Thursday, September 18, 2008

water for elephants

i just finished the book, Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen. i hadn't read it on a recommendation - i had just heard about the book from a fellow book-clubber who mentioned it as a potential next book. the club poo-pooed it because from the description it sounded like there would be cruelty to animals and apparantly some could not stomach that...but i surely could, so i put it on my wishlist at and it became available shortly afterward. anyway i was intrigued about the circus life so i was intrigued to read it - i have a friend from high school who was in Ringling Brothers for a couple seasons and i have been watching all of TLC's freak show specials...anyway...i dont feel like the book succeeded in being the sensual novel it could have been. i couldn't help but shake the sense the author was in over her head - i also didnt think she pulled off the main character very well either. i kept looking at reviews online and saying "are you kidding me?" it was a New York Times Bestseller, but the skill of writing i felt was more of an airport book/grocery store shelf. is that mean? i was entertained...its not like i wasn't, but the ending was predictable and slightly cheating. i guess i was expecting a circus novel to be more circus-like - over-the-top and her prose was rather boring and cliche to be honest. i hate to be a hater, but i think given the subject matter it could have been way more exciting. i think you can guess that i don't recommend it, but now i need a good circus book to make up for this one...anyone?


Solera said...

I haven't read it myself, but Geek Love by Katherine Dunn is about "circus freaks." I heard about this book when a book reviewer on NPR was reviewing another book and mentioned how much this book had disturbed her. Reviewers on Amazon give their reviews titles like "Mesmerizing yet stomach-churning" and "Dimented yet entertaining."

Solera said...

oops. I mean Demented. one-handed typing these days.