84 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
It's not about the elephant, Nov 27 2007
If you're looking for a story of glamour and sophistication, this is not it. This is a true tale of circus life and folk--the nitty-gritty reality of hard work and heartbreak. The story opens with an elderly man, Jacob Jankowski, remembering his work in the circus, set off by the fact that someone is putting up circus tents just down the road from the nursing home he's in. This at once reminded me of the novels "Fried Green Tomatoes" and "Bark of the Dogwood" both of which deal with someone remembering his past and then telling us about it. WATER FOR ELEPHANTS is a remarkable book in that you can literally smell, see, and hear the animals. The opening chapter is so intense and brilliant that it will pull you in and you'll be stuck, as I was, reading for hours. WARNING: If you don't have a lot of time, don't start this book as you will have to finish it. Unlike so many other novels, this one pulls you in and never lets you go. If you liked the novels "Remains of the Day" and "Bark of the Dogwood" then you'll warm to this tale.