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The runaway international bestseller by ?the must-read author of summer? (Ottawa Citizen)
Orphaned and penniless at the height of the Depression, Jacob Jankowski escapes everything he knows by jumping on a passing train and inadvertently runs away with the circus. So begins Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen?s darkly beautiful tale about the characters who inhabit the less-than-greatest show on earth.
Jacob finds a place tending the circus animals, including a seemingly untrainable elephant named Rosie. He also comes to know Marlena, the star of the equestrian act and wife of August, a charismatic but cruel animal trainer. Caught between his love for Marlena and his need to belong in the crazy family of travelling performers, Jacob is freed only by a murderous secret that will bring the big top down.
Water for Elephants is an enchanting page-turner, the kind of book that creates a world that engulfs you from the first page to the last. A national bestseller in Canada and a New York Times bestseller in the United States, this is a book destined to become a beloved fiction classic.
Rezension: Jacob Jankowski says: "I am ninety. Or ninety-three. One or the other." At the beginning of Water for Elephants, he is living out his days in a nursing home, hating every second of it. His life wasn't always like this, however, because Jacob ran away and joined the circus when he was twenty-one. It wasn't a romantic, carefree decision, to be sure. His parents were killed in an auto accident one week before he was to sit for his veterinary medicine exams at Cornell. He buried his parents, learned that they left him nothing because they had mortgaged everything to pay his tuition, returned to school, went to the exams, and didn't write a single word. He walked out without completing the test and wound up on a circus train. The circus he joins, in Depression-era America, is second-rate at best. With Ringling Brothers as the standard, Benzini Brothers is far down the scale and pale by comparison.
Water for Elephants is the story of Jacob's life with this circus. Sara Gruen spares no detail in chronicling the squalid, filthy, brutish circumstances in which he finds himself. The animals are mangy, underfed or fed rotten food, and abused. Jacob, once it becomes known that he has veterinary skills, is put in charge of the "menagerie" and all its ills. Uncle Al, the circus impresario, is a self-serving, venal creep who slaps people around because he can. August, the animal trainer, is a certified paranoid schizophrenic whose occasional flights into madness and brutality often have Jacob as their object. Jacob is the only person in the book who has a handle on a moral compass and as his reward he spends most of the novel beaten, broken, concussed, bleeding, swollen and hungover. He is the self-appointed Protector of the Downtrodden, and... he falls in love with Marlena, crazy August's wife. Not his best idea.
The most interesting aspect of the book is all the circus lore that Gruen has so carefully researched. She has all the right vocabulary: grifters, roustabouts, workers, cooch tent, rubes, First of May, what the band plays when there's trouble, Jamaican ginger paralysis, life on a circus train, set-up and take-down, being run out of town by the "revenooers" or the cops, and losing all your hooch. There is one glorious passage about Marlena and Rosie, the bull elephant, that truly evokes the magic a circus can create. It is easy to see Marlena's and Rosie's pink sequins under the Big Top and to imagine their perfect choreography as they perform unbelievable stunts. The crowd loves it--and so will the reader. The ending is absolutely ludicrous and really quite lovely. --Valerie Ryan
Buchbeschreibung HarperCollins Canada, 2007. Paperback. Buchzustand: Very Good. Very Good condition with no significant faults. Clearly used but very few minor defects. Will look good on your book case after reading but may not be suitable as a present unless hard to find elsewhere SECURE DAILY POSTING FROM UK. 30 DAY GUARANTEE. Buchnummer des Verkäufers mon0002130275
Buchbeschreibung HarperCollins Canada, 2007. Paperback. Buchzustand: Good. All orders are dispatched the following working day from our UK warehouse. Established in 2004, we have over 500,000 books in stock. No quibble refund if not completely satisfied. Buchnummer des Verkäufers mon0002623890
Buchbeschreibung HarperCollins Canada, 2007. Paperback. Buchzustand: Used; Very Good. Dispatched, from the UK, within 48 hours of ordering. Though second-hand, the book is still in very good shape. Minimal signs of usage may include very minor creasing on the cover or on the spine. Buchnummer des Verkäufers CHL1462960
Buchbeschreibung HarperCollins Canada. Paperback. Buchzustand: Very Good. Book has appearance of light use with no easily noticeable wear. Buchnummer des Verkäufers G0006391559I4N00
Buchbeschreibung HarperCollins Canada. Paperback. Buchzustand: Good. Light shelf wear and minimal interior marks. Buchnummer des Verkäufers G0006391559I3N00
Buchbeschreibung HarperCollins Canada. Paperback. Buchzustand: Good. Book shows a small amount of wear to cover and binding. Some pages show signs of use. Buchnummer des Verkäufers G0006391559I3N00
Buchbeschreibung HarperCollins Canada. Paperback. Buchzustand: Very Good. Very good condition book with only light signs of previous use. Buchnummer des Verkäufers G0006391559I4N00
Buchbeschreibung HarperCollins Canada. Paperback. Buchzustand: Very Good. This copy shows very minor wear. Buchnummer des Verkäufers G0006391559I4N00
Buchbeschreibung HarperCollins Canada. Paperback. Buchzustand: Very Good. Very good condition - book only shows a small amount of wear. Buchnummer des Verkäufers G0006391559I4N00
Buchbeschreibung HarperCollins Canada, 2007. Buchzustand: Good. First Edition. N/A. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Buchnummer des Verkäufers GRP2454344