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The Tiger's Wife: A Novel by [Obreht, TÉA]
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The Tiger's Wife: A Novel Kindle Edition

3.3 out of 5 stars 854 customer reviews

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The Angels' Share (The Bourbon Kings) by J.R. Ward
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Best-selling author J. R. Ward delivers the second novel in her Bourbon Kings series—a sweeping saga of a Southern dynasty struggling to maintain a façade of privilege and prosperity, while secrets and indiscretions threaten its very foundation. Learn more | See related books
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Product Details

  • File Size: 3181 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Random House (March 8, 2011)
  • Publication Date: March 8, 2011
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004EPZ6CE
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,709 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By TChris TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
By the time she is thirteen, Natalia has taken so many trips with her grandfather to visit the caged tigers that she feels like a prisoner of ritual. Then a war hundreds of miles distant breaks the ritual: the zoo closes, curfews are implemented, students are disappearing, and spending time with her grandfather seems less important than committing small acts of defiance: staying out late, kissing a boyfriend behind a broken vending machine, and listening to black market recordings of Paul Simon and Johnny Cash. When her grandfather is suspended from his medical practice because he is suspected of harboring "loyalist feelings toward the unified state," Natalia adopts new rituals that keep her at his side when he isn't paying clandestine visits to his old patients. In return, he takes her to see an astonishing sight that offers the hope for an eventual restoration of the rituals that made up their pre-war lives. Natalia's grandfather tells her that this is their moment: not a moment of war to be shared by everyone else, but a moment that is uniquely theirs.

The Tiger's Wife is filled with wondrous moments, small scenes that assemble into a novel of power and wisdom and beauty. As an adult doctor delivering medicine across new and uncertain borders, Natalia grieves for her deceased grandfather while recalling the lessons he taught and the stories he told -- stories that more often than not center on death: how it is faced, feared, and embraced. Death is everywhere in this novel: death caused by war, by disease, by animal and man and child. And there is death's counterpoint, a character who cannot die (or so the grandfather's story goes).
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Format: Hardcover
From the moment I first read a review of this book, I really wanted to like it. I thought the premise sounded interesting, and the author was praised for her highly superior writing skills.

Well, I will agree that Tea Obreht can write a beautiful sentence; a beautiful paragraph ... her writing flows very well. I tend to read with a very smooth, lyrical inner voice. In many novels, this trips me up at times because the author very suddenly changes sentence structure and interrupts the flow of the writing and the words themselves. This novel was a refreshing change in that regard, and at first I quite enjoyed it simply for this quality.

However, there is another flow a book must have, and that is a flow of story. Now, I'm not saying an author can't jump around in the telling, between points of view or side stories or time lines. I have certainly enjoyed novels that do this (an author that comes to mind is Kingsolver, who tends to change perspectives every chapter). But overall, there has to be a purpose to the jumping around. In this novel, I kept waiting for some indication of this, but I never got one, even at the end. The story didn't feel finished to me; it almost didn't feel like a story at all.

Another way in which I judge a novel is whether or not I *really* want to read it. It's not the sole indication of great writing, but for me to consider a book "good" I have to want to keep reading. Unfortunately, it was the exact opposite for this novel. I was constantly putting it down after, say, ten pages, and having to force myself to pick it back up. It's taken me a few weeks to read (with other things in between); this is an eternity for me.
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17 Comments 266 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Tiger's Wife is an audaciously original book, all the more so when one reflects that the author is only in her mid-twenties. It takes place in a Balkan location - likely Belgrade and the surrounding countryside - and focuses on a young woman - Natalia's - search for the truth about the last days of her grandfather.

The narrative is woven around Natalia's remembrances of two fable-like stories narrated to her by her grandfather, which weave tighter and tighter and ultimately reveal their truths. There is a magical realism quality to these stories, which encompass the haunting tale of a rogue tiger, an abused deaf-mute woman who is feared by the villagers and rumored to be the tiger's wife, Darisa the bear and tiger hunter, and a "deathless man" who may be the nephew of Death itself, whose appearances often portend catastrophe.

Whew! There are hints of Garcia Marquez, Rushdie, perhaps Arabian Nights as the narrator seeks to get to the truth by working through the deconstruction of the mythology. To add yet another layer, the grandfather is very attached to his edition of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, which he carries everywhere. That allegorical book, of course, is a story of a boy raised by wolves when a tiger attacks an encampment, killing his father. Years later he finds himself back in "civilization", which he finds far less civilized than his jungle haunts.

Similarly, at the heart of The Tiger's Wife, a pampered tiger becomes "free" and reverts back to his original nature, placing the only person with the compassion to feed him at risk. Ms. Obreht writes, "If things had turned out differently, if that winter's disaster had fallen in some alternate order...the rumors that spread about the tiger's wife might have been different...
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