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Water for Elephants [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Sara Gruen
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Mai 2007
When Jacob Jankowski, recently orphaned and suddenly adrift, jumps onto a passing train, he enters a world of freaks, grifters, and misfits -- the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth -- a second-rate travelling circus struggling to survive during the Great Depression, making one-night stands in town after endless town. Jacob, a veterinary student who almost earned his degree, is put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It is there that he meets Marlena, the beautiful young star of the equestrian act, who is married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. He also meets Rosie, an elephant who seems untrainable until he discovers a way to reach her. "Water for Elephants" is illuminated by a wonderful sense of time and place. It tells a story of a love between two people that overcomes incredible odds in a world in which even love is a luxury that few can afford.
-- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

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  • Taschenbuch: 350 Seiten
  • Verlag: Workman Publishing; Auflage: Reprint (Mai 2007)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 1565125606
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565125605
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 5,5 x 8,3 x 1 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.7 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (26 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 32.955 in Englische Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Englische Bücher)

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Jacob Jankowski says: "I am ninety. Or ninety-three. One or the other." At the beginning of Water for Elephants, he is living out his days in a nursing home, hating every second of it. His life wasn't always like this, however, because Jacob ran away and joined the circus when he was twenty-one. It wasn't a romantic, carefree decision, to be sure. His parents were killed in an auto accident one week before he was to sit for his veterinary medicine exams at Cornell. He buried his parents, learned that they left him nothing because they had mortgaged everything to pay his tuition, returned to school, went to the exams, and didn't write a single word. He walked out without completing the test and wound up on a circus train. The circus he joins, in Depression-era America, is second-rate at best. With Ringling Brothers as the standard, Benzini Brothers is far down the scale and pale by comparison.

Water for Elephants is the story of Jacob's life with this circus. Sara Gruen spares no detail in chronicling the squalid, filthy, brutish circumstances in which he finds himself. The animals are mangy, underfed or fed rotten food, and abused. Jacob, once it becomes known that he has veterinary skills, is put in charge of the "menagerie" and all its ills. Uncle Al, the circus impresario, is a self-serving, venal creep who slaps people around because he can. August, the animal trainer, is a certified paranoid schizophrenic whose occasional flights into madness and brutality often have Jacob as their object. Jacob is the only person in the book who has a handle on a moral compass and as his reward he spends most of the novel beaten, broken, concussed, bleeding, swollen and hungover. He is the self-appointed Protector of the Downtrodden, and... he falls in love with Marlena, crazy August's wife. Not his best idea.

The most interesting aspect of the book is all the circus lore that Gruen has so carefully researched. She has all the right vocabulary: grifters, roustabouts, workers, cooch tent, rubes, First of May, what the band plays when there's trouble, Jamaican ginger paralysis, life on a circus train, set-up and take-down, being run out of town by the "revenooers" or the cops, and losing all your hooch. There is one glorious passage about Marlena and Rosie, the bull elephant, that truly evokes the magic a circus can create. It is easy to see Marlena's and Rosie's pink sequins under the Big Top and to imagine their perfect choreography as they perform unbelievable stunts. The crowd loves it--and so will the reader. The ending is absolutely ludicrous and really quite lovely. --Valerie Ryan -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe .


'I loved Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen. Great story, loads of fun; hard to put down. So what if the heroine weighs 2500 pounds?' -- Stephen King 'Rich and outlandish... you are so immersed in circus life that you are blinded by the thrilling, fatal dazzle of sequins and sawdust.' -- The Telegraph 'An imaginative modern fairy story, teeming with eccentric characters' -- The Times 'Gorgeous, brilliant and superbly plotted, I am unabashedly in love with this book' -- Joshilyn Jackson, author of GODS IN ALABAMA 'This masterpiece of storytelling is a book about what animals can teach people about love.' -- Susan Cheever 'Lovely and mesmerising.' -- Kirkus 'A tender story of first love, of murder, mayhem and animal and human brutality, of hucksters, whores and the general hoopla created when the circus rolls into town... This book is every bit the fabulous escapist entertainment that the big top once was.' -- Sunday Express 'Great!' -- Giffords Circus -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Sara Gruen's newest book, Water for Elephants 1. November 2007
Sara Gruen's newest book, Water for Elephants, revolves around a college dropout who becomes a veterinarian for a traveling circus during the Great Depression, the beautiful star of the equestrian act with whom he falls in love, and a loyal pachyderm named Rosie. A perfect setting for this future best-seller as Sara owns two dogs, two goats, three cats and a horse. Her walls are decorated with colorful paintings made by elephants holding brushes with their trunks at a sanctuary in Thailand. 'They may not always be the central theme, but there's always going to be an animal characters,' Sara said 'Because I'd as soon write a book with no humans in it.' Amazing enough, Sara almost didn't complete this book. But you'll be glad she did--as the result is an adventurous tale of an era when more than a dozen massive circuses toured the country via railroad cars, carrying the stars of the ring and the sideshow freaks, exotic animals for showcasing in the menagerie and beasts of burden for the set-up and tear-down work.

The book's protagonist is a 90-something named Jacob Jankowski, whose memories of his youthful adventures come flooding back when a circus sets up its tents near his nursing home. Gruen doesn't devote much time in the fictional Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth, a slightly ragged show owned by the vulturous Uncle Al, who aspires to be as classy as Ringling Brothers but throws workers off the train when he doesn't have enough money to meet payroll. Instead, she chose to focus on the logistics of moving essentially a city of people and move them day after day after day to a different city and put up a tent town...and do it again the next day. You'll come across some of the wackiest tales of circus life found in any book.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A Surprising Look at Circus Life in the 1930s 31. Oktober 2007
Von Donald Mitchell TOP 500 REZENSENT
Almost every child has dreamed about running away to join the circus. In the days of the big top, there were lots of menial jobs that kept those who wanted to be part of the circus busy from before dawn into late into the night, even if those jobs often involved nothing more glamorous than shoveling up the remains of an elephant's snack.

Water for Elephants starts with an elderly (at least 90 years old) Jacob Jankowski remembering snatches of his past as he frets over the indignities of living in a nursing home while his children ignore him except for token rotating visits on Sundays. One memory in particular stands out, a violent memory that he didn't share with anyone for over 70 years.

Most of the book moves through flashback into the 1930s when America was broke and people were starving. Into this challenging world, Jacob has high expectations as he finishes up his veterinary training at Cornell. But the hand of God intervenes, and his life will never be the same.

He soon finds himself serving in any role that he can get at BENZINI BROS MOST SPECTACULAR SHOW ON EARTH (as the rail cars read). This isn't the big time. It's just surviving by staying one step ahead of the local sheriffs while not delivering on promised acts and providing entertainment for men that has nothing to do with being a circus. This circus doesn't even have an elephant.

Much of the story involves the nitty gritty of how circuses operated in those perilous times. It's a story that encompasses lots of cruelty, deceit, and harshness. In fact, it's enough to make you wonder why you ever dreamed about running away to join the circus. So if you would like to keep that dream shiny, perhaps this wouldn't be the best book for you to read.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen A colourful novel 21. April 2012
Von Surlej
Format:Kindle Edition|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
This book takes you to the world of the great circusses of the beginning of the last century in the US. The life of the artists, their luck and mishaps is very well shown. The story of the young vet student who loses his parents and money and then finds a new life in the circus is one of warmth and human touch. The heart of the reader is nearly broken when the elefant Rosy suffers so much and the directors of the circus for money reasons are cruel with their personel and with their animals. The writing is easy and it is hard to stop. Very recommendable fiction with a lot of plots.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Sara Gruen's gorgeous new novel 27. Oktober 2007
WATER FOR ELEPHANTS, unfolds as a dual narrative, alternating between Jacob Jankowski's life as a nonagenarian, and his time spent working for a ragtag Depression-era circus as a young man. The plot is captivating (I missed two meals because I didn't want to put the book down) and Gruen's writing, as always, is transcendent. She deftly evokes a fascinating period in American history that deserves to be revisited, and her characters--human and animal alike--will stay with you long after you turn the last page.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Schön 2. Oktober 2010
Format:Taschenbuch|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Man kann sich manchmal nicht des Eindrucks erwehren, dass die Autorin eigentlich eine ganz andere Geschichte erzählen wollte und die Zirkushintergrund nur als Vehikel dient. Eigentlich hätte dieses Buch doppelt so dick sein können, wenn Sara Gruen es wirklich prall mit Charakteren und dem Leben eines Wanderzirkus in den 1930er Jahren in Amerika gefüllt hätte. Leider gelingt ihr das alles nur in gut gemeinten Ansätzen und so ist man vor wirklichen Überraschungen und Wendungen eigentlich gefeit. Trotzdem ein schnell zu lesendes und unterhaltsames Buch, was leider in allen Belangen nur an der Oberfläche kratzt. Entgegen einiger anderer Rezensenten gefiel mir der Schluss, denn so blieb die Geschichte insgesamt rund...
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Die neuesten Kundenrezensionen
5.0 von 5 Sternen Gorgeous reading
Found this book by coincidence and can warmly recommend it. I loved it. It's heart-warming, interesting, has suspence, a great story, and really makes me curious if elephants have... Lesen Sie weiter...
Vor 1 Monat von Dagmar Fink veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen Could not put it down!
The story about Jakob who loses everything during the Depression and thus starts to work at a circus is so well-written that I could not put it down. Lesen Sie weiter...
Vor 6 Monaten von Dancing Queen veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen AMAZING!!!!!!
My new favorite book.
Amazing plot , very well made up characters and a very sweet love story put together with humor and adventure!
Vor 13 Monaten von sporty veröffentlicht
4.0 von 5 Sternen Nice book!
I saw the movie first. I decided to read the book too. I realized they changed a lot in the movie. I liked some scene in the movie more than is written in the book. Lesen Sie weiter...
Vor 13 Monaten von sweet-strawberry veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen WfE
This was amazing movie and once I found out there was a book as well I just HAD to read it
Vor 13 Monaten von Amazon Customer veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen Eine liebenswerte Geschichte
Diese liebenswerte Geschichte ist wunderbar unreal. Man empfindet die fremde Welt, Zirkus, Indien ... Lesen Sie weiter...
Vor 14 Monaten von Ursel Wagner veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen Eine wirklich schöne Geschichte
Ich (Anfang 20) fand das Buch eher zufällig in der Stadtbücherei und hatte - wohl als einer der Wenigen - den Film nicht gesehen. Lesen Sie weiter...
Vor 16 Monaten von Rheinländerin veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen Super
Wer solchen geschichten marg, wir die hier lieben. da braucht mein keine monster und wolfe. ;-) nur elefanten.
einfach super.
Vor 22 Monaten von Andi veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen Amazing Book:Touching and Thrilling
This is definetely one of my favourite books. Sara Gruen's books are simply amazing. I love her writing style. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 26. Dezember 2011 von K-aus-M
5.0 von 5 Sternen Amazing!!!
This book has become one of my favorites. I have to admit that i first saw the movie and loved it, so i bought the book, because i wanted to know more about the story and as we all... Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 4. November 2011 von Sarah R.
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