Thursday, June 17, 2010

Book Reviews

Prior to obtaining your excellent recommendations for a good read (they are next in the lineup), a friend lent me Water for Elephants. Also, I found a copy of Main Street that I bought back when the Barnes and Noble sold classics rather than toys.

Water for Elephants. The plot is painfully obvious from the very first chapter. Furthermore, there is an old man in the book that claims to have carried the water for the elephants. He is the nemesis of the main character in the parts of the book that take place in the present day, but the main character doesn't believe that he did carry the water. Given the title, you would think that would be an important conflict to circle back around to and resolve. But no.

However, and this is a big however, Sara Gruen's writing is really good. Her descriptions of people and places are on par with Steinbeck, and I don't throw that out there lightly because Steinbeck is my favorite. So I would, actually, give this book one and three-fourths thumbs up. Also, I understand that they are making it into a movie with Reese Witherspoon. So if you are one of those people that has to read the book before the movie, it's a quick read.

Main Street. This is the first Sinclair Lewis book I have ever read and I do believe we were related in a past life - he has a passion for the use of the dash. I knew all along it was a serious punctuation symbol that was underutilized. Second of all, I love that suspicion of suburbia was present even back in the 1920's. At one point in the book, the main character - having been taken from the city to suburbia by her new husband - is at a party being introduced to all the town folk. A line reads, "The rest of the party waited for the miracle of being amused." I have a work function to go later and I have a feeling I will be repeating that.


  1. Water for Elephants was recommended to me as well. I'll check it out once I finish my massive tour of B&N Classics.

  2. I've read both and liked them. They're making WFE a movie starting Robert Pattison and Christoph Waltz.

    Copier! (just kidding)