Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thorsday Book Review

Last year, the little boys bought one of their sisters the book Water for Elephants for Christmas.  Around that time, the movie of the same title was released on DVD.  I saw the movie then, and loved it, but only happened to find the book a week or 2 ago, and was very eager to read it.  So, for the few of you who don't know the story, here it is:

WATER FOR ELEPHANTS
by Sara Gruen

Jacob Jankowski was either 90 or 93 years old (having forgotten what year it was, he can't remember how old he was, and does it really matter much, anyway?), living unhappily in a nursing home, having been put there by his children after the death of his beloved wife.  One day, there was much fuss and ado across the street, visible through the window, and a nurse explained that the circus was coming that weekend.  That night, Jacob was put at a dining table with a new resident, who made the claim that he had been in the circus, carrying water for elephants.  This threw Jacob into a tirade, because no man could haul enough water for an elephant.  It also caused him to recall a time about 70 years earlier, when he was in his final days in Cornell's veterinary school.  As final exams were beginning, Jacob was called out of class to the dean's office, and told that his parents had just been killed in a car crash, and he was required to go identify them.  He did so, and subsequently learned that, this being during the Great Depression, his father's house and veterinary practice were overmortgaged and his father had no money, thus there was no home for Jacob, and no practice for him to continue.  Despondent, Jacob ran away, hopped on a passing train that night, and found himself riding with a circus.  The next day, he was hired by the circus as a vet for the animals, thus beginning a 2 month stint with the circus.


The books moves seamlessly back and forth between Jacob's memories of the past and the reality of his present life.  My daughter saw the movie the day after she read the book, and was disappointed in the movie.  Having now read the book, I understand.  This was an excellent book (and the movie was quite fine, too).  I'll probably reread the book before it goes back to my daughter's room.  Highly recommended.  5/5

Happy Thorsday, everyone!

9 comments:

Nichole said...

I haven't read the book, but I adored the movie...

Zimbabwe said...

I have never heard of the book or the film, will be on the look out. Thanks Diane

STELLA and RORY from Down Under said...

Howdy Marjie, this is a favourite book of mine. I read it before the movie. I loved it. Also liked the movie but wasn't thrilled with it but then watched it again a second time (about 6 months later) and for some reason I liked it much more. Have a great weekend. No worries, and love, Carol

Sue said...

I haven't seen the movie and won't. But I read the book only because a friend loaned it to me. I'm so glad she did because I was haunted by the book for a very long time. I'd find it popping into my head on many occasions and think it's avery worthwhile read.

Blond Duck said...

I want an elephant.

Pam said...

This is one of my very favorite books. Your review made me want to read it again! I hope you enjoy your weekend my friend.

gMarie said...

I have this on my Nook and was wondering what to read next - I think you just moved it right up to the top of the list. g

altadenahiker said...

Oh, this is a find. Which I will find.

gMarie said...

Okay - I just finished this book and I loved it! I don't think I'll watch the movie - not my style - the book is always better. But oh how I loved this book and I will read it again, and again. :) g