When I like something I'll let you know. If I don't, I'll let you know that too!
This novel wraps several stories within stories, all which focus on the narrator's recently deceased Grandfather. These stories are all compelling each in their own right. They just don't seem to have conclusions worthy of the beauty and complexity of the tale.
The premise of this novel is wonderful. The Author does a rewarding job weaving these stories together in an interesting and compelling style. That is, until we get to the conclusion. I felt the last chapter and the final minutes were rushed, perhaps finished to meet some deadline. The conclusion left me feeling unfulfilled, It is a shame such an elegant work of fiction was plucked from the vine just before it was completely ripe. It's a tasty experience, but falls just a few millimeters short of reaching it's full potential.
Another point of contention is that the author sometimes gets too devoted to painting a landscape or setting the scene for us. Occasionally, I found myself wishing she would just get on with the story. I will concede, though, she is very artful with these overdeveloped descriptions. In true Audible form, the Narrators are exquisite.
I don't regret listening to "The Tiger's Wife" I just feel slightly unfulfilled by the conclusion.
I'm a designer (interiors and graphics) with an English degree. I recovered my love of reading after a disastrous bout with grad school.
This book and its author have been promoted tirelessly by publisher and critics alike. Since my own family is Slovenian, I caved and downloaded it. I enjoyed it very much, but look forward to the author's more mature works. Beautifully written and narrated, it takes a while to register that the characters and the story are not quite filled out -- the secrets, the entwined folktale/history do not quite pay off. But could anyone write a book this ambitious at 25? Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately) the Balkans will yield decades of material for this talented writer.
There are some really great moments in this book, but it never really comes together as a whole. Obreht spins interesting stories, but they should have been stand alone tales, not woven together into a singular narrative. There's no question in my mind that Tea Obreht has talent, but The Tiger's Wife felt like it was written by an, as of yet, immature author who hasn't quite come into her own. I am interested in seeing what Obreht will write next.
The narrator was adequate, but her voice often went into a sing-song cadence and, after the first hour or two of listening to the book, I grew tired of it.
I lived in the Balkans. It is an interesting place. I have no clue what this fairy tale was trying to tell us. Ho hum. I didn't think the characters were well developed. It just didn't flow. I kept rewinding because I was so confused.
Audiobooks have literally changed my life. I now actually ENJOY doing mindless chores because they give me plenty of listening time!
A heart-wrenching and beautiful novel that takes place in un-named parts of the Balkans, about Natalia, a young physician who quite suddenly learns that her beloved grandfather, a celebrated doctor in his time, has passed away. She is on her way to an orphanage across the border when she learns the news, and though she is grief stricken, she decides to continue with the trip. While we follow her along her humanitarian mission, we also travel to her memories of special times spent with her grandfather. They have shared many special moments together through the years, and the old man, who has kept a copy of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book in his breast pocket all his life, has told her stories not shared with anyone else. Among these is the strange tale of how he came to meet Gavran Gaile, the Deathless man. Another is the story about the tiger's wife, about a tiger that leaves the zoo to flee the bombarded city during World War II, and treks far away into the mountains to end up by a small village where superstitions abound. The inhabitants are convinced the tiger is the incarnation of the devil, and yet, a strange relationship develops between the tiger and a young, deaf and dumb girl who is horribly abused by her husband. Natalia has always assumed that these stories were just folk tales, but as she tries to put together the pieces of how her grandfather has ended up dying in an obscure little village by himself, she discovers that they may have been inspired from real life events after all.
I absolutely loved this rich, multilayered novel, with the slow building up of the different narratives which form a rich tapestry. I am quite sure this story will stay with me for a long time to come... and perhaps forever. Sublime.
The audiobook was fine, but not great. I wasn't crazy about Susan Duerden's style, though having a man take over the parts of the story told by the grandfather was a nice touch.
Like new books from many other new or new-ish writers, this one was not what I was expecting, and the audible blurb is misleading. I was expecting a story about one person and her experiences on location in a war-torn area, and what this is is a narrative told mostly by the grandfather, with a lot of fantasy requiring way too much suspension of disbelief. For me, anyway.
I should listen more carefully to what advance blurbs have to say and then run the other way. I think that publishers and book review publications want to applaud originality at the expense of other factors like characterization, detail nuance, approachable story, and so on. The book is very original, in format and in setting, two stars for that, but it's all simply non-relatable for me.
The central narrative needs to be stronger and more of the book. The author digresses so much and into such detailed descriptions that you lose the central narrative. I found myself groaning as the book took on a whole other town and people and tale.
Ms. Obreht must have really taken to heart the writing lesson that details help tell the story, because she goes into such detail on so many insignificant elements that it's frustrating and, frankly, boring. And she uses in almost every case three or four elements to describe everything. I started counting them as I was reading, because I knew she couldn't leave it at just one. She needs to be a leaner writer, for me.
The reader was almost always breathless -- as if every element of the book were crucial. I did not like this reading performance.
Where do I begin?
The reader is transported back and forth in time and place between mysterious and wondrous tales of tigers, a deathless man, the tiger's wife, a bear hunter, a foreign apothecary, and a country torn apart by recurring wars. Peopled by both a sophisticated, liberal urban population and backwards, superstitious peasants, the former Yugoslavia is the home of diverse ethnic, religious groups, rich musical traditions, political unrest and the devastation of wars - from without and within. Told by a young woman doctor, granddaughter to a famous doctor who served his countrymen irrespective of the ethnic-religious divides, the reader is carried along an undulating journey into fact, fantasy, fear and love. At the end the reader wonders aloud - what is true and what is fiction? What is tale and what is history? And what will be the futures of the new nations that have emerged from the ashes that were?
And who was the tiger's wife?
An outstanding literary achievement brilliantly and engrossingly narrated.
A compelling, fantastical fable for our times. The splendid narration captures the wonder, fear, awe and poignancy of this brilliantly written tale. A must listen!
The characters are so well drawn, that you would think you were living
in their towns with them.. The symbolism is so absorbing and
so multi-dimensional; the story provides an enormous amount of food
for thought...This is what you call a good read!