Water for Elephants

Carnies, dancing horses, forbidden love, protective pachiderms- Sara Gruen's debut novel Water for Elephants ($10) has it all. The book is narrated by its hero, Jacob Jaknowski. He is in his eighties, alone and lonely in a nursing home prison of taupe walls and salisbury steak. He escapes into the vivid excitement of his past, in so many ways more real than his present. After the death of his parents 23-year-old Jaknowski left Cornell veterinary school and found a job tending the menagerie of the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Jaknowski finds a home among the geeks, roustabouts, midgets, and creatures of the circus. He also finds love, with the lovely equestrian Marlena - one of the show's biggest stars. Unfortunately she is married to August, an animal trainer as cruel as he is crazy with penchant for beating the animals and his wife. Gruen did extensive research into Depression-era circus culture, and the book is far richer for it. The jargon of circus life, the glitz and feathers of performing, the rich and flithy world outside the bigtop - Gruen is ringmaster of it all.

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Posted on 09.24.09 at 11:30 AM

I love this website, and this book is fantastic. However, it was published in 2006 and has been widely read and reviewed. I would think the Outblush team could come up with something a little fresher.

One Ring to Rule Them All

Posted on 09.24.09 at 12:46 PM

Well, zoe, we're bummed to hear you say that. This is one of our favorites, and once we realized we hadn't reviewed for Outblush yet, we decided it was a must! If you have fresher suggestions, feel free to send them to us. Until then, we'll snuggle up with our old standbys. :D


Posted on 09.24.09 at 1:30 PM

If the customer is in Canada, it is one of the "Heather's Picks" at Chapters, Indigo and Coles bookstores. These are books selected by the CEO of the Indigo & Books, and are guaranteed reads. So if Canadian outblushers buy at the stores, and read and don't like it, they can return it no problem! Not bad, eh?


Posted on 09.25.09 at 7:31 AM

Hmm.. I appreciate the fact that you chose to put an older book! I picked this one up yest. Its fantastic so far!!!

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