Water For Elephants Book vs Movie – By Lauren

  Well I decided to read this because 1. I am going to the London premier and 2. because its had quite a few bad          reviews.

  It has two covers this is the original and there is one staring Reese, Robert and Christoph.

  My first impression of this book was I like how the story is told in 3 pages in the prologue. I like books like that as it   keeps me hooked. I get bored very easily with books. Through the first chapter I laughed at Jacob. He is just a    general old man who has a story to tell.

And by god has he got a story to tell! His story is amazing. Its full of emotion, drama, love, happiness, sadness, illusions, friendships and emotional torture the list goes on! This book has everything!! The love Jacob has for Marlena is amazing and how Marlena in one sense saved him from himself! Being an animal person I am going to work in South Africa this year to work with Elephants, Tigers, Lions etc this book made me realize how animals were/are treat. This book had me in tears of heartbreak for both the couple and the animals. I haven’t read a book like this before I generally read young adult sci fi fiction but after recommendations I had to read it.

I could not put this down. I was lying on the beach with my sister laughing at parts then in floods of tears. Yes people were staring at me but my response was poor Silver Star!! The story hit me real hard and I was fascinated with Jacob’s story. I think Gruen really captured the essence of the circus life. I read the authors notes and she really did delve into the life. It was amazing how she used real life stories to add to the book. It was very well written in my opinion, I didn’t come across any grammar or continuity problems. Then again If a story grasps me that hard I doubt I would even notice them!  There is only one problem I had with it but it is just my own preference.

There was too much sex in this for my liking, actual graphic sex, I found it wasn’t needed. I’m such a prude! I also wished Gruen had of gone into Marlena’s past more, a bit more about her personality. I wanted to know why Jacob fell in love with Marlena. There were no actually pin points of love.

This story has really made me realize there is more to life than 9-5, cars and holidays. I am more excited now to get to South Africa and get up close and personal with such animals! I hope I meet a Rosie!!

 The Movie

Oh yes Robert Pattinson and Reece Witherspoon. I hope the movie does the book justice but I am positive it will. Yes their will be variations as there always is from turning a book into a script. This next bit therefore will not be a book VS movie it will simply be a review of the movie “ Water for Elephants”

So I was lucky enough to go to the premier of Water for Elephants in London on May 3rd. I didn’t see the film in London however I did meet Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz. I spoke to many fans over those two days who told me that the movie was amazing. However most of them hadn’t read the book yet so I had a few reservations.

 ** Spoilers **

I saw the film as soon as I returned from London. All I can say is! Oh My Gawwwd. I totally did not expect it to me anywhere near as good as the book but it totally surprised me. It was amazing, yes the movie couldn’t include every part of the book, that is the main problems about turning a book into a movie. For me a few scenes weren’t long enough like the scene Jacob goes to August’s room with a knife with intentions to kill him. In the movie Marlena is also in bed and the scene isn’t as dramatic as the book described it. A lot of scenes were mixed around a bit especially the end scene where August tries to kill Marlena but the lovely Rosie saves her life.

I had to fight back the tears throughout the movie. I am glad my friend had to leave half way through to rush to work as I cried so much I was in such a mess. Rosie is amazing, all the animals were fantastic. When August  was attacking her I could literally feel the pain throughout my body. I love how Rose is actually based on a real elephant and unfortunately lost her life. Animals are so loyal and can read people straight away and this story shows just that! It really shows the truth about the circus’ in the 30’s but also it targets issues with cruelty today.

I am so glad they didn’t show the bit where they slaughter the horses they got from another circus to feed the cats. I am also very glad they didn’t show or make much reference to the fact they also fed Silver Star to the cats! I would have left the theatre a nervous wreck as well as an emotional mess!

There were a few continuity problems but that isn’t a big issue, I just have the eye for it in all movies. Obviously the book is always the best in my opinion but Robert, Reese and Christoph totally brought Jacob, Marlena and August to life. I couldn’t imagine anyone else making it come alive like they did.


The book was very well written, captured my heart straight away and tackled every single emotion. I loved the way the movie showed the friendship between Camel, Walter and Jacob. The screen play was as good as it could have got, the acting was amazing, everything was perfect, not too much violence but just enough to target the audience and express the storyline perfectly.

I rate both the book and movie very different 4.5/5. To see Steph’s review click here
Definitely check out Sara Gruen
Here are a few of my photos from the premier.

Me and Rob - Got pushed and jumped on. Ended up with bruised ribs!

Me on the red carpet!


About Secret Lives of Fiction Lovers

Hi I'm Dayna. I love to read and shop! Books, beauty and lifestyle blogger. Love all things handmade. I beta/proofread and review products upon request.

Posted on May 20, 2011, in Book vs Movie and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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