I borrowed this book from my Mom forever ago and finally got a chance to pick it up. I've been wanting to read it forever and it totally lived up to my expectations. I'm really interested to see the movie when it comes out probably next year.
Right now Jacob Jankowski is ninety, or ninety-three...something around there. He's in a nursing home and trying to make it through each day of sitting around and eating the terrible mushy food. But in the past Jacob is a young man about to finish veterinary school at Cornell. Just before he sits for his final examinations - his world changes forever. He won't be taking over his father's veterinary practice like he thought. He finds himself alone and on the road.
Jacob hooks up with the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth and his life becomes an adventure he'd never imagined. He finds work, actually gets to tend to the animals after a while, and meets a very beautiful woman. He learns the ways of the circus, interacts with all of the crazy characters and workers, and he makes it.
But life in the circus isn't always easy. Money isn't always there. And it's really hard to work anywhere if you fall in love with your boss' wife....
In the book ninety or ninety-three year old Jacob thinks back about his time with the circus and the reader gets to experience a time and place like none other. I felt like I was right there. The descriptions of the circus and the people came to life. You like Jacob from the beginning and you are on his side throughout as he navigates a life he never dreamed he would be living.
I would definitely recommend this book to everyone. It's so fun and unique. I used to watch Carnivale on HBO before they ended it and it brought wonderful memories of that show back to me. A great read for all.