Water for Elephants, Sustenance for Me

I don't know why I'm so attached to Water for Elephants. It's not over-the-top creative or still on any bestsellers lists, but it's one of the books I would take to that hypothetical desert island (Don't worry, we'll get to that later).

It's a story about Jacob Jankowski, a young Polish man who accidentally runs away with the circus after a family tragedy. Stumbling into the world of train circuses he meets Marlena, a breathtaking creature who enchants and commands a dozen horses during the liberty act. Wave after wave of new experiences crash over Jacob, but one of the most powerful is when Rosie, a mischievous elephant, is added to the circus.

Gruen made the train circus real - the roustabouts, the kinkers, the cooch tent and patches - everything felt as if you'd walked straight into the Grand Spec. The backdrop of the 1920's is vibrant; speakeasies, jake leg and liquor raids all take their place among the bread lines and hobo jungles. Gruen artistically balances quiet romance with depressing realism and I can't get enough of it.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoy reading whAt you are thinking about...

    ReplyDelete

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