The gritty, compelling international bestselling novel of star-crossed lovers and circus life, set in Depression-era USA.
The international phenomenon - with over 10 million copies sold, made into a film with Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson. ' Great story, loads of fun; hard to put down.' Stephen King
The Great Depression 1929 - when Jacob Jankowski, recently orphaned and suddenly adrift, jumps onto a passing train, he enters a world of freaks, grifters, and misfits in the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth a second-rate travelling circus struggling to survive making one-night stands in town after endless town. Jacob, a veterinary student who almost earned his degree, is put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. He meets Marlena, the beautiful young star of the equestrian act, married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. He also meets Rosie, an elephant who seems untrainable until he discovers a way to reach her.
Water for Elephants is illuminated by a wonderful sense of time and place. It tells a story of a love between two people that overcomes incredible odds in a world in which even love is a luxury that few can afford.
Gruen's portrait of this world is satisfyingly rich and outlandish... Any reader of this inspiring novel (written in only a month) will be immersed in circus life; blinded by the thrilling, fatal dazzle of sequins and sawdust. — Daily Telegraph
'Gruen brilliantly conjures up the whole brouhaha of herding punters into the temporary magic of the big top, and the harsh economic reality of sustaining the show. Both exotic and erotic, Water for Elephants is filled with colour and passion but is also charged with an elegiac sense of loss for an entire way of life.' — Financial Times
'I loved Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. Great story, loads of fun; hard to put down. So what if the heroine weighs 2500 pounds?' — Stephen King
Lovely and mesmerising. — Kirkus
This masterpiece of storytelling is a book about what animals can teach people about love. — Susan Cheever
You are so immersed in circus life that you are completely blinded by the thrilling, fatal dazzle of sequins and sawdust. — Daily Telegraph
There is a tender story of first love, of murder, mayhem and animal and human brutality, of hucksters, whores and the general hoopla created when the circus rolls into town... This book is every bit the fabulous escapist entertainment that the big top once was. — Sunday Express
'The most magical, haunting novel I've read in the past few years.' — Daisy Waugh, Tatler
'one of my favourite reads last year. It was so cinematic I just knew there would have to be a Hollywood movie. . . . Star of both the book and the movie is Rosie the elephant who is more intelligent and photogenic than any other member of the cast. And that's saying something because the two main human stars are the impossibly beautiful Reese Witherspoon and Twilight heart-throb Robert Pattinson.' — The Sun
'Trust us, Water for Elephants is going to be one of the surprise hits of 2011. Sara Gruen's very readable novel is a story of impossible love set in the circus world during the 1930s and is set to be made into a blockbuster film starring Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon. You heard it here first.' — Good Housekeeping
'the ending gives you a lift and shows that good triumphs over evil.' — Epoch Times
'Definitely worth catching up with if you've missed it so far.' — Choice
'Water for Elephants is fun, sweet and thrilling and will pull you into the mysterious life of the circus so far that you won't want to leave.' — Guardian
'It's a romantic story that's set in an evocatively rendered era.' — Heat
'The writing conjures up the smells and sounds of the circus, the excitement and the magic, as well as the rather tawdry seediness and the both casual and overt brutality.... The delightful, fairy-tale ending left me smiling for days at the imagery conjured up by it.' — new books