae…this one was unlikely to disappoint from the beginning.

And I was correct.  I really enjoyed this book.  When I was little, I loved going to the circus.  That is, until I got all animal rights on it.  But I was drawn to this book mostly on the circus premise, let alone anything else that may be going on.  And there was a lot of other stuff going on!  This books narrative jumps from current time, with the main character in his 90’s, back to his early beginnings of his circus career in his 20’s.  For me, this was an unexpected enjoyment.  Having worked myself with seniors, I personally felt that the author Sara Gruen painted a fairly honest perception of what many people living in seniors facilities experience and feel.  That alone made this book a positive for me.  But let us not forget all the other big top, freak show, elephant aspects of this book.  This author did her research, and paints a gritty behind the scenes view of the glitz and glamour to show the politics, dirty bosses, and firm lines painted between the performers and the working men.  It takes us into the world of a clueless Vet student suddenly lost in life, devoid of options.  He’s soon thrown into the hands of a ruthless ring master, hell bent on being the greatest show on earth, and nothing is going to get in his way;  people, or any sort of morals. Oh ya, and throw in that so called dumb as a bag of hammers elephant that our main character is suddenly given ownership of. And oh ya,  throw in a beautiful horse whisperer married to the paranoid schizophrenic animal trainer for the main character to fall in love with.   And now you’ve got yourself one hum-dinger of a story line, and one that is lacking NO details.

Although for me there was a feeling of yeah-right-like-that-would-ever-happen at some moments, overall, I would recommend this book.  My only real beef would be the whole love at first site jibberish that half the book revolves around.  Also, a word for the wary.  While most literature these days seems to involved some scandalous moments, this book has more than it’s fair share.  They are brief moments, but there none the less.  You’ve been forewarned.

Who would I reccomend this to?  Well, I would go with the obvious circus enthusiasts, but I wouldn’t stop there.  History buffs would enjoy it too, as it has been very well researched, and provides a very, honest and real look at circuses in their “glory” days.  And really, anyone looking for a well written read and a good story will enjoy.  So.  Get some popcorn and cotton candy and sit back and enjoy the spec!