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Water For Elephants BC Discussion #4


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#11 yamille

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    Posted 01 July 2008 - 01:19 AM

    Oh Ladies... I wrote all my thoughts on this book which I really enjoyed (to my surprise) and then I had been booted off and it's gone!

    I can't bring myself to rewrite everything right now since it's 1:17 am.. but here are some questions that I 'll throw out there and if they appeak I would love to hear your thoughts.

    *Did the chapters about the nursing home change how you think about older people? In what ways are the doctors and nurses condescending? How is Rosemary different? How do you treat older people?

    *In chapter two, the twenty-three year old Jacob starts his story by telling us he is a virgin. From the cooch tent to the erections the older Jacob gets when being bathed, sexuality is woven into the whole story. Why do you think Gruen added these details? What role does sexuality play in Water for Elephants?

    *Are you satisfied with the end?

    Let's discuss... I'll post tomorrow. I will say that I love Jacob Jankowski at either 23 or 93. He's great.

    #12 Birdie07

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      Posted 01 July 2008 - 01:23 AM

      Quote:
      Originally Posted by phoebe75
      Oh Ladies... I wrote all my thoughts on this book which I really enjoyed (to my surprise) and then I had been booted off and it's gone!

      I can't bring myself to rewrite everything right now since it's 1:17 am.. but here are some questions that I 'll throw out there and if they appeak I would love to hear your thoughts.
      That sucks! I'm sorry!

      *Did the chapters about the nursing home change how you think about older people? In what ways are the doctors and nurses condescending? How is Rosemary different? How do you treat older people?
      Actually it was kindof sad b/c my grandma just died and so it was kindof hard to read those. But yes it did. You realize sometimes we think of all older people out of their minds when really they aren't and its really sad
      *In chapter two, the twenty-three year old Jacob starts his story by telling us he is a virgin. From the cooch tent to the erections the older Jacob gets when being bathed, sexuality is woven into the whole story. Why do you think Gruen added these details?
      I'm not sure why she did either. What role does sexuality play in Water for Elephants?I think he becomes a man and he's not longer so innocent.

      *Are you satisfied with the end? I LOVED the end. I was hoping the whole time he didn't die. I'm glad he got to go back to the circus.

      Let's discuss... I'll post tomorrow. I will say that I love Jacob Jankowski at either 23 or 93. He's great.
      I loved him at both ages too!

      #13 Yari

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        Posted 01 July 2008 - 10:51 AM

        I finished the book last night. It was so good. I really enjoyed it. I loved the ending and was so happy he ended up back at the circus.

        The way August died...oh my! He totally deserved it though. Loved how they kept the elephant, horses and the chimp.

        #14 ACDCDCAC

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        Posted 01 July 2008 - 11:13 AM

        oh YAY! i've been so so busy the last months that i havent had time to participate, but i DID read this book about 2 months ago.

        i really really liked it. i was kinda grossed out a few times like when jacob walked in on the little guy (forgot his name) with his nudie mags. the description was just gross

        but i think august totally got what he deserved! he was such a jerk. i felt so so bad for the elephant.

        i really liked the interaction between jacob and the nurse, and i was sad when she left but it made sense as a good turning point for jacob to run away to the circus again. i was so happy he got to join up with them again, and how cool of his new "son" to just go along with jacob when the cops came looking for him. that rocked.

        #15 starchild

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          Posted 14 July 2008 - 05:09 AM

          Another great selection. I enjoyed this book. First of all that period of history is so interesting to me, can you imagine being in a traveling circus?

          I loved the character of Jacob and was really engaged in his memories/transition from young man to old. August is an awful person and I wanted to reach into the book and slit his throat at times! I'm with Yari, he totally deserved to die the way he did.

          A side note on the elderly & nursing homes -
          I've been visiting people in them my whole life and as recently as yesterday. Unless you are wealthy (read:can afford upwards of $4000 a month in retirement) they pretty much suck. Once and awhile you come across a caring worker but many of them could care less. Also so many of them get no visitors, even the ones with living relatives. It's really sad and I couldn't imagine putting my parents in one of those places. Like Calia said many of the elderly are thought to be crazy and they aren't, they get so little respect.

          #16 jajajaja

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            Posted 19 July 2008 - 11:00 AM

            I'm really late on this but I just finished the book yesterday. A great selection. At first, I wasn't really interested in reading it because I'm not a big circus fan but I'm so glad I did.

            Jacob is such an inspiring character. He begins his "adventure" in the aftermath of such a horrible tragedy (the death of his parents and loss of his family practice) and begins his life without knowing where to go. But his spirit for life is really to be celebrated.

            Young, sheltered Jacob could have just gave up on life and wallowed in his sorrow. After all, no one could really blame him. Many Americans found themselves destitute during the Great Depression as well. For a moment, I thought that was exactly what he intended to do when he ran away. However, once he reached the circus he really seemed determined to work hard and find his way through this new world. In the end, it gains him the greatest experience of his life- memories that he is able to relish in til 90 or 93 years of age. :) Plus he found his new family.

            I thought the ending was fantastic. It seemed to completely mirror the beginning of the whole story. Old Jacob finds himself all alone in the world and completely sad. Once again, he runs away to the circus and finds "family." I thought it provided some nice closure. I would have been so sad if the author had Jacob die in the end so I'm thrilled to see him still living on.
            Happily married since 2008

            #17 Robyn Louise Photography

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              Posted 19 July 2008 - 12:36 PM

              I had no idea you were all reading this... I read it a couple of weeks ago and it is now my favourite book of all time. Im a real animal lover and had considered vet school at one time. It was something that I couldnt put down. The ending was just superb. Reading that excerpt in the beginning, I thought that Rosie was a woman... very good indeed. I even updated Facebook to add this to my favourite books list!

              #18 Birdie07

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                Posted 19 July 2008 - 04:14 PM

                I'm glad you guys liked it! It was a great book. Don't forget we picked a new book. Snow Flower and The Secret Fan by Lisa See!

                #19 *Casey*

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                  Posted 25 July 2008 - 02:57 PM

                  OK, so I'm not an official memeber of the BC, but I did read this about a month ago and really enjoyed it. A girl at work suggested it, and it totally held my attention. I loved the way the author would flip flop back and forth from circus days, and his retirement home. My grandfather was in a retirement home for a really long time before passing away, so I think I really felt for the older character the most. The whole love/friendship triangle was strange. Marlenas a little hoochie-mama, isn't she? Hahaha. Could have had a more realistic ending, I think. What's the next book? Do yall only read fiction? If not, I have a suggestion. Let me know.

                  #20 Birdie07

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                    Posted 25 July 2008 - 07:14 PM

                    Quote:
                    Originally Posted by kacie3344
                    OK, so I'm not an official memeber of the BC, but I did read this about a month ago and really enjoyed it. A girl at work suggested it, and it totally held my attention. I loved the way the author would flip flop back and forth from circus days, and his retirement home. My grandfather was in a retirement home for a really long time before passing away, so I think I really felt for the older character the most. The whole love/friendship triangle was strange. Marlenas a little hoochie-mama, isn't she? Hahaha. Could have had a more realistic ending, I think. What's the next book? Do yall only read fiction? If not, I have a suggestion. Let me know.
                    The next book is Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by lisa see which I LOVED! We read anything. Everyone gives me a suggestion and then someone picks a number and I shuffle the suggestions and pick a new book. If you want to join Pm me and I'll add you to my list and your suggestion.




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