Monday, April 14, 2008

Water For Elephants

I've waited a couple of days to see if this book would grow on me. It didn't. The book uses the ever popular chapter/time switch by going back and forth between an old polish man, Jacob Jankowski, in an assisted living home and his memories of when he was with the circus. I've never liked circuses...perhaps that's my problem. The living conditions were dank and filthy and the behavior of the characters followed suit. I did like the portrayal of the old man who was 90 or 93 - he just couldn't remember. It must be so lonely and frustrating to age alone - without your spouse (he had been married for 61 years) or family other than on Sundays. I didn't get to know the character other than the few months the story takes place but the younger Jacob and the older Jacob didn't seem like they were the same person.

The author paints a pretty vivid picture of circus in the prohibition era. She admits that she did a lot of research and sort of threw it all into the book. So, a lot of crazy, over-the-top things happen to this one travelling outfit. It's interesting, don't get me wrong, and well written but just not a book to love. At least for me.

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