Randomly I was thinking about book to movie adaptations that sucked. This was one of them. The book was very good and movie was a major let down. So, if you saw the movie and thought it was "blah", try the book, I'll enjoy it much more.
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Release Date: May 1. 2007
Source: Amazon Purchase
Genre: Historical Fiction, General Fiction
Original Review Date: April 16, 2011
Rating: 4 bookmarks
Synopsis: Though he may not speak of them, the memories still dwell inside Jacob Jankowski's ninety-something-year-old mind. Memories of himself as a young man, tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Memories of a world filled with freaks and clowns, with wonder and pain and anger and passion; a world with its own narrow, irrational rules, its own way of life, and its own way of death. The world of the circus: to Jacob it was both salvation and a living hell.
Jacob was there because his luck had run out—orphaned and penniless, he had no direction until he landed on this locomotive "ship of fools." It was the early part of the Great Depression, and everyone in this third-rate circus was lucky to have any job at all. Marlena, the star of the equestrian act, was there because she fell in love with the wrong man, a handsome circus boss with a wide mean streak. And Rosie the elephant was there because she was the great gray hope, the new act that was going to be the salvation of the circus; the only problem was, Rosie didn't have an act—in fact, she couldn't even follow instructions. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and ultimately, it was their only hope for survival.
Overall, the book was a fast read with an interesting discovery at the end. After reading the first few pages I had one thing in my mind until the event resurfaced again much later in the book...then I understood that it was totally a different situation. I also liked that it had an sort of an happy yet realistic ending, which was nice.