Friday, July 31, 2009

Big Tops, Murder, Elephant Tails, etc.

Who knew books could actually be captivating? I devoured Water for Elephants like a child with cotton candy. And now I have a stomach ache too.

The sweet sounds of the circus came to life in Sara Gruen's novel. I literally did not want to put it down. Perhaps it was the setting, 1930's prohibition America, that sucked me in. Or the protagonist who skipped out on his final exams to jump a train to nowhere. Just that kind of recklessness that lead to exciting, unforgettable stories.

Reading each scene was like watching a movie -- rich, fully detailed descriptions of the sounds and smells of the wandering circus life. The crooked ringleader, the performers, the working men. All the drama and politics behind the scenes of what appeared to be a flawless show.

Books like this make me wish I lived in an era where hopping on a train and going with the wind would land out interesting stories like this one.

The best part of the book: the anecdotes, especially the ones involving the circus animals. An elephant stealing tanks of lemonade; toothless wildcats; impossible performances -- all real stories. Read and wish you were apart of the greatest show on earth!

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