Reader reviews and comments on 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
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    May 2006, 335 pages
    May 2007, 368 pages

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There are currently 51 reader reviews for Water for Elephants
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Carla (01/25/11)

Good Story
Loved the story but did not think writing style was all that great.
Heidi (01/15/11)

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 (12/27/10)

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.
ZenCowgirl (09/05/10)

This book was recommended to me by so many people, strangers and friends alike. After all the enthusiastic recommendations, I couldn't wait to start reading Water for Elephants. Sara Gruen does an incredible job of reeling you into the crazy circus life. Even with that being said, I found myself bored by the story! I rushed through the remaining chapters just so I could finish the book and be done with all the drama. Maybe I set my sights too high.
butterybooks (08/27/10)

90 something year old Jacob my favorite
I loved the character of Jacob when he was ninety or ninety-three. He has been there, done that as he reflects on his life on a depression era circus train. When I think of Water for Elephants, I don't see 23 year old Jacob and Marlena and the circus gang, I see this old man who still stands up for his rights, mainly his right to live his life as he sees fit. The whole story is developing this one character - You go 90 something year old Jacob - enjoy!!

Rosemary was another character I enjoyed - so patient, so sincerely understanding.

My main issue with the book - Water for Elephants - not the title I would have chosen. A great title but I don't feel that the book reflected the significance needed for that name. As I was reading, I kept expecting something to exhibit "Water for Elephants" besides McGuinty.

This read was chosen for my book club and what a fun book to plan a party around, would definitely recommend this book to friends, family and fellow book clubbers out there.
Marissa (06/01/10)

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!
Skinner (05/28/10)

I did thoroughly enjoy the book, but as an animal lover, I did struggle through some parts of the story. I guess you just have to tell yourself "it's just a story, it's just a story".
Sue A (04/21/10)

Disgusting, do not waste your time
I read the other reviews and had to put in my two cents. I like an author that paints a picture with words but this author crossed the line. The dialog was totally unnecessary to get the scenes across. Yes, I agree, it was the 'times,' but there are ways to describe scenes without going where this author went. I felt mentally raped and there should have been a 'explicit' warning on the outside of the cover. I would not have bought it. In fact, I took it back and got a refund based on how filthy the book was. I told the store for all intense and purposes, it was pornography. I kept reading hoping for it to get better and it did not. I stopped about a third of the way through because I just could not waste anymore brain cells on it. Do not waste your time or your mind on this one! There are so many books out there that will be pleasure to read, seek after those and leave this one on the shelf.

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