Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Tiger's Wife

The Book: The Tiger's Wife

The Author: Tea Obreht

The Dealio: This is a story ostensibly about one little child- and her grandfather. However, what this actually is, is a collection of short stories, strung like pearls in an Ethiop's ear, lucient and beckoning, scrumptious in description and spun as finely as the very highest grade silk. But. Still, short stories. The author- who is 25 years old. At twenty five, she is as poetic and lyrical a composer as any I have encountered, and spins a web of sheerest gossamer. Then, she moves on to another time, another starring character and another world. Either you buy into the conceit, or you do not. I wantedwantedwanted in desperately. But, for me, this did not happen. I got one-third through the book before I lost patience and...well, I moved on.

The Grading Session: 3.981 pengies out of 5. For sheer lusciousness, you can not beat the prose in this story. But, for me, this would have been better served as poetry. I -at my advanced age- refuse to commit more than 200 pages, less my age, to any book. Unfortunately, this one did not meet my curmudgeonly standards. If you like short stories, and adore delicious turns of phrase- this, certainly, is the book for you. For all others, maybe something with a longer string may be more what you desire.

Lessons Learned: Beautiful phrasing and elegantly descriptive flights of fancy may carry the day for many. Maybe even the majority. But for the rest of us, let us have something into which we can sink our teeth, our energies and our devotion. If you are here for 25 pages, then- POOF!- evaporating into thin air...well, I pass. Catch you the next time around. Or not. Depends.

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