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The Tiger's Wife: A Novel (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 12. Juli 2011

2.9 von 5 Sternen 9 Kundenrezensionen

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

“Stunning . . . a richly textured and searing novel.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“[Téa Obreht] 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 been more satisfying.”—Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal 
“Spectacular . . . [Obreht] spins a tale of such marvel and magic in a literary voice so enchanting that the mesmerized reader wants her never to stop. [Grade:] A”—Entertainment Weekly
“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.”—Time

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Téa Obreht was born in Belgrade in the former Yugoslavia in 1985 and has lived in the United States since the age of twelve. Her writing has been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s, and The Guardian, and has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. She has been named by The New Yorker as one of the twenty best American fiction writers under forty and included in the National Book Foundation’s list of 5 Under 35. Téa Obreht lives in New York.

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2.9 von 5 Sternen


Format: Taschenbuch
Téa Obrecht can certainly write. And her sentence can be equally long and equally artful as the one from Gabriel Garcia Márquez, whom she admires so much. The book was highly praised by the critics and also followed with a small hype in author's city of birth, in which I happened to live for a long time, including the possible time of the main book plot.
With high expectations, I couldn't wait for German, Serbian or Croatian translation of the book, so I ordered it, almost a year ago. I have read it, and I was disappointed. Maybe I am too biased, I thought, and I decided to read it again, since the hype was still ongoing. Still, I am disappointed, and that's why I am writing this post.

I see three flaws in the book:
1. There are many storylines, but the storytelling is flat, and doesn't push the reader to follow any of them. The stories never come to a common point, and there is an impression that the writer has included some of them just to increase the size of the book. At the end the reader doesn't know what it was all about.
2. The characters are mostly oversimplified and emotionless. Natalia, as narrator, is like a teenage brat, capable just for indignation of all the time.
3. The link to Balkans is completely confused. The mixture of fiction and reality is surreal and sometimes almost unbearable. Since there was no intention of the author to create completely new "Balkan" land, but to describe something called Yugoslavia in 20th century, I must object her interpretation. Despite all advertising, I couldn't recognize what was the intention of the writer to provide such mishmash.
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Format: Taschenbuch
I had a hard time deciding whether I should give this book 4 or 3 stars, since I am in two minds about it. Let it be 3,5.
The novel is well-crafted, no doubt. The writing is eloquent, direct, at times evocative and slightly macabre. The novel is complex, multi-layered, rich in authentic cultural details. Eastern European legends and believes haunt the narration and give the entire book a magical, otherwoldly touch, while honest account of the Balkan war adds real-life credibility to it. Actually, the memories of Natalia, the book's protagonist, about her teenage years in the City (Belgrade?) torn apart by war, constitute the best part of the book (in my opinion). I was equally moved by the very special and gentle relationship that Natalia had with her grandfather. This dimension of the book - personal, touching, very human - appealed to me the most. I wish the author would have given Natalia more attention and more space - her story intrigued me much more than the one of the title character, the tiger's wife, whose persona I perceive as rather fragmented and incomprehensive.
I wish other storylines were as moving as Natalia's. Although the novel kept me interested and thrilled, it failed to touch me on a deeper level and move me emotionally. The ending seemed rather obscure, and now I am left with a question: what is the main message and purpose of the book exactly? Is it about death? Is it about multiplicy of narratives in life? Is it about the interplay of reality and superstition? I cannot see what is missing, and I also cannot feel it...
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Format: Taschenbuch
I wasn't aware of all the praises this novel and its author received but read it by chance, based on the other books' recommendations. From the beginning I was feeling little bit disappointed and feeling was even stronger when I came to the end.

There are aspects of "The Tiger's Wife" written by Tea Obreht that are nice but in my opinion novel doesn't live up to the overwhelming praise received. Author cannot be denied knowledge to conjure up beautiful images with her sentences, to express herself in English very well, although it is not her native language (the book I read was in English, but occasionally I compared it with the version in Serbian).

But looking novel in general it seems to me that this is just another literary work that has shown a desire to picture Balkans, its customs and beliefs as something exotic, mystical and fantastic in order to attract readers. Like in many other books by authors from the Balkans, especially ones which are not living there anymore, that geographical area is shown as quite backward, with traditions gone for hundreds of years or non-existent at all even in ancient history.

My other complaint about this novel is author's will to focus and prolong parts of the book describing the mystic legends where she excels with her ability of imagination and writing, but in same time failing to give more characterization and depth to the characters in real world.

I wanted to like "The Tiger's Wife" and in the end asked myself what I wasn't able to get form this novel and other readers succeeded. I'm aware there are lot of those who loved it, regretfully I cannot say I'm one of them.

If you look this book as a fairy tale, pure fiction, then feel free to raise my score by 1 star, but because of all mentioned reasons I cannot recommend it.
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