Thursday, May 8, 2008

Water for Elephants

by Sara Gruen

Water for Elephants follows the story Jacob Jankowski. When the story opens, Jacob is either ninety or ninety three (he can't quite remember) and in a nursing home. The story then flashes back and forth between present day Jacob and a much younger Jacob, who after his parents die runs away to the circus.

I have looked at this book for months. Picking it up, reading the back, and putting it back on the shelf. It just didn't quite draw me in enough to buy it (my library doesn't have a copy), but my boss loaned it to me, so I gave it a shot. I really liked this story and the writing. I really haven't had much time to read lately, but I found myself so drawn in to the story that I was able to finish it in just a few days. I thought Jacob was interesting, and the prologue drew me right in. The circus story line kept me interested, and I loved the details that were thrown in. I would actually be interested in doing some research on train circuses during the depression. I also really liked the present day Jacob. He was a grouchy old fart, but I found him hilarious.

However, there is a lot of sex in this book. Most of it is near the beginning (maybe chapter 3 or 4?), and I actually skipped most of that chapter. It was COMPLETELY unnecessary to the plot and could be summed up like this "Barbara stripped" or something. I almost quit the book at that point, but decided to give it another chapter or so. There wasn't too much sex after that until near the end when there is a fairly graphic sex scene as well, which I again skipped. There's also some language, not as much as Tithe, but enough that it made me uncomfortable.

So, basically, I don't know how I feel about the book. It really did keep me interested, and I thought the writing was fabulous. However, I can't recommend it to anyone because I would be way too embarrassed. I am mostly reviewing to give people with it on their TBR list a heads up because it caught me totally off guard.


Natasha @ Maw Books said...

Thank you!! Thank you!! You obviously just read my review of this book where I completely agree 100%. I was beginning to feel that I was the only one who felt this way. Most don't even remember any sex, I was beginning to think that I imagined it all! Great review!

Kim said...

Hi, KT. Thanks for the comment on my blog about this review. It sounds like we have similar interests in "clean" books. It's so frustrating when such filth is thrown into otherwise good books. I might eventually try to read this one and just skip the parts that I don't want to read because it does sound interesting.

KT said...

Natasha: I was surprised by how many of your commenter's hadn't noticed the sex as well. It made me super uncomfortable, but I am a bit of a prude. Thanks for the praises :)

Kim: I love your clean books site. I think it's so useful; I especially like that you list books that don't qualify as clean so I know to avoid them. Thanks for stopping by. It is an enjoyable story - good luck if you read it!