Book Review: “Water for Elephants”
Kirby Miller, Business Manager
March 10, 2011
Filed under Arts & Entertainment
I have always had an obsession with history, particularly during the Roaring 20s and the Great Depression, but no book I ever read did the time period justice. That all ended the second I started reading Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants.
Water for Elephants is the story of Jacob Jankowski, a Cornell veterinary student turned circus employee and a 90-something year-old elderly man living in a retirement home. The book is a narration from Jankowski’s perspective of two different times in his life, making the experience of the book that more fun for the reader.
Water for Elephants is creative, interesting and, most importantly, honest about the time period. The Great Depression was a time when speakeasies were raided, teenagers lived together in alleys and everyone did just about anything for money. All of that is shown in the book in an enlightening and entertaining way. Common problems of the Great Depression impact Jacob in an extremely personal way while he works in a corrupt circus where murder, infidelity and alcoholism are prominent.
Water for Elephants is the perfect book for anyone who loves history, an entertaining book or a reason to ponder the morals of the world. Water for Elephants will change the way the Great Depression and traveling circuses are perceived forever.