What readers think of Water for Elephants, plus links to write your own review.

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Water for Elephants

A Novel

by Sara Gruen

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen X
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    May 2006, 335 pages

    Paperback:
    May 2007, 368 pages

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Reviews

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There are currently 52 reader reviews for Water for Elephants
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Gail

Water for Elephants
Loved this book. Didn't want it to end--missed all the characters when it was over. With the movie coming out, I could visualize the people, which made it even more enjoyable.
Heidi

Thrilled to hear it's being made into a movie
A friend raved over this book and finally gave it to me - once I got into it I couldn't put it down. Like many people I grew up fascinated by the circus and even visited the Circus Hall of Fame in Sarasota, FL with my family as a child. I loved the story, loved the characters, especially Rosie, and loved the thoughts of both the young man and the old man. I liked it so much I have read Sara's other two books about mom's, their daughters and horses! I have recommended it to many people and will be going to see the movie with my friends!
amybeth

Great book!
I just read this book over the weekend and found that it was an easy read and I couldn't put it down. I see some other reviews stating it was too graphic and painted sexually and violent images, however the book is based on a Circus...what did you think it would be like? All rainbows and unicorns? If you do not want to read this kind of book, then stick to the religious books. For the rest of you, who realize that a book that is based on two characters meeting and falling in love while in the circus may not be PG rated....Read this one, you'll love it.
Marissa

Water for Elephants
I really enjoyed this book and I would definitely recommend it to others! You know a book is good when you cannot put it down! This book is great for anyone who likes drama and romance!
Isaac Beadle

Only inapproriate if you are a Nun.
I feel compelled to address the minority of reviews that refer to this book as sleazy and laden with gratuitous sex and violence. It is neither of these. The descriptive writing by the author is highly effective in her character and setting development. The reader can smell the circus; the despair, and the struggles of survival in the midst of the Great Depression as well as the pain, anguish, regret, and fear from the eyes of a 93 year old -or was it 90?!- widower.
Perhaps those few readers that find realist literature to be so offensive should stick to fiction that is church-approved only and stay away from the evil mainstream.
Water For Elephants is, in my opinion, a balanced, exquisite piece of literature. It rolls along at the pace of the circus train in which much of it is set, the characters feel real and believable, and it is basically a very easy read.
My only regret is that it is relatively short at 331 pages; I could easily have kept going with this one.
This story could also make for a fantastic feature film if done properly.
Lisa

So well written that you can taste it..
Descriptions and easily flowing word structure made this book incredibly easy to read, (unfortunately making the story read TOO fast). The reality of the circus and the depression of the 30's made it so easy to involve myself in each and every scene. The vulgarities of the "titty show" and the other minor short scenes of mild sexuality are hardly harmful and yet so necessary to the reality of circus hands. Full of hobos and less than savory characters the dread of the poor souls in the circus are accentuated by the luxurious life of the stars of the circus. Yet the brutality of each world are seen to be equals at times, the beatings and the speak easy raid. I mostly enjoyed Jacobs demeanor both at 22 and 90 and all of the detail and beautiful scenery in between. ..... Loved the book and have been referring it to friends ever since.
alisha

loved it!
This book was recommended to me from one of my friends that I go to school with and I'm glad she did. I loved the growing relationship between M, and Jacob. Some may say it was hard to believe or cheesy but I think it was great. I just wanted to know more from the ending, but overall it was great! I loved it=)
Katsmeoww

Could'nt Put It Down
I loved this book. I have little time read these days, but I saw a review on this novel and decided to check it out at the local library. I read the WHOLE BOOK in only a week, which is awesome considering my lack of personal time (I have 3 kids). I think I spent hours in the bathroom, whether I was using it or not, just hibernating and reading, every chance I could. I am now trying to find pics of circa 1930's circus trains and the like. This is a very very good book totally worth reading!

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