The Tiger’s Wife, Tea Obreht

Firstly, kill me that this author is only 25 years old, that she was born when I was already 11 and that she has written such a book and received such acclaim. Kill me.

The novel is called “swirling” by the Washington Post, a “brilliant debut” by Publisher’s Weekly and “dizzingly nuanced yet crisp” by the Library Journal. I agree on all counts. However, I couldn’t finish this book. I loved Obreht’s style, her way with words, how she has manufactured this wonderful lingering narrative that is like smoke, whispy and uncontained. I loved the imagery, the power of her lyricism and her characters. Clearly Obreht’s writing has a vividness that leaps off the page and this is intensified by the breadth and depth of her imagination.

But, 30 pages from the end I surrendered. I just couldn’t go on. Perhaps it was the fact that at that late stage a new character was introduced and that seemed contrived somehow … perhaps it was connected to the grandeur of things that I somehow couldn’t grasp this book.

A strange response: Obreht is a gifted writer. Without doubt. And I am normally a committed reader. But, this one goes into the very small pile of 3 or 4 books which I just never completed. So, I agree with Time Out New York’s 5/5 star rating for this book and I will absolutely be looking out for Obreht’s future work and perhaps in another time and place I will try and attempt this Tiger again!

 

Review from The Guardian.

 

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One response to “The Tiger’s Wife, Tea Obreht

  1. Oh, I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t finish this book. I just read it, and absolutely loved it. By the look of things, I am one of the few bloggers who did… loads didn’t finish it, or found it to be a good book, but something was just amiss.

    It’s an amazing debut, and hopefully, you’ll finish (and enjoy) her next book much more.

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