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.



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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