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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
    Paperback:
    May 2007, 368 pages

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There are currently 51 reader reviews for Water for Elephants
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Chris (06/25/07)

I Tried Not to Like It!
I initially did not like this book. I could barely handle the nursing home/assisted living chapters. That hit a personal note with me because that is where I have spent my career. However, I kept reading, as the circus history and love story not only intrigued me, but pulled me in. As the story progressed, I understood both the past scenes and the present. Getting old is not for sissies and I have never really read anything first person about the frustrations that the elderly think about or feel. As the book was getting near to the end, I could hardly stand waiting for it to end, as I figured it would just solidify my first impression. However, it changed or I changed. I loved it. It was beautiful. I saw the brilliance of it all. One of my favorite all time reads. Took me through someone's life young to old and changed me. I would recommend it to the young, the old, people in the health care field, people that want to know about circus life, people that want what they read to affect them long after the book is done. BRAVO
Salvatore Barruzza (06/13/07)

Amazing adventure
This book reads wonderfully. Ms. Gruen writes this story with 100% substance and no fluff. What surprised me the most was how she got into the male ego. She actually writes as if she knows what its like to be a man, its amazing how well she pulls it off. She must have studied the male ego because she hits it right on the head. She has recreated
a world long gone with perfect detail. She is selfless in telling the story by not overwriting or filling pages with worthless prose. Sara gets right to the point of drawing the circus in our minds and not wallowing in worthless information. A great ride, I wish that it would never end.
Melissa (11/13/06)

I want an elephant!!
Upon leaving childhood I started to become disturbed by circuses and this book reiterated that thought for me. Though, I could practically smell all the old wonderful circus smells (and some not so wonderful smells!)

I loved all the characters, both human and animal! Okay, well not all the characters, I was rooting against the bad guys!

I also enjoyed the use of the narrator's flashback. So often we forget that our elderly are still people, they had a life, they had experiences, and they are more then mere children in aged bodies.

Truly a book to invoke memories and initiate new thoughts on our beliefs, behaviors and acceptance of others behaviors.

Beyond the Book:
  Jake

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