Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Circus Comes to Town

What a great idea for a book -- Water for Elephants.  It's about the circus.  It was good in some ways but not-so-good in others.

The circus part was good.  It talks about the early twentieth-century traveling circus and the train travel between venues.  That part was great as was the banter and talk between the performers and the working men who set up the circus and cared for the animals.  The brutality was not so good against people and animals.  I did like the narration by the old man together with the narration from his younger self, but I was a little put off by the author being female and the pie-in-the-sky ending.  I would have appreciated knowing a little more about how she got the story together and about the love story between the young vet and the circus performer.  It smacked of not being plausible which troubled the story for me.

I didn't like a couple of really lewd scenes, one of which kept haunting me for a couple of days.  Maybe that's what it takes to sell books but it's not my cup of tea.

1 comment:

Wendy said...

I hadn't heard of this book so cheated and read about it on Wikipedia. I have a hard reading about cruelty so don't know for sure if I'll read it. I think elephants are amazing. Giraffes are my favorites but they're not in the circus. I loved the circus when I was little and we'd take the train into Boston to see Ringling Brothers. I've taken Hen a few times when he was younger but I worry that the animals aren't treated well. Do elephants really like to put their feet on the bum in front of them and walk around? Seems a little undignified for such noble creatures.