Since it was first published ten years ago in 2006, Water for Elephants has become a phenomenon.

With over 10 million copies in print, versions in virtually every language and the hit major movie, this book club favourite has carved its own place in publishing history.

It’s a rich and deeply satisfying piece of story telling with a wonderful sense of time and place which is winning new fans every day.






Water for Elephants is the Depression-era tale of Jacob Jankowski, a young vet student recently orphaned and suddenly adrift, who jumps onto a passing train and enters a wonder of freaks, grifters and misfits.  The Benzini Brothers most spectacular show on earth is a second rate travelling circus struggling to survive, making one night stands in town after endless town.

Jacob is put in charge of the circus menagerie and it’s there he meets Marlena the beautiful young star of the equestrian act, August her dominating husband and circus trainer and Rosie – the circus elephant only Jacob can reach.

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‘I loved Water for Elephants. Great story, loads of fun; hard to put down. So what if the heroine weighs 2500 pounds?’

Stephen King

‘Gruen brilliantly conjures up the whole brouhaha of herding punters into the temporary magic of the big top, and the harsh economic reality of sustaining the show. Both exotic and erotic, Water for Elephants is filled with colour and passion but is also charged with an elegiac sense of loss for an entire way of life’

Financial Times

‘You are so immersed in circus life that you are completely blinded by the thrilling, fatal dazzle of sequins and sawdust’

Daily Telegraph

‘This book is every bit the fabulous escapist entertainment that the big top once was’

Sunday Express

‘The most magical, haunting novel I’ve read in the past few years’

Daisy Waugh, Tatler

‘Trust us, Water for Elephants is going to be one of the surprise hits of 2011. Sara Gruen’s very readable novel is a story of impossible love set in the circus world during the 1930s and is set to be made into a blockbuster film starring Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon. You heard it here first’

Good Housekeeping

Water for Elephants is fun, sweet and thrilling and will pull you into the mysterious life of the circus so far that you won’t want to leave’


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The movie starring Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson and Christoph Waltz is now out on DVD. Watch the Water for Elephants trailer below.

Sara GruenSara Gruen is the bestselling author of Water for Elephants and Ape House. Her works have been translated into forty-three languages and have sold more than ten million copies worldwide. Her new novel, At The Water’s Edge, will be published by Two Roads in June 2015.
Water for Elephants was adapted into a major motion picture starring Reese Witherspoon, Rob Pattinson, and Christoph Waltz.
She lives in Western North Carolina with her husband and three children.


7 responses to “WATER FOR ELEPHANTS – Sara Gruen”

  1. Kay Malarkey says:

    I have just finished reading Water for Elephants and was completely hooked on this amazing book, so much so that I ordered everything else she has written from Amazon. It is such a joy to find such a talented writer, the story is page turning, you can’t wait to find out what happens next – the adventures Jacob has with the circus, the fabulous Rosie who only understands Polish, the heart wrenching treatment of the elephant and circus employees made me cry – and yet Jacob as an old man lives to tell the tale ! I would love to find other writers as talented as this and hopefully this newly discovered web-site will help me do so.

    Kay Malarkey

  2. Kay Malarkey says:

    I have now read Ape House Lisa and once again was really touched by this book. I love her as a writer she keeps you enthralled all the way through, I have also read her other books and now am quite disappointed I have read everything she has written !

  3. D. B. says:

    Is the book Water for Elephants also published in the Polish language? I’d like to order it for a young friend from Poland, so she can read it and get the depth that is not included in the film. Enjoyed the book quite a lot, and seeing the movie added beautiful visuals to an already appreciated story, and the changes to the film worked well. The two complement each other, even though they are two somewhat different versions of the story.

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