Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tea Obreht - The Tiger's Wife

I am a literary reader, I am an English teacher - I did not "get" this book.  Now, before I launch into my assessment of the story, I will say it is beautifully written.  The prose is excellent and the descriptive language is amazing.  I felt like there were moments I was truly present in Balkan country taking in the scenery, I could feel the heartbeat of the Tiger, his wife, the bear hunter, and grandfather.  The characters were fleshed out completely, but even with that said - I wanted more of certain characters and I felt like I was left "hanging" by Obreht in several places throughout the novel.  I needed to know more about Grandfather and his association with the tiger's wife, I needed more of the tiger, more of his life, I needed more on the hunter's background and why he lost so much, so quickly.  He was accomplished, how did it all fall apart?

The plot line left me going, "What????"  In a book that weaves fairy tales and folklore, I feel the author is remiss if they do not explain the connections that drive the plot.  The story felt disjointed and slammed in obvious bits and pieces as if was attempting to redirect constantly.  No true continuity ever surfaced for me.  It took me two weeks to read this book and I normally run through 300+ pages in three days.  I kept waiting for it to pick up, to grab me - it never did.

But, then again, I'm 36 and want to write, she's under 30 and published.  What do I know?  She earns my eternal respect for writing a vividly interesting, albeit difficult to read novel, and it landing on the NYT best-seller list.  Kudos.

No comments:

Post a Comment