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The Tiger's Wife: A Novel
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The Tiger's Wife: A Novel [Format Kindle]

Téa Obreht
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit



The Coast

the forty days of the soul begin on the morning after death. That first night, before its forty days begin, the soul lies still against sweated-on pillows and watches the living fold the hands and close the eyes, choke the room with smoke and silence to keep the new soul from the doors and the windows and the cracks in the floor so that it does not run out of the house like a river. The living know that, at daybreak, the soul will leave them and make its way to the places of its past—the schools and dormitories of its youth, army barracks and tenements, houses razed to the ground and rebuilt, places that recall love and guilt, difficulties and unbridled happiness, optimism and ecstasy, memories of grace meaningless to anyone else—and sometimes this journey will carry it so far for so long that it will forget to come back. For this reason, the living bring their own rituals to a standstill: to welcome the newly loosed spirit, the living will not clean, will not wash or tidy, will not remove the soul’s belongings for forty days, hoping that sentiment and longing will bring it home again, encourage it to return with a message, with a sign, or with forgiveness.

If it is properly enticed, the soul will return as the days go by, to rummage through drawers, peer inside cupboards, seek the tactile comfort of its living identity by reassessing the dish rack and the doorbell and the telephone, reminding itself of functionality, all the time touching things that produce sound and make its presence known to the inhabitants of the house.

Speaking quietly into the phone, my grandma reminded me of this after she told me of my grandfather’s death. For her, the forty days were fact and common sense, knowledge left over from burying two parents and an older sister, assorted cousins and strangers from her hometown, a formula she had recited to comfort my grandfather whenever he lost a patient in whom he was particularly invested—a superstition, according to him, but something in which he had indulged her with less and less protest as old age had hardened her beliefs.

My grandma was shocked, angry because we had been robbed of my grandfather’s forty days, reduced now to thirty-seven or thirty-eight by the circumstances of his death. He had died alone, on a trip away from home; she hadn’t known that he was already dead when she ironed his clothes the day before, or washed the dishes that morning, and she couldn’t account for the spiritual consequences of her ignorance. He had died in a clinic in an obscure town called Zdrevkov on the other side of the border; no one my grandma had spoken to knew where Zdrevkov was, and when she asked me, I told her the truth: I had no idea what he had been doing there.

“You’re lying,” she said.

“Bako, I’m not.”

“He told us he was on his way to meet you.”

“That can’t be right,” I said.

He had lied to her, I realized, and lied to me. He had taken advantage of my own cross-country trip to slip away—a week ago, she was saying, by bus, right after I had set out myself—and had gone off for some reason unknown to either of us. It had taken the Zdrevkov clinic staff three whole days to track my grandma down after he died, to tell her and my mother that he was dead, arrange to send his body. It had arrived at the City morgue that morning, but by then, I was already four hundred miles from home, standing in the public bathroom at the last service station before the border, the pay phone against my ear, my pant legs rolled up, sandals in hand, bare feet slipping on the green tiles under the broken sink.

Somebody had fastened a bent hose onto the faucet, and it hung, nozzle down, from the boiler pipes, coughing thin streams of water onto the floor. It must have been going for hours: water was everywhere, flooding the tile grooves and pooling around the rims of the squat toilets, dripping over the doorstep and into the dried-up garden behind the shack. None of this fazed the bathroom attendant, a middle-aged woman with an orange scarf tied around her hair, whom I had found dozing in a corner chair and dismissed from the room with a handful of bills, afraid of what those seven missed beeper pages from my grandma meant before I even picked up the receiver.

I was furious with her for not having told me that my grandfather had left home. He had told her and my mother that he was worried about my goodwill mission, about the inoculations at the Brejevina orphanage, and that he was coming down to help. But I couldn’t berate my grandma without giving myself away, because she would have told me if she had known about his illness, which my grandfather and I had hidden from her. So I let her talk, and said nothing about how I had been with him at the Military Academy of Medicine three months before when he had found out, or how the oncologist, a lifelong colleague of my grandfather’s, had shown him the scans and my grandfather had put his hat down on his knee and said, “Fuck. You go looking for a gnat and you find a donkey.”

I put two more coins into the slot, and the phone whirred. Sparrows were diving from the brick ledges of the bathroom walls, dropping into the puddles at my feet, shivering water over their backs. The sun outside had baked the early afternoon into stillness, and the hot, wet air stood in the room with me, shining in the doorway that led out to the road, where the cars at border control were packed in a tight line along the glazed tarmac. I could see our car, left side dented from a recent run-in with a tractor, and Zóra sitting in the driver’s seat, door propped open, one long leg dragging along the ground, glances darting back toward the bathroom more and more often as she drew closer to the customs booth.

“They called last night,” my grandma was saying, her voice louder. “And I thought, they’ve made a mistake. I didn’t want to call you until we were sure, to worry you in case it wasn’t him. But your mother went down to the morgue this morning.” She was quiet, and then: “I don’t understand, I don’t understand any of it.”

“I don’t either, Bako,” I said.

“He was going to meet you.”

“I didn’t know about it.”

Then the tone of her voice changed. She was suspicious, my grandma, of why I wasn’t crying, why I wasn’t hysterical. For the first ten minutes of our conversation, she had probably allowed herself to believe that my calm was the result of my being in a foreign hospital, on assignment, surrounded, perhaps, by colleagues. She would have challenged me a lot sooner if she had known that I was hiding in the border-stop bathroom so that Zóra wouldn’t overhear.

She said, “Haven’t you got anything to say?”

“I just don’t know, Bako. Why would he lie about coming to see me?”

“You haven’t asked if it was an accident,” she said. “Why haven’t you asked that? Why haven’t you asked how he died?”

“I didn’t even know he had left home,” I said. “I didn’t know any of this was going on.”

“You’re not crying,” she said.

“Neither are you.”

“Your mother is heartbroken,” she said to me. “He must have known. They said he was very ill—so he must have known, he must have told someone. Was it you?”

“If he had known, he wouldn’t have gone anywhere,” I said, with what I hoped was conviction. “He would have known better.” There were white towels stacked neatly on a metal shelf above the mirror, and I wiped my face and neck with one, and then another, and the skin of my face and neck left gray smears on towel after towel until I had used up five. There was no laundry basket to put them in, so I left them in the sink. “Where is this place where they found him?” I said. “How far did he go?”

“I don’t know,” she said. “They didn’t tell us. Somewhere on the other side.”

“Maybe it was a specialty clinic,” I said.

“He was on his way to see you.”

“Did he leave a letter?”

He hadn’t. My mother and grandma, I realized, had both probably seen his departure as part of his unwillingness to retire, like his relationship with a new housebound patient outside the City—a patient we had made up as a cover for his visits to the oncologist friend from the weekly doctors’ luncheon, a man who gave injections of some formulas that were supposed to help with the pain. Colorful formulas, my grandfather said when he came home, as if he knew the whole time that the formulas were just water laced with food coloring, as if it didn’t matter anymore. He had, at first, more or less retained his healthy cast, which made hiding his illness easier; but after seeing him come out of these sessions just once, I had threatened to tell my mother, and he said: “Don’t you dare.” And that was that.

My grandma was asking me: “Are you already in Brejevina?”

“We’re at the border,” I said. “We just came over on the ferry.”

Outside, the line of cars was beginning to move again. I saw Zóra put her cigarette out on the ground, pull her leg back in and slam the door. A flurry of people who had assembled on the gravel shoulder to stretch and smoke, to check their tires and fill water bottles at the fountain, to look impatiently down the line, or dispose of pastries and sandwiches they had been attempting to smuggle, or urinate against the side of the bathroom, scrambled to get back to their vehicles.

My grandma was silent for a few moments. I could hear the line clicking, and then she ...

Revue de presse

Praise for The Tiger’s Wife:

New York Times – 5 Best books (fiction) of 2011
New York Times – Michiko’s top 10 books of 2011
New York Times – 100 Notable Books of 2011
NPR / All Things Considered – Alan Cheuse’s top 5 novels of 2011
O, the Oprah Magazine – 2011 Best Books
Entertainment Weekly – Top 10 books (Fiction) of 2011
Esquire – 2011 round-up
The Economist – 2011 Best of Books – 2011 Best of Books list – 2011 Best of Books list
Christian Science Monitor – Top 10 books (Fiction) of 2011
Publishers Weekly – Top 100 books of year
Library Journal – top 10 books of 2011
Seattle Times – 32 of the Year’s Best Books
Kansas City Star – Top 10 Books of 2011

“Of the books I read this year by people I’ve never laid eyes on, the most peculiar and brilliant may have been The Tiger’s Wife, by Téa Obreht. Constructed from anecdote and fable, it is sometimes written in a kind of medical poetry, its main characters being doctors whose attention to the permeable line between life and death suits the tales of old and new Yugoslavia that Obreht wishes to tell.” —Lorrie Moore, New Yorker online

“Stunning…Obreht writes with an angel's pen on this tiger's tale within the novel, and on myriad other matters, from birth, death and immortality, creating a skein of descriptive passages flush with brilliant detail and ringing with lyrical diction.”—, Alan Cheuse's Top 5 Fiction Picks of 2011
 “Attention all book groups: The Tiger's Wife is an ideal book for discussion, and not only because of the handy reader's guide included, or because of the nifty conversation between Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Egan and Tea Obreht…A beguiling blend of realism, myth and legend, this novel possesses a presence and force, essential ingredients for a novel that is very much rooted in reality yet transcends time.” —Elizabeth Taylor, Chicago Tribune Editor’s Choice
“Sentence by sentence, no fictional debut in 2011 was more arresting than this novel.” – Cleveland Plain Dealer Holiday Books Round-up

“[A] brilliant debut…[Téa] Obreht is an expert at depicting history through aftermath, people through the love they inspire, and place through the stories that endure; the reflected world she creates is both immediately recognizable and a legend in its own right. Obreht is talented far beyond her years, and her unsentimental faith in language, dream, and memory is a pleasure.”– Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Not even Obreht’s place on The New Yorker’s current “20 Under 40” list of exceptional writers will prepare readers for the transporting richness and surprise of this gripping novel of legends and loss…[Contains] moments of breathtaking magic, wildness and beauty…Every word, every scene, every thought is blazingly alive in this many-faceted, spellbinding, and rending novel of death, succor, and remembrance.” – Booklist, starred review
“Dizzyingly nuanced yet crisp, [and] muscularly written…This complex, humbling, and beautifully crafted debut from one of The New Yorker's 20 Under 40 is highly recommended for anyone seriously interested in contemporary fiction.”
 – Library Journal, starred review

“A cracking, complex, gorgeously wrought saga that resonates as a meditation on life, love…and our responsibility to the stories we inherit from our grandparents…Obreht is a natural literary descendant of Isaac Bashevis Singer and Gabriel Garcia Marquez….The Tiger’s Wife is an original and wonderful novel…It makes for a thrilling beginning to what will certainly be a great literary career.” – Kate Christensen, Elle

“Deftly walks the line between the realistic and the fantastical…In Obreht’s expert hands, the novel’s mythology, while rooted in a foreign world, comes to seem somehow familiar, like the dark fairy tales of our own youth, the kind that spooked us into reading them again and again…[Reveals] oddly comforting truths about death, belief in the impossible, and the art of letting go.” – O: The Oprah Magazine

“Téa Obreht is the most thrilling literary discovery in years.” —Colum McCann

“A novel of surpassing beauty, exquisitely wrought and magical. Téa Obreht is a towering new talent.”—T. C. Boyle
“A marvel of beauty and imagination. Téa Obreht is a tremendously talented writer.”—Ann Patchett

“It is difficult, maybe impossible, when reading a hotly anticipated first novel by a celebrated 25-year-old-writer, not to think about her age, to subconsciously search for evidence of callowness, inexperience and showiness…I opened The Tiger’s Wife prepared to empathize with [Téa] Obreht’s youth, and to temper my reaction if the novel didn’t, as a whole, stand up to the expectations and hype.  Because, really how could it?  But the book does, and then some.  Obreht is a natural literary descendant of Isaac Bashevis Singer and Gabriel García Marquez…After a few pages I forgot her age entirely except to marvel at the precocity of her work’s vast intelligence, at the beauty of her descriptive prose, at her authoritative voice, and her controlled mastery of a complex narrative…The Tiger’s Wife is an original and wonderful novel…It makes for a thrilling beginning to what will certainly be a great literary career.” – Kate Christensen, reviewing for Elle
 “One of the most extraordinary debut novels of recent memory…A gorgeous farrago of stories in which realism collides with myth, superstition with empirical fact, and allegory with history…Obreht elides the sentimental Chagall villages that other writers have made of Eastern Europe, crafting instead something far more ambitious, and universal: an apotheosis of storytelling as a bulwark against brutality – and a balm for grief.” – Vogue
“Written in a wry, classical, luxuriant style reminiscent of Tolstoy… [The Tiger’s Wife] would be a spectacular accomplishment under any circumstance, but the fact that Obreht is only 25 years old makes the whole thing downright supernatural.” – Marie Claire
  “Deftly walks the line between the realistic and the fantastical…In Obreht’s expert hands, the novel’s mythology, while rooted in a foreign world, comes to seem somehow familiar, like the dark fairy tales of our own youth, the kind that spooked us into reading them again and again…[Reveals] oddly comforting truths about death, belief in the impossible, and the art of letting go.” – O: The Oprah Magazine
“This stunning debut novel reads like a Balkan Arabian Nights.” Good Housekeeping

“Téa Obreht’s stunning debut novel, The Tiger’s Wife, is a hugely ambitious, audaciously written work…[She] writes with remarkable authority and eloquence, and she demonstrates an uncommon ability to move seamlessly between the gritty realm of the real and the more primary-colored world of the fable…It’s not so much magical realism in the tradition of Gabriel García Marquez or Günter Grass as it is an extraordinarily limber exploration of allegory and myth…A richly textured and searing novel.”
 – Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“Téa Obreht’s The Tiger’s Wife comes freighted with more critical anticipation than any debut novel in recent memory…That sort of unearned, pre-emptive prestige spurs both impossible expectations and skeptical readings – a burden that would doom most first novels.  Yet The Tiger’s Wife, in its solemn beauty and unerring execution, fully justifies the accolades that Ms. Obreht’s short fiction inspired.   She has a talent for subtle plotting that eludes most writers twice her age, and her descriptive powers suggest a kind of channeled genius.  No novel this year has seemed more likely to disappoint; no novel has been more satisfying.”
 – The Wall Street Journal
“[A] spectacular debut novel…[Obreht] spins a tale of such marvel and magic in a literary voice so enchanting the mesmerized reader wants her never to stop….Obreht will make headlines as one of the most exciting new writers of her generation, a young artist with the maturity and grace that comes of knowing where one is from, and of honoring those who came before.”
 – Entertainment Weekly  (Grade: A)
“So rich with themes of love, legends and mortality that every novel that comes after it this year is in peril of falling short in comparison with its uncanny beauty…Not since Zadie Smith has a young writer arrived with such power and grace….“[An] astounding debut novel.”
Time Magazine
“Ingeniously, Obr...

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1562 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 352 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0812983076
  • Editeur : Random House (8 mars 2011)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B004EPZ6CE
  • Synthèse vocale : Non activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)
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4.0 étoiles sur 5
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 la femme du tigre 16 avril 2012
Par jdem
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Ce roman, écrit par une serbo-américaine de 25 ans, est l'histoire d'un jeune médecin, Natalia, de sa famille et de son pays, les Balkans. C'est donc une histoire complexe à laquelle se mêlent en outre des légendes. C'est une réflexion sur la mort, les superstitions, la condition de la femme, etc.
Bien que l'anglais ne soit pas la langue maternelle de l'auteur, le vocabulaire est très riche ce qui rend la lecture parfois malaisée.
C'est une brillante démonstration du proverbe: la valeur n'attend pas le nombre des années. C'est très original, drôle et effrayant.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent livre! A lire absolument 16 mai 2014
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Pour moi ce livre represente la meilleure découverte d'un auteur et de son univers depuis un bon moment. J'ai beaucoup aimé l'histoire, le style inedit, la découverte des Balkans et de certains mythes mais surtout l'émouvante relation liant l'héroine à son grand-pere. Je l'ai lu assez vite j'avais du mal à le fermer, un veritable "page turner "! Je recommande vivement ce livre à tous ceux qui aiment lire en général qu'il s'agisse de romans; de récits épiques ou de saga familiale.
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 Well told 21 février 2014
Par John T C
The one thing I like about The Tiger's Wife is that it is a beautifully written book. In fact, it is mesmerizing. I am awed by the creative mind of the author. Besides, it is a first book. It provides a fascinating insight into the Balkans and the myths or superstitions that abound there. The author conveys the deep message behind the story, which explains not only the resilience of the area but also the ravages that it has been subjected to throughout its turbulent history. Tea moved from the present to the past in an effortless manner, crafting characters that are both imposing and colorful.

The way the real and the mythical are blended together in this story written by its promising author reminds me of Disciples of Fortune, Gone Girl. The plot in this story is brilliant and the setting carries the day. The Balkans is a puzzling part of Europe. The writing itself is excellent. This is a book to read again.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 3.3 étoiles sur 5  705 commentaires
917 internautes sur 969 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A novel of power and wisdom and beauty 5 février 2011
Par TChris - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
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). Death is virtually a character in the novel, as is the devil -- although the devil's identity is somewhat obscure, appearing as someone's uncle in one of the grandfather's stories, suspected of wearing the guise of a tiger by others. The tiger, of course, is a force of death -- feared by many, but not by the tiger's wife, who shows us that fear is unnecessary. Ultimately, coming to terms with death is, I think, the novel's subject matter.

Téa Obreht writes with clarity and compassion. She tells the interwoven stories that comprise The Tiger's Wife without judgment or sentiment. Her characters are authentic; with only one or two exceptions, she doesn't go out of her way to make them likable or sympathetic. Nor does she ask readers to hate characters who commit evil acts, although she wants us to understand them. She does not insist that we either condemn or condone the actions of a wife-abusing butcher. Instead, she gives us a chance to comprehend human complexity, to know that there is more to the characters than their offensive or violent actions. The village gossips, knowing nothing of the truth, judge both the abuser and the abused. Obreht shows us how foolish it is to judge others without knowing them ... and how unlikely it is that we will know enough to judge.

Obreht writes with the maturity and confidence of an accomplished novelist. Her style is graceful. It is difficult to believe that this is her first novel. If she continues to produce work as sound as The Tiger's Wife, readers should wish her a long career.
216 internautes sur 235 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Lyrical but disconnected ... 2 août 2011
Par zewology - Publié sur
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. While there are a few compelling themes -- ones you must really search for -- their relevence to the novel was not frequent enough.

((Beware of spoilers at this point ...))

Which brings me to my next point. As other people have said, this book has WAY too much description of scenery. Now, I know it's literary fiction, and by definition there's more description and less action. But this book was bordering on ridiculous. I didn't need a three page description of Natalia walking to the crossroads, nor another five pages of her simply following the "mora" up the side of a hill and through the woods. As I just wanted to be done with the book, that part was especially excruciating for me. Description can be a wonderful thing when it advances the story. However, many of the descriptions in this novel not only lent nothing to the plot, but actually went on so long that they managed to isolate my attention from the point the author was trying to make, so that when I returned to the telling of the story, I felt disoriented by the characters.

I honestly think that this book could have been really excellent. The stories were interesting, and I enjoyed many of the characters, though I do agree with others that there was an emotional disconnect. Of course, this was probably done intentionally, to showcase the very impersonal nature of death, and so I won't argue with that. Even discounting that, though, I couldn't really feel the point of the story.

I'm having a little bit of trouble putting my finger on exactly what bugged me about this book, but here it is: one of the major themes, I think Natalia even says it in narrative at one point, is how these experiences from her grandfather's past, the stories he told her about the deathless man and the tiger's wife, colored his entire life experience. Yet I didn't feel like there was any connection between the boy who befriended the tiger's wife, the man who dealt with the deathless man, and the husband/father/granfather described in his interactions with Natalia. At the very least, no emotional connection, which is practically the only type that matters in a novel like this. After all, if the emotional disconnect from the characters was done on purpose because of the themes of death, wouldn't this contradict the point of the story as defined by Natalia, which, as I said above, is the way the two stories contributed to her grandfather's life and death?

All in all, I was just disappointed. Maybe it deserves more than two stars. Maybe I am being too hard on it because I had such high expectations and because I saw such promise that was never realized. But at the same time, I think that one of the hallmarks of great fiction is what it makes you feel, and I didn't feel anything at all while reading this novel.
509 internautes sur 572 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 not what was predicted 27 avril 2011
Par me - Publié sur
I certainly have read worse books in my life, but few have been as disappointing. This is not entirely the author's fault, since she and her book have been so publicized and honored prior to arrival that expectations were extraordinarily high. The novel is, however, "OK," a far cry from the praise pre-pub comments trumpeted. What is refreshing about the book is that we at least have an author who knows how to craft a careful sentence and cares as much about how she tells a story as the story itself. The fantastical elements, noted in other reviews, also are signs of a fertile imagination. Unfortunately, neither of these strengths quite overcomes the weaknesses, of which I would cite two primarily: 1) the primary narrative asks us to be emotionally moved by the death of the narrator's grandfather, but we really do not know any of the main present-day characters in enough depth to share their loss. In fact, despite the good will of the narrator (she's a doctor trying to help sick orphans!), she comes off as whiny and self-involved; 2) on the other hand, the parts of the narrative that show real strength, in which the novel turns toward folklore in stories about the titular tiger's wife or the deathless man, end up overwhelming so much with details that we begin to wish the stories to come to an end. The imagination, in other words, seems to have run amok. A great steak doesn't taste better by adding more of it to the plate. (If you've read a lot of Rushdie over the years, you might also tire more quickly of these passages, as they are reminiscent of much of his work.) It's nice to see an author with a big imagination and fine skill with words get published; it's just unfortunate that that imagination and skill didn't result in a novel that lived up to its potential, or its hype.
224 internautes sur 250 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright 15 février 2011
Par Jill I. Shtulman - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
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...But because that winter was the longest anyone could remember, and filled with a thousand small discomforts, a thousand senseless quarrels, a thousand personal shames, the tiger's wife shouldered the blame for the villagers' misfortunes." THIS Tiger burns bright with allegory as well.

So...does it all work? Yes. And no. Ms. Tea Obreht shines when she weaves her fables; the sections on the tiger and the deathless man mesmerized me, as she paints ominous tales about the specters and superstitions that inhabit the woods and hills. I found myself to be curiously disengaged when the narrative shifted to the present. Natalia seems to be a means of unveiling the truths rather than a fully fleshed character and as a result, realism and the magic of the narration rather clashed. In the end, I admired Tiger's Wife greatly, but cannot say I loved it. Still, I recognize the talent behind this innovative work.
79 internautes sur 88 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Grrrrr! The Tiger's Wife: Beautiful. And Frustrating 26 janvier 2012
Par Michele Kingery - Publié sur
liked: the dense, luxurious writing
didn't like: that the story threads never came together to form a satisfying whole

liked: the "promise" that this was going to be a story about Natalia, her grandfather and their relationship
didn't like: that that was actually the frame for the village stories and folklore

liked: hearing about Natalia's growing up and becoming a doctor
didn't like: lengthy meandering into back-stories of (mostly) unlikeable village characters

liked: the mysterious "deathless" man
didn't like: that no matter how many times the "deathless" man explained himself, I never really "got it".

liked: that Natalia and Zora were trying to help the diggers and their children
didn't like: the diggers

liked: the portrayal of the tiger's wife
didn't like: the abrupt ending to her story

liked: the slower pace of the novel
didn't like: when the excessive details began weighing the narrative down instead of propelling it forward

liked: the premise of "The Jungle Book" as a sacred object
didn't like: that that wasn't more developed and ultimately, turned out to be less magical than I anticipated

liked: the novel I thought I was going to read (based on the way it began)
didn't like: the novel I actually read

No quarrel with craft here, but because of the above, this was a three-star
experience for me
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When your fight has purposeto free you from something, to interfere on the behalf of an innocentit has a hope of finality. When the fight is about unravelingwhen it is about your name, the places to which your blood is anchored, the attachment of your name to some landmark or eventthere is nothing but hate, and the long, slow progression of people who feed on it and are fed it, meticulously, by the ones who come before them. Then the fight is endless, and comes in waves and waves, but always retains its capacity to surprise those who hope against it. &quote;
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When men die, they die in fear, he said. They take everything they need from you, and as a doctor it is your job to give it, to comfort them, to hold their hand. But children die how they have been livingin hope. They dont know whats happening, so they expect nothing, they dont ask you to hold their handbut you end up needing them to hold yours. With children, youre on your own. Do you understand? &quote;
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In the end, all you want is someone to long for you when it comes time to put you in the ground. &quote;
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