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Water For Elephants Book Review

1550 words - 6 pages

Do you really think that the book you have been reading is tremendous? The novel Water for Elephants by the award winning author Sara Gruen, is an exciting entrancing bestseller. The novel and the author received several awards that include: the 2007 Book Sense Book of the Year Award, the Book Browse Diamond Award for Most Popular book and the Friends of American Literature Adult Fiction Award. The novelist used point of view, used setting and used the following theme: in order to live a fulfilling life, individuals must take advantage of risky opportunities, even if the consequences are challenging which proves that it’s a wonderful book. If the book wasn’t a bestseller, it wouldn’t have received awards.
To begin with, Water for Elephants is a captivating bestseller due to the point of view used by the author which is first person. The narrative technique of Water of Elephants is more complicated than it might seem. It’s unquestionable, there’s just one narrator throughout, Jacob, who tells us his life story, but in fact he recites two life stories. His two life stories are when he is in his twenties throughout the Great Depression and in his nineties through the 1970’s. The narrator states: “He’s sitting opposite, a newcomer, an interloper-a retired barrister with a square jaw, pitted nose, and great floppy ears” (8). The reader is given the experience of being “inside” the central character’s head who is Jacob; therefore, there is a direct link among Jacob and the reader, getting the impression of how Jacob outlooks other people such as his new pal in the nursing home. First person includes the reader in the narration; hence the interpretation and the reading experience would be more connecting and real. “I don't in fact require help with either, but they're all so afraid I'm going to slip and break my hip again that I get a chaperone whether I like it or not” (45). A series of minor embarrassments fill up Jacob’s days and slowly wear away at his sense of self. The first person perspective allows the reader to see how Jacob thinks and experiences the surroundings. Therefore, it builds an air of compassion. As a booklover you are expected to relate to an individual or feel empathy, if you are in direct contact. Briefly, the novel is amazing due to the author’s use of point of view in first person; it allows the reader to question the trustworthiness of the narrator and have a view of what runs inside the character’s mind.
Similarly, Gruen used two different settings in the novel that assisted to set the mood and gave the reader a preview of the 20’s in addition to the 70’s era. The novel starts off in the nursing home where the main character Jacob lives. It’s from this nursing home that Jacob tells his story, looking back at all the journeys at the circus. Throughout the book, we see a change in the setting of the story; taking place at the nursing home and the circus. Jacob is not an admirer of the nursing home due to the...

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