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The Tiger's Wife

A Novel
Obreht, Téa (Book - 2011 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Tiger's Wife
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Remembering childhood stories her grandfather once told her, young physician Natalia becomes convinced that he spent his last days searching for "the deathless man," a vagabond who claimed to be immortal. As Natalia struggles to understand why her grandfather, a deeply rational man would go on such a farfetched journey, she stumbles across a clue that leads her to the extraordinary story of the tiger's wife.
Authors: Obreht, Téa
Title: The tiger's wife
a novel
Publisher: New York : Random House, c2011
Edition: 1st ed
Characteristics: 337 p. ;,22 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Téa Obreht
Summary: Remembering childhood stories her grandfather once told her, young physician Natalia becomes convinced that he spent his last days searching for "the deathless man," a vagabond who claimed to be immortal. As Natalia struggles to understand why her grandfather, a deeply rational man would go on such a farfetched journey, she stumbles across a clue that leads her to the extraordinary story of the tiger's wife.
ISBN: 9780385343831
0385343833
Branch Call Number: FICTION OBREHT 2011
Subject Headings: Women physicians Fiction Orphanages Fiction Grandparent and child Fiction Family secrets Fiction Balkan Peninsula Fiction
Topical Term: Women physicians
Orphanages
Grandparent and child
Family secrets
LCCN: 2010009612
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Library Staff

Struggling to understand why her beloved grandfather left his family to die alone in a field hospital far from home, a young doctor in a war-torn Balkan country takes over her grandfather's search for a mythical ageless vagabond while referring to a worn copy of Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle... Read More »

Remembering childhood stories her grandfather once told her, young physician Natalia becomes convinced that he spent his last days searching for "the deathless man," a vagabond who claimed to be immortal. As Natalia struggles to understand why her grandfather, a deeply rational man woul... Read More »

Complex, with stories within stories, shifting between fable and the aftermath of all-too-real modern war.

Struggling to understand why her beloved grandfather left his family to die alone in a field hospital far from home, a young doctor in a war-torn Balkan country takes over her grandfather's search for a mythical ageless vagabond while referring to a worn copy of Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle... Read More »

Struggling to understand why her beloved grandfather left his family to die alone in a field hospital far from home, a young doctor in a war-torn Balkan country takes over her grandfather's search for a mythical ageless vagabond while referring to a worn copy of Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle... Read More »


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Jul 09, 2014
  • sddepaul rated this: 1.5 stars out of 5.

I wanted to stop reading around page 100, but read the reviews and made it through this book which had its moments...but it never really came together for me.

Jul 09, 2014
  • MsNavillus rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

The integration of the parallel story-lines is not seamless, but I found this to be a compelling and enjoyable read. This book made me want to learn more about the history of this part of the world. I was much more intrigued by the stories from the past than the present-day narrative, though I can see that each is essential to the completeness of the book.

Feb 13, 2014
  • PRMorris rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

This was one of the Blind Date with a Book books. I thought the Grandfather's stories were more interesting than the modern day stories and the ending was weak. I have a feeling that I don't know enough about Balkan history or mythology to enjoy this book fully.

Jan 11, 2014
  • JackieFC13 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

My friend Caroline picked this book to kick off our book club this year. I have always wanted to read it, saw it in all the major book stores, on all the big lists of the books you must read and its just a neat cover. It took me a little while to get into the book as I really didn't understand what it was about but what hooked me was her writing. Her imagery and writing style is just beautiful. I will definitely be reading another one of her books based just on that.

My favorite parts of the book were the stories of The Deathless Man. Throughout the book you learn about her grandfather, his childhood, his life and his experiences through the stories that he told her as she was growing up. It was very touching to learn how much she loved her grandfather and what an impact he had on her life.

What bothered me most about this book was that the tiger had no point, there was no reason for the tiger or the tiger's wife other than they had never seen a tiger before in her grandfather's village. This was a dark book and at some points violent. It was extremely interesting to read, I enjoyed it and will recommend it to others.

Oct 08, 2013
  • jshaddy rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I really enjoyed being in the middle of this story, all the richness from the different time points and reading the grandfather's tales, I also liked the author's writing style and how things unfolded, but for me there wasn't the depth of meaning that other people seemed to find in this book.

Aug 07, 2013
  • artemishi rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is one of those rare modern books that reads like classic literature. The characters are diverse, varied, and realistic, and the story moves through time with a fluidity that sometimes outpaced my comprehension. I can see why this won awards.

The main character's journey is double-sided: she's putting together the story of her grandfather, what he's told her and what she finds out after traveling to his hometown; she's also finding a piece of magic in herself. And along the way, each character contributes something to your understanding of the world.

I loved that Tea Obreht made even the most hateful characters redeemable in some small way. The narrator, and we readers, begin the book skeptical of the inherent magic of folklore that drives the story, but by the end it's become part of the tapestry of life. This is the kind of book that makes me want to be a part of it.

I recommend this book for fans of magical realism (like Sarah Addison Allen books), fans of mirrored physical and internal journeys, fans of female protagonists, and anyone curious about the lives of villagers in the Balkans.

Jun 09, 2013
  • WVMLBookClubTitles rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Remembering childhood stories her grandfather once told her, young physician Natalia becomes convinced that her grandfather spent his last days searching for "the deathless man," a vagabond who claimed to be immortal. As Natalia struggles to understand why her grandfather, a deeply rational man, would go on such a farfetched journey, she stumbles across a clue that leads her to the extraordinary story of the tiger's wife. Winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction.

Mar 18, 2013
  • JCLJenniferM rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I really loved this book, its complexities and layers, the writing, the setting, the characters. It is one of those books that just stays with you after you have finished it.

I waited a really long time to get this book so I thought it would be really good. It was terrible . Had no redeeming qualities. Ikept reading to the end because I thought there must be some fabulous ending but there wasn't.

Sep 26, 2012
  • mogie rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

This book didn't engage me until mid way through. I found myself skimming it to get it over with. I agree with sddepaul below. It didn't come together.

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May 07, 2011
  • DesPlainesReaders rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Amid the war-scarred landscape of a fictionalized Balkan country, a young doctor, Natalia, faces superstition and secrecy on a humanitarian trip to an orphanage across the border. At the same time, she searches for the truth of her grandfather's mysterious final days and his solitary death in a small country village. In Eastern Orthodox tradition, we learn, “the forty days of the soul begin on the morning after death.” During that time, it will “make its way to the places of its past.” Natalia must return home with her grandfather's personal effects before those forty days pass so that his soul can find its way. Des Plaines Readers' Services/Ms_Fitz

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Nov 05, 2011
  • ndp21f rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

It took him a long time to ask, “Been around children much?” He wasn’t looking at me, so he didn’t see me shrug. After a while, I shrugged again, tapped my book with a pencil. Eventually, I asked: “Why?” He sat up, pushed his chair away from the table and rubbed his knees. “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 living—in hope. They don’t know what’s happening, so they expect nothing, they don’t ask you to hold their hand—but you end up needing them to hold yours. With children, you’re on your own. Do you understand?

May 07, 2011
  • DesPlainesReaders rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

“These stories run like secret rivers through all the other stories”

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Version pocillo (pocillo) Last updated 2014/08/29 09:56