Sunday, May 8, 2011

Water for Elephants

*I do not recommend reading this book or seeing the movie, but if you plan to, 
be warned that this definitely includes spoilers!*
My short review: I want the last 331 pages of my life back and I want to go protest at a circus!
My longer (slightly rant-ish) review....
I started this book about a year ago and couldn't get into it so I put it down. I questioned even picking it up then because I have many moral issues with circuses and I see now that I should have stuck with both of those gut feelings; something was telling me to not read it and I should have listened! But alas, Im a sucker for reading a book before seeing the movie and the previews make this movie look so appealing!

Although there are many reasons why I did not like this book, the one that is making my blood boil and driving this review is that it is  chock full of tolerated animal abuse!! Yes, in the end they "save" the animals by stealing the ones they wanted, but that was the last 30 pages. Plus, why did it take the animal's revolting for the humans to grow some balls?! And then the "balls" that they grew were in the form of releasing a heard of animals to trample each other and the crowd in a fury of fear....aka: further animal abuse!! The part that bothered me the most about this is that the author wrote it in a way that leads us to believe that we are supposed to feel sorry for these people. As if they are in so much agony about the abuse that it is painful for them to watch or hear it. What?! No, if you are in agony about an animal you profess to love being repeatedly stabbed and beaten you get off of your ass and you do something about it!! I disliked every single character in this book for their complacency and selfishness (aside from one man named Greg who came to Rosie's rescue twice and was allotted about 10 sentences of total book space, thanks Sara).

Aside from that I was not a fan of the writing. I felt like the characters themselves were not put together well and their actions sporadically fulfilled whatever she thought the plot needed at that point. There were so many inconsistencies and anti-climatic fizzles that I was frustrated throughout the whole book. Oh, and the random graphic sex scenes that felt like they were implanted form a trashy romance novel, what was that about? Finally, I have a big problem with authors who do not do their research, and she did not do her research here. Or rather, she did research into the areas that she wanted to and decided to just "make up" the rest. I know it is a novel, but come on, all she would have to do is google "horses" to find more accurate information. Also, the DB (I forget his name already and I finished the book 10 minutes ago, that's how invested I was) absolutely did not have paranoid schizophrenia. Come on Sara Gruen, you don't get to just throw that diagnosis out there when you are painting the picture of a villain. Again, do your research!!

Anyways, I did not like this book. After doing a quick Google search though, I realize that I am definitely in the minority here. So do share, if you liked it, please tell me why? Has anyone seen the movie? Please tell me it is better? I will definitely not be seeing it...


Lynn said...

I did not read the book, but I did see the movie. I think that most people are going to tell you that the movie was great, and there was a great cast. I thought that the movie was a mildly-intriguing love story, but it left a bitter taste in my mouth for sure. It seemed like an incredibly shallow storyline, and, I have to admit that I was not a fan of the animal treatment depicted in the film. Crystal, do not go see this film. I promis you will not like it and you will cry and kick yourself for even wasting the time. Just don't. Your life is better off without it.

Love you!

Mel's Way or No Way said...

I had considered reading it but not now.