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.