Winner of the Orange Prize.
A tiger escapes from a zoo, padding through the ruined streets and onwards, to a ridge above the Balkan village of Galina. His visits hold the villagers in a terrified thrall. But for one boy, the tiger is a thing of magic - Shere Khan awoken from The Jungle Book. Natalia is the granddaughter of that boy. Now a doctor, she is visiting orphanages after another war has devastated the Balkans. On this journey, she receives word of her beloved grandfather's death, far from their home, in circumstances shrouded in mystery. From fragments of stories her grandfather told her as a child, Natalia realises he may have died searching for 'the deathless man', a vagabond who was said to be immortal.
Struggling to understand why a man of science would undertake such a quest, she stumbles upon a clue that will lead her to a tattered copy of The Jungle Book, and then to the extraordinary story of the tiger's wife.
©2011 Tea Obreht (P)2011 Orion Publishing Group Limited
I found the female narrator’s reading irritating, the way she emphasises the last word of each sentence whether appropriate or not. After a few paragraphs it was driving me up the wall. I gave up and read the book instead. It's a good story.
"Good book - terrible narrator!!"
Just like Christine above, I've been driven up the wall by the dreadful narration of this book- it's not until you listen to someone like this narrator that you realise how important it is to be able to 'tune in'. She has a repetitive sing-song lilt in her voice, which bears no relation to the story. Goodness knows how she ever got this job and I will AVOID ANY BOOK NARRATED BY HER IN THE FUTURE!! I persevered and got to about 1/3 of the way through, very interesting story, but could stand no more, I was just about at screaming point and found myself trying to repeat the sentences myself, how they could/should have been read. I'll read it on my kindle, so that was a waste of money!!
"Don't let the comments on performance stop you"
Although, the reading is not the strongest, it would be a big mistake to miss out on this wonderful book.
I had heard good reports from friends about The Tiger's wife and so decided to download it despite the ratings. I can honestly say that it is nothing short of a modern masterpiece, and now sits very high on my list of favourites.
The story is at once personal and epic in its scope, telling the story of great events through the inner life of a family, and through their eyes, the life of a country in political upheaval. The story flows seamlessly between past and present while all the time moving between the real and the fantastic so artfully that you are never quite sure if what is being describes is a bizarre reality or softly spoken fantasy.
I could go on and on about the qualities of The Tiger's wife and the skill of Tea Obreht, but I am sure there are critics who would analyse it better. My main point is that you should DEFIANTLY give it a go. If you preserve you will not be disapointed.
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