How do you choose a good book to read? Sometimes finding a good book is like playing Russian Roulette. What do you do when you don't have any friends to discuss books with? I've created this blog to open an online discussion of great books.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Water For Elephants

It will be a little while before I read another book because the movie looks interesting. Wow! This book is about a Cornell student who finds himself running away from his life after a tragic event happens in his life. He does this on the day of his Veterinarian examination, which he doesn't even open the booklet to begin taking. As he's running, he jumps aboard a train car, which happens to be a circus show. Sara Gruen takes you on an "adventure" (I use that word with extreme caution) through the main character's, Jacob's, life on the circus as the veterinarian and basic animal caretaker. The reader bounces between Jacob's 90 year old self in a nursing home and his young 23 year old self on the circus show.

Let me begin this review by stating: this book is trite and in the entirety of the book, there is really only one plot twist. The prologue tells you how it is going to end, and the first chapter lets you know that he will make it through everything just fine. Also, there's really nothing about the main character that you can relate to or even care about. He is not endearing, doesn't fight for just causes, easily led astray, and basically crotchety in his young and old age. When all of the events unfold, I was left with a feeling of, "Eh, who cares." It's sad when you fall in love with the elephant more than any other character. Especially since the elephant only comes to play toward the second half of the book.

Water for Elephants has a contrived plot that I had to tediously dig through in order to get to the end. Yes, I spent the entire book waiting for the end to come hoping that something would happen to make this all worthwhile. It didn't happen. This reader was left highly disappointed and craving something with more depth and creativity. Please, save yourself the time, and go watch the movie. In this one case, I'm sure it will be better than the book; and if not, then you at least get to see some great actors.

Stay tuned next Monday for my next review!

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