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Moon Tiger Paperback – September 18, 1997
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Four girls on a trip to Paris suddenly find themselves in a high-stakes game of Truth or Dare that spirals out of control. Learn More
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A powerful, moving and beautifully wrought novel about the ways in which lives are molded by personal memory and the collective past.” Boston Globe
Emotionally, Moon Tiger is kaleidoscopic, deeply satisfying. The all too brief encounter between Claudia and Tom will surely rate as one of the most memorable of contemporary fictional affairs. This is one of the best novels I have read for years.” The London Sunday Telegraph
It pulls us in; it engages us and saddens us. It is also unexpectedly funny . . . It leaves its traces in the air long after you’ve put it away.” The New York Times Book Review
Top Customer Reviews
Claudia Hampton has lived a full, rich life. At the age of 76, she's now on her deathbed, recalling a myriad of poignant moments she had experienced in her long life. Many people have made an impact upon her life: her brother Gordon, for example, who was a mirror image of Claudia, and who shared in their borderline-incestuous relationship. Her daughter Lisa, as different from her mother as could be. Her lover of many years, Jasper, who served his purpose, but who never truly won her heart. The love of her life, Tom, who she only knew for a short period of time but loved deeply and powerfully. They all play a part in what she calls "Claudia's History of the World". The bits and pieces of her life come rapidly, with no chronological order to bind them together, and Claudia takes the time to muse over everything that has made her who she is.
MOON TIGER is extremely powerful at times and always eloquently written. The love story between Tom and Claudia is breathtaking. Selfishly, I wish it had been longer. I yearned for more character development and depth in Tom, although as readers, we know as much about him as Claudia herself did. Their romance was brief, but passionate, and it left me yearning for more right along with Claudia.
A word of warning: although the book is relatively short (at 200 pages), it feels lengthy and drawn out at times. Again, this only serves to highlight Lively's skill at writing Claudia's last experiences.Read more ›
My fundamental problem with the book is that Claudia is such a self-satisfied narcissist that I tired of the recital of her various accomplishments and the smug superiority with which lesser characters in her history (her unfortunate sister-in-law, her disappointingly conventional daughter) are dismissed. Lively is no fool, and attempts to mitigate Claudia's unrelenting smugness with a brief episode of vulnerability and genuine emotion during a doomed World War II romance with a British tank commander who is subsequently killed in battle. The jacket cover inflates this episode by describing it as "the still point of her turning world", but the problem is that it fails to ring true. Ultimately, the version of Claudia that dominates the narrative is that of the smug, superior harpie. To whom my reaction was - why should anyone possibly care?
So, while I can admire the skill with which this book was written, the emotional vacuum at its core ultimately left me cold.
It also sets me wondering about the shape of the book as a whole. I have now read three of Penelope Lively's novels: her latest, CONSEQUENCES (2007); THE PHOTOGRAPH (2003), which I consider the best of the three; and this one, MOON TIGER, which won her the Booker Prize in 1987. All three are essentially romances. All feature independent women doing interesting jobs (writers, artists, academics). Despite their personal independence, the women are shown within the dynamics of families, in relation to a mother, a daughter, or (here especially) a brother -- only very occasionally a husband. Claudia, for example, is unmarried, but we hear of at least three men whom she has loved in different ways. She has a daughter, Lisa, who understands as little of her mother as she does of her; almost of equal significance to Claudia are her first baby lost in a miscarriage, and a Hungarian refugee whom she unofficially adopted.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I tried getting through the book as part of our literature club's efforts to read lesser accessible books. This one, I could not finish. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Maikel
The brevity of her language hides the abundance of existential philosophy and insight-fullness of this beautifully written novel. 208 pages to sheer pleasure.Published 3 months ago by Weary Reader
I found this book interesting, but certainly not compelling.The characters were interesting, and by the time I finished the book, I did like it better, but it never called me to... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Marcia Carson
I didn't hate the book. It was well-written and kept my interest, but in the end I just felt like I had spent too much time with people I don't like.Published 4 months ago by LBN
What a great, concise, well-written, literary, historical novel. Breathtakingly good.Published 6 months ago by Todd L.
Wonderful use of language, unusual perspective on life as a woman during ww2. The switch from the narrator to the other characters was effective in showing the main character's... Read morePublished 7 months ago by teeda d reader
My expectations were too high for this book, since it won the Man Booker Prize back in 1987. I found the characters hardly developed at all, and the first 1/3 of the book bounced... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Katie L.