Thursday, March 3, 2011

Water for Elephants

I'm giving my book club's latest pick, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, the rating of a "hearty OK". I can't in good conscience give it any less since I may or may not have been the one who threw it out as a suggestion after seeing the trailer for the upcoming movie adaptation.
This was an easy read with an entertaining story. The setting of a 1930's travelling circus was vividly depicted and seems like it will translate well on screen. I also enjoyed the descriptions of the animals in the circus- sometimes more than the descriptions of the humans! My main criticism of the characters is that they all felt a little bit one-note. It seemed like the author got so wrapped up in trying to write descriptively that she ended up going over the top in detailing their actions. The characters constantly had their mouths forming an "O" in surprise, or were clapping their hands over their mouths to contain laughter. Does anyone actually do those actions in real life?
In the end, I can see why this book was a really popular bestseller, but didn't necessarily win any critical awards. I"m glad I read it and still have high hopes for the movie.

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