Fabian's Reviews > Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
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really liked it

It's truly admirable to place the plot on a moving train and its roving fairgrounds... it's like living in a cotton candy cloud. There were plenty of chances to dash the reader away, to make poetry out of the circus workers' vagrant conditions, to use the animals as characters, not just decor... to avoid cliche. This novel is written concisely, but with often description so vague the reader just glides over it. Also, the narrator is absolutely unreliable... oftentimes he seems more hero than human, perhaps the 90+ year old man got all of his story mixed up with local history. Sara Gruen is herself a historian, and a lover of the "Moulin Rouge" star-crossed lovers parable. The result is a breezy, whimsical book that evokes the wonderment of the circus itself: there are fake lights, funny events, dashing drama, but its all definitely been seen before.

NEW RETROSPECTIVE RATING: 4**** (2017: "for even artichokes have h...")
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Reading Progress

November 3, 2010 – Started Reading
November 3, 2010 – Shelved
November 3, 2010 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-7 of 7 (7 new)

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message 1: by Terri (new)

Terri I got this at the used book store. i will read it now...

Fabian Hey Mrs. Flick! I am totally loving the UTEP MFA... reading a lot! Hope you are doing good.

Fabian Oh yeah, I got this book at a thrift store too- the alameda one. Go early in the week and you can find most books $1.

message 4: by Terri (new)

Terri thanks for the tip. hope you are doing well!

Erin Clemence I love Gruen. This one is probably my third favourite one by her...I liked your review, Fab.

Fabian Erin wrote: "I love Gruen. This one is probably my third favourite one by her...I liked your review, Fab."

Thanks! F

kristina I have such a conflicted view on this book, because looking back I think the story was too predictable and cliche, but the setting was so intriguing that I almost don't mind.

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