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Vettä elefanteille by Sara Gruen
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Vettä elefanteille (original 2006; edition 2008)

by Sara Gruen, Anna-Maija Viitanen

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
21,714101961 (4.08)1 / 808
Member:humppabeibi
Title:Vettä elefanteille
Authors:Sara Gruen
Other authors:Anna-Maija Viitanen
Info:[Helsinki] Bazar 2008.
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:2012 luettu, kaunokirjallisuus, yhdysvallat, sirkus, eläinlääkärit, romantiikka

Work details

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (2006)

  1. 81
    Geek Love by Katherine Dunn (Pax_Biblio, starfishian)
  2. 83
    The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (LindsayGentles)
  3. 20
    Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter (Pax_Biblio)
  4. 31
    Mr Vertigo by Paul Auster (Smiler69)
    Smiler69: Set during the Great Depression, a young boy is taught how to fly to become part of a travelling vaudeville act.
  5. 20
    The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb: A Novel by Melanie Benjamin (Alliebadger)
    Alliebadger: Both well-written stories about the performing life. Very different sides of it, and in very different time periods, but both well-written and exciting.
  6. 10
    The spangled road by Borden Deal (VictoriaPL)
  7. 10
    Holy Fools by Joanne Harris (ecleirs24)
  8. 32
    Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (shesinplainview)
  9. 10
    At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen (Eowyn1)
  10. 21
    The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson (heidilove)
    heidilove: If the power of story compels you, you'll like this as well.
  11. 10
    The Circus in Winter by Cathy Day (sibyllacumaea)
  12. 10
    Cat Man: A Novel by Edward Hoagland (Stbalbach)
    Stbalbach: Considered by some (in the business) to be the best (most accurate) circus novel ever written.
  13. 21
    Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier (PaperbackPirate)
    PaperbackPirate: circus
  14. 00
    One Good Dog by Susan Wilson (SATURNBEAR)
    SATURNBEAR: A great story of animals and people coming together and overcoming painful histories.
  15. 00
    Walking on Air by Pierre Delattre (cammykitty)
  16. 00
    Little Heathens by Mildred Armstrong Kalish (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Readers of Water for Elephants may enjoy reading this memoir of farm life during the Great Depression; though the experiences are rather different, Little Heathens offers a complementary view of the period.
  17. 00
    The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (sturlington)
  18. 00
    The Story of Forgetting: A Novel by Stefan Merrill Block (terrybanker)
  19. 00
    The Elephant Keeper by Christopher Nicholson (joririchardson)
  20. 00
    Hottentot Venus by Barbara Chase-Riboud (jennyellen22)

(see all 28 recommendations)

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English (993)  Dutch (4)  Spanish (4)  French (2)  Norwegian (2)  Finnish (2)  Danish (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Italian (1)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (1,015)
Showing 1-5 of 993 (next | show all)
I know this book has been around for a while and I finally picked it off my "to be read" pile, blew the dust off and enjoyed it. The story is told by the same person at two different stages in his life, as a young man in his early twenties and as a senior gentleman of 90 ... (or 93?). It is his story and I found it in turn made me wish I could have run away to join the circus and then made me feel eternally grateful I could not. It also made me wish I still had a grandpa I could go and hug ... and thats all I'll say about that.
( )
  ChristineEllei | Jul 14, 2015 |
A man, in his early 90s, recounts his time spent on a travelling train circus during the depression. I didn't want to stop reading until it was finished. ( )
  Phyllis.Mann | Jul 13, 2015 |
Back in my day, I used to work in a circus. Yea, I carried the water for elephants every day.

Liar. Do you even know how much water an elephant needs?

Moral: Don't make up crap if it's not true. Why? Because the person you're telling it to just might not believe your bull crap.

Water for Elephants is a fun and wonderful story about running off to the circus, the animals, and pure, unadulterated love. I did feel like certain parts of the story were a little too fast paced, and would have felt more believable had it been slowed down. The one aspect I didn't like about the book was the love story, which was way too predictable. I mean, at least throw us for a loop here or there. It's a circus, for crying out loud. She can afford to throw us throw us through five fiery loops!

At the core of the story, it's a heart warming tale about an old man and his memories of life in the circus. I half expected a twist at the end when he realizes that his memories weren't really his own, but stuff he made up, but I guess that wasn't meant to be.

Well, can't wait for the movie to come out. ( )
  jms001 | Jun 14, 2015 |
What a superfantasticmagical book! What a spectuclar setting! What skill it took for a female writer to write from the point of view of one man from both his coming-of-age and curmudgeonly old-and-forgotten acts of life. What a beautiful throwback story of rebirth and hope this is. Absolutely spectacular.
  MartinBodek | Jun 11, 2015 |
I have pretty much the same review as everyone else's I've read. I really would have given it five stars if it wasn't for the unnecessary and crude sex scenes. I really did love the story. It was fast paced and held my attention. I also liked the style it was written in, as mostly flashbacks. ( )
  KR_Patterson | Apr 28, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 993 (next | show all)
It's a favorite of book clubs and reading groups, and is supposedly rife with parallels between the protagonist, Jacob Jankowski and Jacob, grandson of Abraham, in the Bible. I wish one of you would tell me what they are. They are not obvious to me, other than a cryptic "Jacob's ladder" parallel to the ladder on the train cars that give access to the roof and that will be important late in the story. What is obvious to me is this is a book about memory, something elephants are famous for and something humans are famous for treating as reliable when it isn't.
added by paradoxosalpha | editDaily Kos, Limelite (Jul 28, 2011)
 
WOW! This book has been sitting on my bookshelf for longer than I care to admit. Something about it drew me in enough to buy it but there always seemed to be something else that I would rather be reading so, it sat and sat and sat. I am so glad that I finally challenged myself to read it because it has to be one of my favourite books in a LOOOOOOONG time. What a great story.

While I know that the book is a work of fiction, it really did feel like I was right there, in the circus, with Jacob, Marlena and August. I could see each of them (and of course Jacob was as yummy as Edward ~Robert Pattinson~), I could touch the animals, hear the music and feel the crunch of the peanuts beneath my feet. I loved that each of the chapters started with a picture showing the history of the circus because it brought me to the right time frame in my mind. The movement between Jacob as a 90 (or 93) year old in a nursing home and Jacob as a man in his early 20's were seemless. In some novels past, the 'current' story seemed forced and very out of place but here, it was a welcome part of the story.

Overall, I feel like this is a book that anyone would enjoy. Whether you are an adult, a child, a tween, a senior, this book will delight you! It is a fast, fun read. Please pick it up and spend some time aboard the train with the 'Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth'.
 
At its finest, "Water for Elephants" resembles stealth hits like "The Giant's House," by Elizabeth McCracken, or "The Lovely Bones," by Alice Sebold, books that combine outrageously whimsical premises with crowd-pleasing romanticism. But Gruen's prose is merely serviceable, and she hurtles through cataclysmic events, overstuffing her whiplash narrative with drama (there's an animal stampede, two murders and countless fights).
 
What goes on under the big top is nothing compared with the show backstage.
added by Shortride | editTime, Lev Grossman (Jul 16, 2006)
 

» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sara Gruenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jones, John RandolphNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
LeDoux, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Manson,CharlesJacket Photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Werner, Honijacket designsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
I meant what I said, and I said what I meant...
An elephant's faithful--one hundred per cent!
--Theodor Seuss Geisel, Horton Hatches the Egg, 1940
Dedication
For Bob, still my secret weapon
First words
I am ninety. Or ninety-three. One or the other.
Only three people were left under the red and white awning of the grease joint: Grady, me, and the fry cook. (Prologue)
The idea for this book came unexpectedly: In early 2003 I was gearing up to write an entirely different book when the Chicago Tribune ran an article on Edward J. Kelty, a photographer who followed traveling circuses around America in the 1920s and '30s. (Author's Note)
Quotations
Is where you’re from the place you’re leaving or where you have roots?
I wasn’t aware of dozing, but that’s how it goes these days. I seem to slip in and out of time and space.
With a secret like that, at some point the secret itself becomes irrelevant. The fact that you kept it does not.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Jacob Jankowski is left without money and family when his parents are killed suddenly in an automobile accident. He leaves veterinarian school right before he finishes his final exam and accidentally becomes the veterinarian for the Benzini Brothers Circus. There he meets Rosie the Elephant and Marlene, a beautiful (and married) performer in the circus.
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No descriptions found.

A novel of star-crossed lovers, set in the circus world circa 1932. When Jacob Jankowski, recently orphaned and suddenly adrift, jumps onto a passing train, he enters a world of freaks, grifters, and misfits, a second-rate circus struggling to survive during the Great Depression, making one-night stands in town after endless town. A veterinary student who almost earned his degree, Jacob is put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It is there that he meets Marlena, the beautiful young star of the equestrian act, who is married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. He also meets Rosie, an elephant who seems untrainable until he discovers a way to reach her.--From publisher description.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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Average: (4.08)
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