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Water for Elephants


I just finished reading Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen about a young man who loses both of his parents in a car accident and joins the circus in the 1930s. Gruen heavily researched the traveling circuses of the time period to create this fast paced, well written and constructed novel. I very much enjoyed it (it was a page turner), but wouldn’t call it a masterpiece. It reminded me a lot of the movies Big Fish and Friend Green Tomatoes and John Irving’s The Cider House Rules. The most powerful aspect of the story was its disturbing portrayal of the helplessness of the aging process. But other than that, I never really understood the whole purpose of telling a story about the circus — other than thinking that it would be a novel (no pun intended) storyline and for some cheap symbolic effect. Continue reading


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Filed under Essays, Literature