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Clif's Book World

Adventures from reading books captured within short reviews.

Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen, John Randolph Jones, David LeDoux This best seller book came to my attention because it received raving reviews from readers and high praise from critics. Judged in comparison to other romantic-suspense-thrillers, this is a well written story. If you like stories with a bad villain, good hero and lovely lady at the three corners of the love triangle, then this book is for you. And if an elephant that understand Polish is something you find clever, then this book is for you. Unfortunately, I don't care much for romantic-suspense-thrillers unless I can identify with the main character and become fully absorbed into their world. This book failed to do that for me. My lack of interest in circus life is part of the reason for my negative attitude. But also, the main character (1st person narrator) had a temper and disposition that led him to take unwise action. Of course the story would have been very boring had the main character behaved more prudently. This book does make me wonder - was depression era circus life as evil as portrayed in this book? Was "red lining" of circus workers a historical fact? (You'll have to read the book to know what that term means.)

I did appreciate the way that the book tells the story through flash-back memories of an old man. Reliving one's life through memories of past more exciting times is something I can identify with. However, even in old age the story's narrator is too crotchety for my tastes.