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.This was one of the books I read in 2009, and I was very, very disappointed with it. I love anything to do with circus life, and the time period (America during The Depression) was great. Even the main character's back story and everything were just what I would love to read about, but it focused way too much on the love story. The circus got left behind. And I did not like that.
The trailer for the movie based on the book has been circling the Internet for a while now, and of course I checked it out. Not because I liked the book, but because Robert Pattinson (I've had a crush on him since Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) and Christoph Waltz (does anyone NOT love this man after Inglorious Bastards?) are both in it.
I'm sharing it for you all to check it out. This is one of the few times I'd say don't even bother with the book even though I know a million people who'd kill me for saying just that. Oh, well. We'll eventually see if the movie's any good.