Saturday, April 9, 2011

Water for Elephants

... by Sara Gruen

First of all, I had no idea until yesterday that this was being made into a movie. I am interested to watch it now, though I'm sure I won't like it as much as the book. I didn't picture Jacob looking like Edward from Twilight, nor Marlena as a blond (played by Reese Witherspoon in the movie). I listened to this book as an audio book. I loved it. I had a hard time listening to a lot of it. It's an emotional book, and there is some graphic animal abuse that really bothered me to listen to.

This story is about a young man, just finishing vet school when he learns that both his parents were killed in a car accident. He doesn't sit his final exams, and doesn't graduate from school. Instead, he hops a train, and it is a circus train. The story is told from the perspective of young Jacob (in his 20s) and old Jacob who is 90, or 93, he can't remember. I LOVED the old Jacob parts, though I did choke up a few times while listening to him. Not so much fun when you're in the middle of a run!

You know that old Jacob has lost his wife, and his kids can't take care of him, so they put him in a home. He is mentally fine, just in an old man's body, and turns into a bit of a crotchedy old guy. He connects with one of the nurses at the home, and that relationship is quite touching. He recalls his past life some 70 years ago once a circus sets up in the lot next to the nursing home.

I just really enjoyed this one. Again, I don't want to give much away as I think you should all read it.


  1. I loved this book too! Old Jacob had some amazing insights. Can't wait to see the film!

  2. One of my favourite books for sure! And I definitely will not be watching the movie. I very rarely watch the movies of books that I have read.

  3. A good friend recommended this book to me and I loved it. Glad you enjoyed it as well.

  4. Loved it - especially old Jacob. And was surprised to enjoy the movie too. I'm getting better at books made into movies. Just accept ahead of time that it will be different, and if you are a big reader, it will never be as good as the book. Judging from that perspective is somehow more enjoyable.

  5. I haven't seen the movie. I'm afraid of the violent scenes.