Industrial Deals Books Holiday Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon David Bowie egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Grocery Gifts Under $50 Amazon Gift Card Offer minions minions minions  Amazon Echo Starting at $84.99 Kindle Black Friday Deals BestoftheYear Shop Now HTL

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 14, 2008 6:11:18 PM PST
Jliz129 says:
While I found both the device of the elderly protagonist as a nursing home resident and the wealth of detail about Depression-era circuses interesting, in general, this book was one of those poor souls that I forced myself to finish. The plot was quite predictable, many of the characters were quite one-dimensional, and the 'surprise' ending implausible.
Here's what pushed me over the edge in this book - the dialogue of the 1930's characters never rang true to me. This is exemplified by one character saying "I've got your back", to paraphrase. Sorry to be so picky, but when an author goes to great lengths to amass sufficient research to attempt a recreation of a by-gone era, it is especially important to attend to details.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2008 8:15:19 AM PST
Joan, I have been wrestling with the same feelings since I read this book. I also found the plot to be forced and the dialogue and circumstances the characters found themselves in to be very unrealistic. I'm glad that someone else was not overwhelmingly impressed with this book. The hype and overly positive reviews lead me to expect a lot more than this book delivered.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2008 5:59:00 AM PST
Sandra says:
I'm also not overwhelmed with this story. I'm half way through and will skip to the end now. Something about the writing is irritating me, can't really put my finger on it.


In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2008 8:26:33 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 22, 2008 8:27:04 PM PDT
jrwh says:
What irritated me is that the writing was merely adequate and the story was cliched and predictable, just as Publisher's Weekly said. I read this book when it first came out and it and can easily still remember how incredibly contrived I thought it was.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2008 7:17:26 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 23, 2008 8:02:13 AM PDT
Joan, I felt the same way. This book was hyped so much by friends that when one of them loaned it to me I couldn't wait to read it, especially after reading all the glowing accolades on the jacket and inside pages -- and it came nowhere near meeting my expectations. The dialogue was the worst part, I thought, very stylized, much of it unnecessary and, I agree, on many an occasion didn't seem to ring true to the times (another example is when a character asks, "What's up?") Marlena's character was completely one-dimensional and her actions constantly melodramatic. I did enjoy, however, the 90 year old Jacob's perspective on aging. And I did feel that it was somewhat of a page-turner, although at times I found myself skipping ahead or skimmming through the annoying dialogue and so-so writing. I don't understand how the book was considered such a critical success, but it's reassuring to find others who agree with me!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2008 3:35:55 PM PDT
Jliz129 says:
I guess it is what I'd call an adequate book, although that sounds a tiny bit pretentious. I've come to learn to approach books that "everyone's reading and raving about..." with caution. LIke the movies - popular doesn't always equal thoughtful. Nevertheless, it is curious to me that the critics, wherever they may dwell, gave such glowing reviews.

Posted on Mar 1, 2009 9:34:44 PM PST
Val H. says:
well sometimes you just have to enjoy a book for what it is. Even if it is full of cliches or predictability. People loved the fantasy part of it and again it is a fiction book... Its allowed to be "unbelievable"... and sometimes it depends more on the type of person you are, if you like unrealistic or if your more of a realist then a fantasy type. Also very true "popular doesn't always equal thoughtful", thats why you read or watch what appeals or calls to you. But I'm sorry you didnt enjoy it, I hate when that happens.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›
[Add comment]
Add your own message to the discussion
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Prompts for sign-in


This discussion

Participants:  6
Total posts:  7
Initial post:  Feb 14, 2008
Latest post:  Mar 1, 2009

New! Receive e-mail when new posts are made.
Tracked by 3 customers

Search Customer Discussions
This discussion is about
Water For Elephants
Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen (Hardcover - 2006)
4.4 out of 5 stars (7,125)