Friday, January 02, 2009

Water for Elephants

There are just too many books in the world to read one for which the highest recommendation is a reticent Meh. Why it is that practically everyone I know has read this book, and all shrugged their shoulders and said Meh at me when I asked them if they liked it, and I nevertheless tried to read the damn thing? Never again, my friend. Never again.

Perhaps it was it's title and mildly appealing cover art, reminding me for Like Water for Chocolate (I frequently referred to it as Like Water for Elephants).
I had also heard that this Sara Gruen book started out as a Nanowrimo book. These things drew me in, but make no mistake, this book is rotten, and rotten to the core.

Do not be swayed by old-timey circuses, titles vaguely familiar to good books or that misleading "prize": #1 New York Times Bestseller.

Now, there is a captivating short story about there about an old-timey circus elephant who was hanged (based on a true story!) in McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales (ed. Michael Chabon) called "The Tears of Squonk, and What Happened Thereafter" by Glen David Gold. That whole anthology would be a nice alternative to anyone looking for pulpy stories of bygone days.

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