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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Elephant Dung

Once I thought romance was in the air, but it was only the smell wafting over from the elephant cages.

The old man Jacob joins a failing circus, he is the third leg of a dull love triangle with Marlena. He marries her, eventually, but then she just disappears from the book. I think he and the author forgot she'd been a character. It's always funny when you're thumbing backwards and forwards through a book trying to find out why a character never again appears.

Someone tossed some people off a train trestle! Shh. This secret could ruin the circus! The circus, as we learn, is already ruined so I guess my telling won't matter. At the end of the book Jacob (think old man/elephant who never forgets -- that's called metaphor 101) sneaks from the old folks home into the circus. Ahh, the sitcom trained tear drop falls from the audience of trained chimpanzees. Sign flashing "cry now." I'd just like to mention that elephants are relatively incontinent, just a point the author might want to expand upon as she develops the metaphor in her rewrite. Huh? That thing was published?

What a reeking, stinking, fly buzzing piece of crap. Elephantine crap. I want my damn admission ticket back and I want someone to clean off my shoes. Thankfully I didn't buy this paperback and I swear to you I read the entire thing in under twenty minutes. You don't need more time than that to fully grasp the third-grade maudlin plot and writing that's as enjoyable as getting your chest waxed -- slowly. BUT, you say, "I loved Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman and couldn't get enough of BJ and the Bear." Yeah, forget what I said, you'll love this book in the intimate way you love toilet paper that offers the little bit of extra plush. Sorry to ruin your day but Princess Diana died.

HERE'S WHERE IT GETS REALLY ODD. I watched, the other night on TV, a movie titled The Greatest Show on Earth directed by Cecil B. DeMille. (The book uses the more plodding phrase Most Spectacular Show on Earth.) This was one of many uncanny parallels. I like that, "the many uncanny." A train carrying the the circus was central to the plot, a love triangle ensued but two got together at the end. A big secret functioned as undertow (in the movie it is Jimmy Stewart playing a doctor/murderer -- yes I wrote it that way on purpose -- hiding as Buttons the clown), and a bad guy tries to ruin the circus, it's Agustus the Trainer in the book and it's Klaus the Trainer in the movie, note the Germanic name similarity as well as "a" and "u" reflection. Both are killed in the ensuing panic at the climax of the book.

Too many similarities for me to trust the inventiveness of this "author." Here's something interesting: An ANAGRAM for "Water for Elephants" is "Renew a Father's Plot."