Tuesday, September 1, 2009

water for elephants

Read this. It is excellent in all of its ying-yang'd glory.  Gruen creates two contrasting worlds, the Benzini Brother's Most Spectacular Show on Earth contra a lifeless nursing home seeping inertia (my oxymoronic tendencies need a leash, forgive me).  Although these worlds exist decades apart, Jacob Jankowski's barreling fervor laces a common youthfulness throughout - twenty or twenty-three, ninety or ninety-three no matter.

I took an immediate liking to Gruen's subtle intent; very Joseph-Heller-esque (and believe me when I say whoever borrowed-for-good my copy of Catch-22, my heart is broken).  Camel may have been my favorite character for this reason - "'It's Camel,' Earl says in a hushed voice. 'He's got trouble. Foot trouble.  They've gone all floppy.  He kind of slaps them down.  His hands aren't so great neither.'" Rosie and Rosemary are a close second, but not second and third.  I thought they played too similar an understanding and sustaining role in Jacob's life to differentiate between them both (and not for physical reasons, obviously).  

Again, it's fulfilling and will not disappoint.  Themes abound, plus, the cover's a good one.  I love stripes.

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