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12 Reviews
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, creative, deeply human
Enter into a world of people, and one tiger, whose lives are disrupted by the kind of war that tears apart the fabric of social relations. The details of this story grip the heart while leading you into places that, as a privileged North American, I have not had to endure. Enter a time and a place where Muslims and Eastern Europeans had worked out a 'modus vivendi' with...
Published on May 19 2011 by Dr. Sheila Ann Mason

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars too many stories
I chose this book after having read some stellar reviews; I was expecting an intriguing tale of characters, politics and mythology. This is in fact what I experienced, but in too great detail, i.e. I felt that there were too many characters introduced, and each had an extensive background; your questions to their demise were never quite explained, and left you wondering...
Published on Aug. 2 2011 by sylvie g.


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars too many stories, Aug. 2 2011
I chose this book after having read some stellar reviews; I was expecting an intriguing tale of characters, politics and mythology. This is in fact what I experienced, but in too great detail, i.e. I felt that there were too many characters introduced, and each had an extensive background; your questions to their demise were never quite explained, and left you wondering. I did enjoy the tiger motif and the "deathless man" vinnettes. Altogether, a book that spellbinds, but only if you've got the patience to fall into it.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, creative, deeply human, May 19 2011
By 
Dr. Sheila Ann Mason (Montreal, QC Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Enter into a world of people, and one tiger, whose lives are disrupted by the kind of war that tears apart the fabric of social relations. The details of this story grip the heart while leading you into places that, as a privileged North American, I have not had to endure. Enter a time and a place where Muslims and Eastern Europeans had worked out a 'modus vivendi' with rich results. Then observe the senselessness of war tearing it all apart. The brilliance of this writing is that you do not fall into depression while reading of human folly, superstition and madness. Reminded me of the highly imaginative story telling in Yan Martel's The Life of Pi, also with a Tiger deeply integrated into the story. I learned a good deal about life in a tiny remote village in former Yogoslavia, and about the strange loves and miseries of the human heart. I went on to read about present day Turkey, Prime Minister Recep Erdogan, and feel hope that Muslims have a chance of being integrated more comfortably into the lives of non-Muslims in the Western world.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars couldn't read it, Dec 8 2011
This is one of the few books I couldn't finish. Mediocre writing at least. Symbolism and mystery? Not my taste.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite book, April 11 2014
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What an unusual book. I love the interconnected stories and fables. The writing is wonderful, descriptions were memorable. This book is great for discussion in literature class or book clubs. I will treasure this book and recommend it to anyone who wants to read a great book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well told, Feb. 21 2014
By 
John T C (Raleigh, NC) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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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5.0 out of 5 stars A Notable Debut Novel Set in the Recent Troubled History of the Balkans, March 16 2013
By 
John Kwok (New York, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Acclaimed for her short fiction by The New Yorker as a member of its twenty best American fiction writers under the age of forty list, Tea Obreht inserts magical realism into a compelling, often mesmerizing, tale spanning generations and decades, covering the centuries-old war-torn landscape of the Balkans in her compelling debut novel, "The Tiger's Wife", among the most notable debut novels published in recent years. This is a superb novel demonstrating her excellent gifts for writing descriptive prose rich in imagery both real and fantastical, coupled with memorable storytelling that may be the best recent novel describing the Balkans' violent 20th Century history of ethnic cleansing; first during World War II, and then, decades later, the genocidal conflicts marking the collapse of Yugoslavia. When a young doctor, Natalia, arrives with her lifelong friend Zora at an orphanage overlooking the sea, she begins feeling emotionally pulled by secrets haunting her family history and of the landscape itself. Disturbed by recentnews of her grandfather's death, she wonders why despite his grave illness he travels to a remote town. A celebrated physician, she remembers childhood visits to her hometown zoo with him, spellbound by tales she has read in his copy of Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book". She recalls tales of his meetings with a "deathless man", with someone who doesn't age, possessed with eternal youth. And yet, most miraculous of all, she recounts vintage World War II tales about an escaped zoo tiger hiding within a forest near a remote village, perceived by its inhabitants as an animal possessed with magical qualities bordering on demonic sorcery. Compelled by these memories, Natalia journeys to the town where her grandfather died, determined to uncover the truth behind his death, as well as those secrets -old and new - now haunting her. This is a remarkable novel of love, loss and memory which will be cherished by its readers, and one that will be remembered as an important landmark in Obreht's literary oeuvre.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great book if you love old fables, Jan. 9 2013
I love this book because of the old fables within the current European setting. It's a marvelous story that just sweeps you away into another world.
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3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read, but felt the ending unravelled, Oct. 7 2012
The Tiger's Wife contains interesting settings and characters, merging different times and types of stories into one novel. This was an interesting read overall, but I would have rated it much higher if I didn't get the feeling that things were resolved in a haphazard way or set aside out of necessity towards the ending. The first half hinted at something grand and this vision wasn't executed effectively by the end.
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1.0 out of 5 stars SO, WHAT'S THE STORY? REALLY?, May 24 2012
By 
little lady blue - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
I have no idea what this book is about. I admit that at page 99 I started to skip the everlastingly long, never ending passages. I was hoping for a story, which is the reason I read a book, I love a good story, and unfortunately none emerged.
Knowing nothing about the country in which the book is set I have gathered from the book that (a) the people believe steadfastly in myth, superstition & fairy tales; & (b) the people are surly & bad tempered.
This may mean nothing in the scheme of things, but Natalia's father is never mentioned. Who & where is he?
It is clear that the author, young as she is, has a vivid imagination. I hope she will put it to good use in another book that makes sense; one with a story would be nice.
I don't enjoy reading 338 pages of mumbo-jumbo.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Critics are Right!, March 21 2012
This is the sort of novel that stays with you after you finish reading it. Then you begin to think about its details, stories, the legend it weaves, the unusual perspective that it provides about war and people caught up around it. Since I have never read The Jungle Book, I am going to read it next, in order to see if I understand Grandfather any better. I love the book because its perspective and landscape is very non North American.
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The Tiger's Wife: A Novel
The Tiger's Wife: A Novel by Téa Obreht  (Audio CD - March 8 2011)
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