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Download Water for Elephants Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Water for Elephants Audiobook, by Sara Gruen Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (625,411 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sara Gruen Narrator: David Ledoux, John Randolph Jones Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2006 ISBN: 9781598872729
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A brilliantly crafted and deeply moving novel, Water For Elephants is the tale of Jacob Jankowski, now in his nineties, who spends his remaining days fondly drifting through the memories of his early Depression-era youth which was spent in the company of circus freaks, clowns and misfits.

Jankowski, a poverty-stricken and recently orphaned young man growing up during the Great Depression, had exhausted all of his options when opportunity presented itself in the form of a chance encounter with the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth, a travelling circus that largely consisted of inexperienced amateur performers who were lucky to have any work at all. It was here that he was to meet and befriend colorful characters such as Rosie the untrainable elephant who couldn't follow the simplest of commands and Marlena, the circus star who had fallen in love with and married the mean-spirited yet charmingly attractive circus boss. The loving bond and friendship that eventually formed between Jacob, Marlena and Rosie allowed them to weather this challenging period in America's history and ultimately shaped their lives in ways they could never have initially foreseen.

Originally written by acclaimed novelist Sara Gruen for National Novel Writing Month, Water For Elephants is a rare gem in the literary world, a thoroughly captivating historical fiction novel, breathtaking in scope, that is filled with poignant moments as well as intriguing characters and a dash of humor.

During the Great Depression, a veterinary student takes a circus job as an animal caretaker, and falls for the beautiful, married star of the equestrian act. He also meets the other love of his life, an untrainable elephant. BookSense Book of the Ye Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Winner of a 2007 YALSA Alex Award
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A 2007 Book Sense Book of the Year for Adult Fiction
  • A 2007 Audie Award Finalist for Unabridged Fiction
  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tressa Smith | 2/20/2014

    " Only one word can describe this book: Amazing! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katrina Mathy | 2/12/2014

    " Loved this book. One of the best I read. After reading I was able to understand the movie more! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Teri Ewell | 2/12/2014

    " I really liked this book. I liked the parallel of Jacob in the retirement home and the circus. I thought the characters and plot fit the time period. I loved the way the animals played into the entire plot. It was a time period so different than today. It is hard to understand how different times were during the depression and the things people did to get by and survive. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan Dames | 2/5/2014

    " Loved everything about this book!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alejandra | 1/29/2014

    " I loved the way she took bits and pieces of real life anecdotes and weaved them into a grander tale. I didn't, however, enjoy the way that Jacob was supposed to be modeled after the biblical story, when all that was really taken from his story in the Bible was the word "tent". "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Margie | 1/27/2014

    " A well-written, great story. As usual, the movie paled to comparison to the book. The book was detailed, but not lengthy. A great read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kami | 1/17/2014

    " I put off reading this book forever despite all of the rave reviews because who wants to read about elephants? Frankly, I usually am not into animal stories at all. As it turns out though, this isn't really an animal story at all and I am very glad I finally took the plunge. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heidi Kessler | 1/15/2014

    " Never thought I would get into this book, but I loved it. Read way before movie came out. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judi | 1/14/2014

    " I really enjoyed this. There were a few times I had to suspend my disbelief but not so much I ever thought about setting the book down before I was done. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chau | 12/6/2013

    " Audiobook. I haven't seen the movie yet but the book was a great listen with a great ending. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Fran | 12/1/2013

    " Interesting way to learn about circus life. It seemed a bit violent at times but I wasn't around during the time this was written. The love interest is indeed interesting and the ending is great. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Williams | 11/17/2013

    " I wanted to get to know an elephant after reading this book! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Angie The Librarian | 10/22/2013

    " I read this for a book club and really didn't enjoy the plot or the characters. The best part was the last chapter. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carrie Robinson | 10/19/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book. It was so engaging. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda Harrison | 10/16/2013

    " Excellent read, great characters, great story! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ricky | 6/16/2013

    " I absolutely loved this book. If you loved the movie, this is better! And I did the unabridged audiobook, which was even better because of the two different readers, being Jacob young and old. Again, fantastic!!!!!!!!!!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bonnie | 5/31/2013

    " Excellent Book! I do not generally read historical fiction, but this book really told a wonderful story and I look forward to reading more from this genre. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pamela | 1/24/2013

    " I didn't think I'd like a book about a circus but I was thoroughly entertained. It's a page-turner. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gail | 8/30/2012

    " I only read this book because I wanted to see the film and had it on my bookshelf, I knew I wouldn't read it if I saw the film first. I really enjoyed it and loved all the characters in it. I hope the film is as good!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather Farris | 6/6/2012

    " I loved this book. It is better too read then to watch the movie. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julia Atwood | 4/2/2012

    " Excellent and heart warming story... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathryn Young | 1/12/2012

    " I loved this book. It was an unusual storyline, and well told. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Audrey | 5/24/2011

    " I have just bought this book yesterday, and enjoying it - every free time I have, I pick up the book and read. Sara Gruen's writing is amazing, it absorbs you into it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 5/24/2011

    " Total page turner. Fascinating. My hubs stole it from my nightstand + read it even faster than I did! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 ?x ?p = ½ h | 5/23/2011

    " woaaaa.... ngos-ngosan ngebut setelah selese nongton filmnya :))

    duh endingnya... -_- "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Barbara | 5/23/2011

    " I think I am one of a few who did not like this book. I did not like the cruelty to animals, which was very difficult to read, nor did I like the ending, too unrealistic! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kerry | 5/23/2011

    " My very best book - I think ever!
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ketti | 5/23/2011

    " I wouldn't call this a must read....but it was an enjoyable relaxing read. I liked learning about the circus in this time period, the author did a lot of research on the subject, I think it was very accurate. A bit of bad language :(. I just saw the movie, it follows the book quite closely. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurel | 5/23/2011

    " Loved, loved, loved this book! Inspired me to start reading again! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leigh | 5/23/2011

    " I thought it was bit tedious and vulgar. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lindsay | 5/23/2011

    " Loving this book. Couldn't wait to see the movie though :( I went to it about halfway through the book..lol "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marilyn | 5/23/2011

    " This is also a very good book. Very different but a great read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sharon | 5/23/2011

    " I liked how it was a page turner and something I might not have picked up. The love story wasn't overpowering! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Terry | 5/23/2011

    " Loved the book! I loved how the author wove in so many historical facts. "

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About the Author
Author Sara Gruen

Sara Gruen is the author of the New York Times bestseller Water for Elephants and Riding Lessons. She lives with her husband and three children in a conservation community outside Chicago.

About the Narrator

David Ledoux has narrated a wide range of audio books, for which he was won and been nominated for several Audie and Earphones awards. He was named a 2010 Best Voice by AudioFile magazine for his narration of Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom, and he also narrated Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants and Douglas Copeland’s Nostradamus, among many others.