I am an avid reader. There is never a time you will find me not in the middle of some novel. Since people know that I always have a book (actually a Kindle Reader now...) in my hand, they quite often stop and ask me what I am reading, if I can recommend some good books for them to read or they recommend books for me to read. Sometimes those books have been or are being turned into motion pictures and I definitely have one rule where that is concerned...READ THE BOOK FIRST!
I tell people to "read the book first" all of the time and I have never had anyone come back and tell me that the book wasn't better...actually they have told me quite the opposite. Most times, I have read the book before viewing the movie and am very disappointed in the screenplay version. So, when I heard that "Water for Elephants" was coming out at theatres, I hurried to finish the book. Caitlin had actually called when she was in D.C. to recommend the book to me and I quickly added it to my Kindle. So, when the advertisement came out indicating that the movie had been released, she waited patiently as I finished reading it.
On Mother's Day evening, Robby, Caitlin and I all headed to the theatre to see the screen version of "Water for Elephants". Set in The Great Depression Era, I will have to say that this movie turned out pretty good. and for those who did not read the book, I'm sure that they were quite satisfied with the Hollywood version. There were events that were out of order and some that were "Pure Hollywood" ( didn't even exist in the book...), and THIS is exactly why I would recommend reading the book even if you have already seen the movie. I feel that a book takes one on a mental journey. It allows individuals to have a glimpse into the inner most thoughts and relationships of the characters. I realize that most of this information is omitted simply because of time restraints. Just think for a moment about a piece of literature that was transformed into one of the greatest (in my opinion...) movies of all time: "Gone With the Wind". Now THAT movie was done right! However, it IS about four hours long. But in that four hour period, the characters were able to become very well developed, thus the viewer was able to become emotionally connected to the characters.
SO...would I recommend "Water for Elephants"? ABSOLUTELY! As I mentioned before, this book/movie is set in the Depression Era and it gives one a look at not only what life must have been like back then, but also what the life of a traveling circus worker was like. Traveling by train from town to town, living on the road as a gypsy of sorts and the relationship that one man makes with the animals after his charmed life abruptly comes to an end. Read the book first, if possible, but if you've already seen the movie, so ahead and read the book; you will fall more in love with the characters (including Rosie, the elephant...) it is well worth your time!
HAPPY READING! I hope to return soon with lots more fun summer reading material to recommend for you!