I originally wrote this review in 2007, but with the movie coming our in April, I thought that it would be a good idea to repost.
From the Jacket (Book on CD edtion)
Inside Jacob Jankowski’s ninety-something-year-old mind dwell memories of himself as a young man, tossed by fate into 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… Marlena,…was there because she fell in love with the wrong man….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. …”
This book takes the reader inside the life of the “Circus.” (How realistic it is, I can’t really say, having never lived in a circus.) It’s language and terminology: “a first or May,” “A Monday Man” “Rubes”, “Redlighting.” It made me think of the TV show I watched as kid, Circus Boy, (only because it was set in a Circus) actually it was much more like the movie the Greatest Show on Earth.
It carries the reader through a whole range of emotions:
A good book- and because I was listening to it on CD was more than one time, I “had” to sit in my car after I got where I as going, in order to listen to the rest of a chapter.
My opinions of the movie that I have not seen and has not been released yet:
The movie stars Hal Holbrook as the old man. I great choice.
Reese Witherspoon, she may be OK, I don't think that would have been my choice
Robert Pattinson (Twilight) I am not sure about this at all.
My recommendation READ THE BOOK before you see the movie. It was great.
Keep reading JB.