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( Download Ebook ) é Water for Elephants á Winner of theBookBrowse Award for Most Popular BookAn atmospheric, gritty, and compelling novel of star crossed lovers, set in the circus world circa , by the bestselling author of Riding Lessons When Jacob Jankowski, recently orphaned and suddenly adrift, jumps onto a passing train, he enters a world of freaks, drifters, and misfits, a second rate circus struggling to survive during the Great Depression, making one night stands in town after endless town A veterinary student who almost earned his degree, Jacob is put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie It is there that he meets Marlena, the beautiful young star of the equestrian act, who is married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer He also meets Rosie, an elephant who seems untrainable until he discovers a way to reach her Beautifully written, Water for Elephants is illuminated by a wonderful sense of time and place It tells a story of a love between two people that overcomes incredible odds in a world in which even love is a luxury that few can afford Water for elephants, 2007 , Sara GruenWater for Elephants is a historical novel by Sara Gruen, written as part of National Novel Writing Month Publication date 26 May 2006 1st edition The story is told as a series of memories by Jacob Jankowski, a 93 year old man who lives in a nursing home Jacob is told what to eat and what to do As the memories begin, Jacob is a 23 year old Polish American preparing for his final exams as a Cornell University veterinary student when he receives the deva Water for elephants, 2007 , Sara GruenWater for Elephants is a historical novel by Sara Gruen, written as part of National Novel Writing Month Publication date 26 May 2006 1st edition The story is told as a series of memories by Jacob Jankowski, a 93 year old man who lives in a nursing home Jacob is told what to eat and what to do As the memories begin, Jacob is a 23 year old Polish American preparing for his final exams as a Cornell University veterinary student when he receives the devastating news that his parents died in a car accident Jacob s father was a veterinarian and Jacob had planned to join his practice When Jacob learns that his parents home has been mortgaged to pay for his tuition and is not to become his, he has a breakdown and leaves his Ivy League school just short of graduation In the dark of night, he jumps on a train, a circus train belonging to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth On the train he is befriended by Camel, an old man and circus veteran, who persuades his companions not to throw Jacob off the train and takes him under his wing, finding him odd menial jobs When the owner of the circus, Uncle Al, learns of his training as a vet, he is hired to care for the circus animals This leads Jacob to share quarters with a dwarf named Walter who is known as Kinko to the circus and his dog Queenie A few weeks later Jacob is summoned to take a look at Camel, who, after drinking Jake adulterated Jamaican ginger extract for many years, can t move his arms or legs Fearing Camel will be red lighted thrown off a moving train as punishment or as severance from the circus to avoid paying wages , Jacob hides him in his room 2012 1388 383 9789641740674 21 1391 464 9786006605098 I think I expected too much out of this novel and therefore had room only for disappointment Though I finished the book in its entirety, I wrote a short review on my blog about halfway through, expounding on the aspects of the book that irritated me I have adapted it herein.First, the main heroine, Marlena, is incredibly flat boring The narrator main character, Jacob, is clearly infatuated with her, but I m not sure why other than she looks good in pink sequins She s married to her arrog I think I expected too much out of this novel and therefore had room only for disappointment Though I finished the book in its entirety, I wrote a short review on my blog about halfway through, expounding on the aspects of the book that irritated me I have adapted it herein.First, the main heroine, Marlena, is incredibly flat boring The narrator main character, Jacob, is clearly infatuated with her, but I m not sure why other than she looks good in pink sequins She s married to her arrogant, bipolar boss, so maybe there s some sort of damsel in distress complex triggered in our hero Regardless, I don t care about her She doesn t engage me or hold any allure The novel really ends up beingof a romance tale, and to be honest I think it would be just as interestingso without Marlena.There were several instances of explicit sexual encounters fairly close together in the heart of the novel that annoyed me I don t inherently react against books with sex, but I do object to explicit, gratuitous sex It feltfor shock value than actually relevant to the plot or characterization The instances of it are over the top and some even slightly grotesque to the point of distraction The crudeness calmed down after a bit, but it distracted me through the center of the novel.Further, I m not even sure the narrator is believable realistic It takes him too long to figure things out he likes to describe a scene in excruciating detail before he realizes what s going on If I had been standing next to him, by the time he realizes what s going on, I would have smacked him over the head and left Too often he encounters situations in a total stupor OK, so people don t always react instantaneously But when you describe it in exhaustive detail, it doesn t make me think something is happening quickly Speaking of descriptions, every strong smell is described as overwhelming Really, is that the best adjective you ve got Additionally, I can t quite reconcile the young Jacob to the 90 93 year old Jacob A lot can change in 70 years, but I can t see the sensitive, humble Jacob I meet in large stretches of the novel with the bitter, crotchety old Jacob I meet in shorter excerpts Maybe someexplanation of what caused the change would have helped The story has so much potential in its unique setting Depression Prohibition era traveling circus This alone kept me reading because I was curious at least to see where the narration was going Will it end with Jacob s death or something else How long does he stay on the circus, etc So I guess kudos to the author for that at least the uniqueness of the setting atmosphere keeps me intrigued.Maybe I expected too much Still, I give the book credit despite my disappointment, I was curious to the end REVIEW CONTAINS SLIGHT SPOILERS I really wanted to like this book I think my low opinion is partially my fault, because I drove into the story with high expectations due to rave reviews I need to learn not to do that.The beginning of this novel was excellent A Ivy League dropout, who formerly studied to be a vet, runs away and joins the circus The time period The Depression and Prohibition America a historical era of uncertainty and chaos I was looking for an intriguing tale of a REVIEW CONTAINS SLIGHT SPOILERS I really wanted to like this book I think my low opinion is partially my fault, because I drove into the story with high expectations due to rave reviews I need to learn not to do that.The beginning of this novel was excellent A Ivy League dropout, who formerly studied to be a vet, runs away and joins the circus The time period The Depression and Prohibition America a historical era of uncertainty and chaos I was looking for an intriguing tale of a college youth thrust into an unfamiliar world, along with a dose of touching animal stories What I got was a romance Pure and simple.A major issue in this novel is the characterization The characters, with the exception of Walter aka Kinko and his dear Queenie, were flat and predictable Marlena and August bothered me the most Marlena being beautiful and kind and boring, and August being a cruel husband due to his mental illness Besides the hackneyed stereotype of the mentally ill being violent, August s schizophrenia appeared to be a plot device to bring Jacob and Marlena together without making them look like bad people for cheating I didn t buy it for half a second I think the affair would ve been muchinteresting if August waswell, basically a normal husband who was maybe a little too obsessed with his own accomplishments.The romance between Jacob and Marlena made me yawn While Jacob was a fairly developed character, Marlena was the epitome of a side female love interest gorgeous with little beneath the surface Barbara, the cooch girl , haddepth than her If Marlena were developed further and if she had a flaw or two , I could buy their love story And hey, maybe one day I ll appreciate where the characters ended up Today is not that day On a similar note, I ve heard some people complain about the sex scenes, and while the descriptions are a bit odd, I had no problem with there being sex in the book The setting is a circus, there is booze everywhere, and sex is gonna happen.Again I think I went into this novel with high expectations and if I m getting the wrong idea or whatever, that s my own doing I ll probably pick it up again in the future to see if I think differently then This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here I wanted to like this book I really did I even enjoyed the first couple of chapters and was prepared for an entertaining summer read Eventually, however, the lack of imagination, melodrama, and just plain bad writing did it in for me At the risk of beating a dead horse albeit a dead horse with tremendous appeal to book clubs across the United States , let me enumerate the problems spoiler alert not that I suggest you read this book anyway 1 Neither the narrator, nor any of the other cha I wanted to like this book I really did I even enjoyed the first couple of chapters and was prepared for an entertaining summer read Eventually, however, the lack of imagination, melodrama, and just plain bad writing did it in for me At the risk of beating a dead horse albeit a dead horse with tremendous appeal to book clubs across the United States , let me enumerate the problems spoiler alert not that I suggest you read this book anyway 1 Neither the narrator, nor any of the other characters in Water for Elephants, for that matter, even remotely sound like they live in the 1930s, nor does the old man sound like an old man in the present day chapters in fact, he sounds exactly like he did as a 22 year old in the 1930s chapters This indicates that the author has either a completely tin ear for a dialogue or not enough imagination to put her self into the minds of her characters.2 In the movie version of this book which surely must the on the way , our narrator Jacob surely must be played by Alan Alda, age difference be damned He is, without a doubt, the nicest, most sensitive character to appear in any book I have the memory of reading and I m counting the Bible On at least half a dozen occasions, he breaks down in tears at the cruel injustice of the world, including becoming comatose for over an hour yes, over an hour the author is explicit after putting down a sick horse despite being a veterinarian Perhaps rethinking his line of work is in order.3 Melodrama and sentimentality, offered with the utmost sincerity, dominates all the action in the book Chapters are dotted with multiple fights, murders, stampedes and other calamities, creating not drama but rather a creeping sense of incredulousness in the reader To illustrate with two examples At the end of the 1930s storyline, following a deadly stampede in which the villain is murdered yes, murdered by an elephant yes, an elephant , the narrator marries the girl thus rescuing her from an abusive relationship and takes from the recently failed circus 12 horses, a dog, a monkey, and an elephant yes, an elephant to live with him and his wife happily ever after This is not played for laughs We are meant to be moved by the noble sacrifice, I think At the end of the present day storyline, our same narrator, now widowed and without his menagerie, runs off to join the circus again and the age of 93, in what has all the makings of a Hallmark movie.4 Modern day, therapy driven dare I say touchy feely sentiment pervades the entire story, especially those parts set in the 1930s The book teaches and remember, this is a book meant for adults, not children such valuable lessons as treating the elderly with respect is important racism and antisemitism are wrong violence against women is wrong being cruel to animals or even thinking of them as less important than people is wrong all people are important, not matter what there is little people dwarfs have a difficult time in the world and deserve or respect etc By keeping her story in bondage to these platitudes, Gruen creates exceptionally one dimensional characters who either support modern and politically correct values and thus are good or don t and thus are bad, unless of course they suffers from mental illness and the stings of antisemitism, in which case they are to be pitied I can t count the number of times I rolled my eyes, as the narrator, recently orphaned, covered in horse shit, and practically starving during the Great Depression, takes the time to think of those less fortunate A narrator with a little bitdirt on his soul would have been muchbelievable and ultimatelysympathetic.N.B To continue my rant The blurb that accompanies this book on the New York Times bestseller list reads something to the effect Young man and an elephant save Depression era circus Did the person who wrote that event read the book The circus collapses into a spasm of chaos and violence at the end of the book