Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

The Story []
As a young man, Jacob Jankowski was tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. It was the early part of the great Depression, and for Jacob, now ninety, the circus world he remembers was both his salvation and a living hell. A veterinary student just shy of a degree, he was put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It was there that he met Marlena, the beautiful equestrian star married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. And he met Rosie, an untrainable elephant who was the great gray hope for this third-rate traveling show. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and, ultimately, it was their only hope for survival.

My Thought
I'm so hooked up with this book. The story is fascinating and well crafted and I end it up with a long sigh of satisfaction. The story is from Jacob's point of view which is told alternately between his current 93 years old self and his former younger self. Sara Gruen did a great Job with the very first chapter with a gripping scene that makes me wowing and keep on flipping the pages to find out more.I love the idea of circus's life and to get to know the real life of the performers and the circus animals really is fantastic. I always think that, those who make jokes and all those circus thingy are entertaining. And yes it is. But, in this book Gruen unravels all the questions that pop out of my mind. How their real life are? How they train the circus  animals? Are they get paid off well? and etc..So, I'm so much involved in the story of this circus worker, feeling that I was there myself and I'm sure that I will never look at the circus the same again. This book can be funny, sad, romantic, disgusting, fantastic, and breathtaking all at the same time. But the final result is satisfying because it ties so well into the overall story. All in all, this is such a great reading and I recommend it to all of you, readers out there to get a hold of this book. I just can't wait to see how the movie version, starring Rob Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon will turn out. Hopefully, it will be as great as the novel. OK guys, I'll be leaving you with one of my favorite scene from Water for Elephants. It makes me laugh until my eyes all teary. Enjoy!!

Before I can tip the meat out, his huge jaws chomp down on my arm. I scream. The bucket crashes to the floor, splattering chopped entrails everywhere. The cat drops off my arm and pounces on the meat. I slam the door and hold it shut with my knee while I check whether I still have an arm. I do. It is slick with saliva and as red as if I had dunked it in boiling water, but the skin isn't broken. A moment later, I realize August is laughing uproariously behind me.
I turn to him. "What the hell is wrong with you? You think that's funny?"
"I do, yes," says August, making no effort to contain his mirth."You're seriously fucked, you know that?"
I jump down from the flat car, check my intact arm once more, and stalk off.
"Jacob, wait," laughs August, coming up behind me. "Don't be sore. I was just having a
little fun with you."
"What fun? I could have lost my arm!" 
"He hasn't got any teeth."

Favourite Quotes
Dear God. Not only am I unemployed and homeless, but I also have a pregnant woman, bereaved dog, elephant, and eleven horses to take care of.

Age is a terrible thief. Just when you're getting the hang of life, it knocks your legs out from under you and stoops your back. It makes you ache and muddies your head and silently spreads cancer throughout your spouse.

For this old man, this is home.

CoffeeNCrackers' Meter
5 Cups of Coffee

Announcement: Water for Elephants movie will be released on 15 April 2011 in US.For more details visit


Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Thanks 4 stopping by. Glad to see you loved this book as well.

Kah Woei said...

Nice to read a review where you love the book. A book that tells the real life story behind the circus certainly sounds like it would be an interesting read.

I also really liked that first quote you shared. Very funny! :-)

Katie said...

I love the quote how age is a thief. I keep seeing this book around, but have never bought it. Great review.

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cj'alhafiz said...

@ Bibliophile by the sea, Kah Woei, & Kate: Great to have you all here. Thanks for coming. Happy reading gals!!

cj'alhafiz said...

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Alison's Book Marks said...

I honestly don't know if I ever reviewed Water for Elephants on my blog, because I feel like the only person in the world who didn't connect with this book. Maybe it was the wrong book at the wrong time, and I should give it another chance. I remember thinking that in a time where so many books seem to blur together, this was one truly original story.

Thanks for your review!

cj'alhafiz said...

Yeah,I think u better give it another chance Al. It's enjoyable...really. =)

Karen and Gerard said...

This sounds interesting. Didn't realize it was about a circus. Going to add it to my TBR list now, thanks to your review.

bookdout said...

I enjoyed Water for Elephants too and just picked up her newest

Elizabeth said...

I loved this book....First-time visitor.

I am stopping from Cym Lowell's Book Review Party.

Stop by mine if you like.

Teresa said...

I'd heard rumors about a movie, but didn't realize that it had already been cast. I guess I should take my nose out of my books every once in awhile.

Frl. Irene Palfy said...

Well, finally I'll give this book a try. Are there many clowns in it?

Julie @ Knitting and Sundries said...

I was able to acquire this through Goodreads bookswap, and to make certain I read it soon, I included it in one of my 2011 challenge lists! I can't wait to get to it! Everyone has nothing but good to say about it!

My name is Patricia said...

Stopping by through Read My Review! I bought this book a long time ago when I heard they were making a movie out of it and I have yet to read it. After reading your review it has moved up towards the top of my TBR pile. Great review.

Top Adobe CDS Signing Certificates, view site said...

I purchased this book for a book club and was not looking forward to reading it. I was totally surprised. The character development was excellent and the ending...well, I don't want to give it away. Take a chance and try this book!