Saturday, February 17, 2007

Book Review: Water for Elephants

February 17, 2007

I have to say that usually I don't like books about circus life. Two that jump out are John Irving's Son of the Circus and someone's Geek Love. Both of those left me feeling like I do when I come out of Walmart--somewhat nauseated and needing to wash my hands. I'm not even sure I like circuses that much, although I am going to Ringling Brothers/B&B next week. But I found this book by Sara Gruen to be an exception to my circus-book dislike. This is the story, told from the perspective of the 93-year-old narrator, of his first year as a circus veterinarian. He has just about graduated from Cornell's vet school when his life changes abruptly, leaving him with nothing. He ends up jumping a circus train, and the story takes off from there. I always appreciate books in which the main character is likeable, and Jacob certainly is. I could have done without a few of the somewhat graphic scenes, but otherwise, it's an excellent and fast read. Extremely satisfying ending, as well.

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