- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: W&N (13 Jun. 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0753827409
- ISBN-13: 978-0753827406
- Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.3 x 19.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 103,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Tiger's Wife Paperback – 13 Jun 2011
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A wonderful, really remarkable novel...fascinating, unusual, original (Erica Wagner on WOMAN'S HOUR, RADIO 4)
A magical, distinctive tale. (Emma Lee-Potter DAILY EXPRESS)
As enchanting as it is surprising ... Obreht's prose style is full-bodied and vibrant, and she conjures brilliant images on every page. (Edmund Gordon SUNDAY TIMES)
War and its legacy ricochets through Obreht's kaleidoscopic dance of myth, folk memory and interrelated stories ... dizzying and ambitious (LONDON METRO)
a stunning tale with the mythic quality of a fairy story (TIMES)
Mysterious and funny (SUNDAY HERALD)
A distinctive, magical tale (DAILY EXPRESS)
Winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction 2011See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
Lovers of folk stories will love this combination, while those with a lack of tolerance for the more magical storytelling genre will inevitably find less appeal here. If you enjoyed Yann Martel's "Life of Pi", another tiger-featuring imaginative book, then this will be right up your street.
It's a surprisingly ambitious structure for such a young, first-time author and in most respects, she carries it off with aplomb, although I suspect that with a little more experience, some of the storytelling could have been tightened up slightly which would have enhanced the impact. At times the stories seem to drift on a bit.Read more ›
In one, set in the modern day, narrator Natalia, a young doctor, tells of her posting to a village orphanage. She recalls the Yugoslav wars of her childhood, and her beloved grandfather, who has just died.
In the other thread, she relates stories her grandfather told her: his several meetings with the "deathless man" ; and his memories of a deaf-mute woman, beaten by her husband, but castigated by the villagers as "the tiger's wife" for apparently helping an escaped zoo animal...
This is a very symbolic work, requiring focus and which would benefit from a second reading. I appreciated the writing quality but nevertheless was glad to reach the end!
Two stories entwine - that of Natalia, a young medic in the Balkans in the immediate aftermath of the War who attempts to deliver vaccines to an orphanage, and the story of her grandfather, who has just died, as both a young child and as a medical professor who accompanied her to visit a tiger in the city zoo with a copy of Kipling's The Jungle Book in his pocket.
A great deal of 20th century and contemporary history is included and one should not doubt the personal involvement of the author's family and friends in many areas providing background to the story. However, my enjoyment was severely constrained by the apparent lack of any effective editing.
The book is divided into chapters each of which includes to be one or more stories but which are expanded into page after page of meandering text, much of which strays well outside the borders of the original story. The story involving Natalia the vaccine deliverer is rather weak and the characters involved in it are, in my opinion, poorly presented with, perhaps, the exception of her friend Zora, and I could not understand her motivation to travel secretly to the place where her grandfather had died to retrieve his belongings.
The stories about Natalia's grandfather as a child and his dealings with the eponymous Tiger's Wife are more interesting are too often overshadowed by folk tales. It was also too great a challenge for the author to introduce a deaf-mute as a leading character. However, a series of more-or-less interesting chapters does not add up to a substantial novel.Read more ›
For me one of the greatest charms of `The Tiger's Wife' was the story of the relationship between grandfather and grandchild. Our narrator, Natalia a doctor, tells us the tale of her grandfather's life from the memories she has of him and the tales that he told her of his former life after she learns from her grandmother that he has died in mysterious circumstances and after he disappeared telling everyone he was going to see Natalia. It's the mystery, the fact some of his possessions are missing and the need to understand him that sets Natalia on a mental, rather than physical, journey to work out just who her grandfather was.
The thing I loved about the novel also became the thing that I didn't love so much about it. As the story goes on we are introduced to the myths and fables of her grandfather's life. Whilst I love these sort of `fairytales for adults', sometimes I was just confused by them. I would read them, like the tale of the deathless man, really enjoy them and yet be left wondering as to their relevance as a whole.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I thought it was a bit disjointed though some of the descriptions were good. It is not a book that flowed so I didn't really enjoy it.Published 16 months ago by Wendy Mayle
I see from other reviews that this is a much hyped novel. I personally hadn't heard of it at all when I was given it, but it looked well read & I saw that it had won the Orange... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Peggy G
A young woman graduate and her friend, fresh from medical school, go to work among sick and deprived children in a clinic in what is left of Yugoslavia, still in the grip of war,... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Brenda Young
I came across this novel in a charity shop and had it sitting about for some time before I actually began to read it. I Loved the richness of it. Read morePublished on 26 April 2015 by kitty parsons