Sunday, January 2, 2011

Water for Elephants



"...My real stories are all out of date. So what if I can speak firsthand about the Spanish flu, the advent of the automobile, world wars, cold wars, guerilla wars, and Sputnik- that's all ancient history now. But what else do I have to offer? Nothing happens to me anymore. That's the reality of getting old, and I guess the crux of the matter. I'm not ready to be old yet."

As the hours between 2010 and 2011 came to a close, I spent them burrowed away in a world far from my cozy apartment in LA county. I went away to the 1930's, during a time when every circus was determined to be the newest Ringling and engulfed myself within the Benzini Bros. Most Spectacular Show on Earth. A show filled with a motley crue of dwarf clowns, Lovely Lucinda's, and a menagerie of animals including the beautifully silent Rosie the elephant. And leading the way for the show, the stunning performer Marlena with her near-magical effect on horses, her charismatic but highly volatile husband August, and young Jacob Jankowski, the show's Ivy league educated veterinarian who came in the middle of all of this world after the one he lived in came crashing down with the only option available boiling down to "running beside a moving train in the middle of nowhere." The choice that would forever begin the story of this new life for himself, a lifetime he recounts back to us at the age of 90. Or 93.

The best way I can describe this novel was summed up simply by a lovely girl I work with who had read it before me. "It's a gorgeous book."

In terms of holding your interest, clinging to your heart, and being unforgettable, I could never agree more.

Read it. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Love to you all,
Heather

7 comments:

Natalie said...

I definitely adored that book. :D I should probably re-read it sometime. And apparently they're making a movie out of it, which I'm kind of unsure about, but we'll see how it turns out I suppose.

Em [the writer] said...

Well that definitely convinced me. I saw a preview for the film and realized...hey I have that book at home. Now I'm trying to find it1

Krissy said...

Every time I see this book in the stores, I'm so tempted by it, but back away because I'm afraid it was over-hyped. (Everyone always gushes about it, and that worries me sometimes.) But I trust your opinion, so perhaps next time, I'll pick it up. :)

Darcy said...

ooohhh i LOVED this book so much! sometimes i remember the images of it at the weirdest time.s....

the meandering mind said...

So I've decided I will pick up this book when I come to Cali for a week in 11 days! :D I am in a desperate need to read, read, read and read!

Andrew Green said...

I've heard very good things about this book....
And might I recommend "Never Let Me Go," by Kazuo Ishiguro to you. That's what I was reading in the waning days of 2011.

Phoenix said...

I have had several people recommend this book to me - and I'm definitely putting it on my list of must-reads for 2011! I hope you had a lovely New Year, transported far away, and that you're doing well.