Sunday, April 17, 2011

Book #30: Water for Elephants

I'd been a bit oblivious to the hype surrounding Water for Elephants, but isn't it always the case that once you see something the first time, all of a sudden you keep seeing it everywhere you go?

In one of my first visits to a local thrift store here on the island, I saw a book called Water for Elephants. I didn't think much of it, and left it be. The very next evening, while watching preview after preview at the movies, what should be one of the upcoming movies to appear but Water for Elephants. 

It wasn't long before I noticed fellow bloggers reviewing, talking about, and sharing extracts from, Water for Elephants. And when my Aunt turned up to stay with us earlier this month, what book should she have been reading on the plane but Water for Elephants.

So, it's now sitting on my bookshelf - and what's more - I've read it!
I'm not quite sure what to say about it though, as I'm a little perplexed as to why it has been given the hype it duly has. It's a sweet story, and granted I haven't read anything like it before, but I'm almost tempted to say it was just "ok". However, I think I should probably say a little more.

Quick synopsis: old man in resthome once had career with circus. When circus sets up outside the resthome, it brings back memories of his own time, travelling with the big tent.

I really enjoyed the chapters dedicated to the old man's recollection of his youth. Hearing the sagas that happened among the circus goers was fun, imagining the carriages of animals, clowns, and circus paraphernalia travelling from one town to the next was enjoyable - but the number of chapters dedicated to present day with the old man in the resthome, became fewer and fewer and I began to wonder why that aspect of the story was needed?

I've since heard, that others have received mixed reviews from friends and family about Water for Elephants, so I'm afraid I think mine is one of those mixed ones. However, the good news is that it is an easy read, and I'm still looking forward to the movie. In fact, I'm thinking, this could well be a book where the movie is better! Ill just have to wait and see though.

In the meantime, fellow blogger, Cat's Thoughts rates her books accordingly:
If it was worth reading, but nothing fabulous...  I'll tell you to get it from the library, borrow it from a friend, or check out a used bookstore

and for this I'd definitely say it's a "Borrow from a friend" read.


  1. I will keep that in mind. I love Reese Witherspoon so I might just go ahead and see the movie. I have so many books to catch up on already!

  2. An intriguing review that makes me want to read this book. Loving your blog oxox

  3. I haven't yet read the book and am looking forward to getting a copy soon, I hope. The movie reviews look really good and you may be right, it may be better as a movie. Only time will tell.
    My Bookshelf

  4. Our book group read this a few years ago. When I started reading it, I thought, what will we discuss? I actually continued to think this throughout the book, which I read with great haste, thinking it was interesting but so-so as a book. Well . . . we had a very lively discussion, one of our best in our 20+ years. I think it is the sort of read that lends itself to discussion with others.

    I'm looking forward to seeing the movie and wondering how it will compare to the book. There are some books I read that I think, aha,this one will be made into a movie. For some reason, Water for Elephants didn't read that way to me. Life is full of surprises, isn't ?

  5. I borrowed this book from the library. It's been on my radar for a while because I knew it was a NaNoWriMo project. I agree with what you said about it. I'm still undecided about seeing the movie. I'll probably end up waiting for the DVD.

  6. I am glad I am not the only person who was not happy with this book, most of my friends really liked it.
    I'm not even sure whether I would like to see the film, if you did, could you let me know whether you liked it or not? Thanks.