Lisa Ricard Claro – Author

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Water for Elephants

Posted on Aug 25, 2010 by Lisa Ricard Claro   13 Comments | Posted in books · movie · sara gruen · water for elephants
Well, I’m late to the party but glad I showed up.

Water for Elephants, authored by Sara Gruen, has been in bookstores for a few years.  It topped bestseller lists but I never picked it up until last week.  It is exceedingly well-written, engrossing, funny, sad, horrifying, sensual, and the most satisfying read I have experienced in a very long while.  It hits theaters next year starring Reese Witherspoon, Christopher Waltz and Robert Pattinson.  
I’m usually disappointed by the movie version of any book; the only exception to this was Stephen King’s Shawshank Redemption which rocked in print and on the big screen. I hope my new fave, Water for Elephants, makes as wonderful a transition from book to film. 

Since discovering this gem it seems that everyone I’ve mentioned it to has already read it, leading me to believe I’ve been living under a rock for the last few years.  It somehow slipped past me, but I’m thrilled I found it.  Even had I not been hooked by the story—and I was hooked from page one, make no mistake—I would read for the exceptional writing alone.  Ms. Gruen, originally a technical writer, creates a world the reader can see, taste and feel; no word is wasted, no scene unnecessary.
The writer in me is scrambling to get my hands on Ms. Gruen’s other novels, to absorb more of her quality and technique, to learn from her pacing and presentation.  The reader in me wants to hop on the train with her again, to be carried away to wherever she leads. It will be an engrossing ride; I’m sure of it.

If you have read Water for Elephants I’d like your opinion, even if it differs from mine.  If you have not read it, you’re missing out on fantastic writing and a wonderful story with multi-faceted characters, not all of them human. The story will draw you into the world of a depression era circus, and the characters will abide in the corners of your mind long after you turn the last page.

Sara Gruen and a link to her website has been added to my list of favorite authors.  Check out my sidebar list for other Authors Who Rock My Socks!

Happy reading –

13 Responses to "Water for Elephants"

  1. Comment by Lynn
    August 25, 2010 at 2:55 pm  

    Interesting because I picked that book up from my book shelf just the day before and wondered if I should read it. You answered my question! I should probably check out some of the other authors on your list as the only one I'm familiar with is Stephen King, which I love and usually don't find anyone else that feels the same way! It was because of him that I began to read :-).

  2. Comment by Linda O'Connell
    August 25, 2010 at 3:15 pm  

    Lisa,Phenomenal read, although some parts were very difficult to read, overall, I rode waves emotions as I read that book and they rode the rails. I was a late reader too, and read it along with Pi, another intense book. I just looked at the pile of books I;ve gone through this summer, I'm pretty proud of myself. Grace Eventually by Ann LaMott is top of my list so far. Have you read Wally Lambm This Much I Know Is True or maybe it's (for sure)? Oh my goodness, if not, please do. It is a page turner. I could not put it down.

  3. Comment by Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy
    August 25, 2010 at 8:49 pm  

    Lisa, I have never even heard of it … but you can tell that I usually get my books at the library book sale or otherwise secondhand most of the time and am behind the times. I will read it now though, and let you know when I am through. Lynn, I love Stephen King. Linda, I read This Much I Know is True a long time ago. Is that about the twins and something about the Native American boy who lives in a white foster home? And something about mental illness? I'll have to re-read it.Grace Eventually; I haven't hear of that either.I just started Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos; my Mom loaned it to me a couple of days ago.

  4. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    August 26, 2010 at 5:29 am  

    Hi Lynn – After you read WFE let me know what you think. I believe it will hook you! Stephen King is phenomenal. I love his writing all the time, even when I'm not thrilled with the story. My list of authors links you to each website. I highly recommend Leslie Silbert's debut novel The Intelligencer. She is not as commercially popular as the others on the list, but her book really wowed me. I posted about it sometime ago; you can find it in my blog archives. Happy reading!

  5. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    August 26, 2010 at 5:31 am  

    Hi Linda – Grace Eventually is on my library list, so as soon as it becomes available they'll email me. I'm something crazy like "requester #342". LOL The other book you mention I've not read, but I will definitely pick it up. Thanks for the recommendation.

  6. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    August 26, 2010 at 5:38 am  

    Hi Kathy – I don't know if our library does sales like that. I'll have to find out. You might see if your library, like ours, has a waiting list you can get on for books. You may wait a month or two for really popular titles, but if you have enough books on your list you'll always have something to read. 🙂

  7. Comment by K9friend
    August 26, 2010 at 8:08 am  

    I loved this one…loaned it to so many people that it has disappeared altogether to I don't know where! I'm looking forward to Sara's next release called Ape House, due out this fall! She writes animal-themed stories

  8. Comment by Carrie
    August 26, 2010 at 8:53 am  

    I’m putting Water for Elephants on my list to read. That now makes two about circuses and elephants that I want to read. Modoc is the other one on my list. I hear it's really good. It's a true story. Have you heard about it?

  9. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    August 26, 2010 at 1:49 pm  

    Hi Pat – I borrowed from the library, but I loved this book so much I plan to buy my own copy so I can read it again at some point. I have been to Sara's website and am looking forward to reading Ape House! (I'm gonna miss Jacob, though! LOL)

  10. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    August 26, 2010 at 1:54 pm  

    Hi Carrie – I had not heard of Modoc, so I looked it up on Amazon. Sounds amazing. I'll add it to my library list. Thanks for the tip!

  11. Comment by anita
    August 27, 2010 at 2:24 pm  

    Lisa — I have been told by so many people that I should read Water for Elephants but you are the one I am going to listen to and request it right now. Thanks for the good recommendation. I have made a point of not reading Stephen King but I loved the movie, Shawhank Redemption.

  12. Comment by Karen Lange
    August 28, 2010 at 1:52 pm  

    Well, I'm late for the party too, haven't read it but I may check into it. Thanks for the heads up about it. Have a good weekend!Blessings,Karen

  13. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    August 29, 2010 at 8:17 pm  

    Hi Anita – You won't be sorry! Let me know your opinion of the book after you've read it. I can't read all of SK's stuff…The Shining scared the you-know-what out of me and I couldn't finish it! LOLHi Karen – I hope you do have an opportunity to check it out. You won't be disappointed!

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