Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Book Review: The Tiger's Wife

To say that The Tiger's Wife is hot right now would be an understatement.  It seems like everywhere I turn, someone is heaping more praise on it.  Every bookstore I walk into has copies in their "Staff Picks" or "Bestsellers" section.  Every other person on the bus has a copy in their hands. This book is so hot it might as well  have been forged in the fires of Mount Doom.

Since everybody and their mother (mine included!) has been reading this book, it's kinda unlikely, despite my remarkable insight, that I'll add much to the discussion with a standard review.  Plus, it seems stupid to try and say meaningful things about a book that has already had lots of powerful, positive endorsements.

Instead I'm gonna try something new here and express my love for this book in song...or songs (a couple of really cheesy ones at that) that I feel capture the most impressive aspects of this book.

HUNGRY EYES by Eric Carmen: 

If there was ever a song that captures the feeling of pure anticipation it is Hungry Eyes.  Sure, the song is about anticipating sex but for my purposes, lets just discuss the general idea of anticipation.  Going into The Tiger's Wife I had a remarkably high level of anticipation. A hard thing to avoid given all the positive hype and praise surrounding this book. That said, it didn't take too many pages of reading to figure out that The Tiger's Wife is the real deal. It is a rare and special thing when expectations are so thoroughly met, yet, like the song, that anticipation was met full on and all the promise was fulfilled. An impressive feat.

NO GUTS NO GLORY by Bolt Thrower:

It takes a lot of guts to write anything. Shit, I still feel shy about pushing the publish button on my blog posts at times, but writing a novel seems like a whole 'nother level to me.  You are basically giving the world a piece of yourself, and I'm incredibly grateful Obreht decided to share. The Tiger's Wife was a novel that approached and engaged all my senses, astounded me with it's beautiful prose, and ensorcelled me with its weaving of multiple narratives.  Obreht really came out of the gates strong here, and made an impressive push for greatness. Like the epic Bolt Thrower lyrics, Obreht seemed to get strength from the inside, and achieved glory.


This song sorta ties into the whole anticipation/fulfillment bit, but I think this Hall and Oates hit is not only about anticipation, but also about how the experience of the anticipation and follow-through process leaves a person changed.  (Yeah, I might be grasping at straws to find deeper meaning in a soft rock song, but it's my blog damn it and I'm allowed to do that kind of shit.)  Getting back to The Tiger's Wife, the point I'm trying to make is that this is a book that left me changed after reading it.  It fueled my love for reading, rekindled my faith in young, active writers, and made me appreciate the beauty that can be found in the written word.  I got the feeling like I was holding a little treasure in my hands each time I opened the book to read more pages.  It's rare that I deliberately slow down my reading so a book won't end, but this was one of those times.

Plus the book was special enough to make me listen to Hall and Oates AND songs form the Dirty Dancing soundtrack.  Impressive.

Grade: A+


Anonymous said...

What a great and creative post! "It's rare that I deliberately slow down my reading so a book won't end, but this was one of those times." - when those moments happen, you know you're holding and experiencing a true gem. This is a book I definitely want to read and hopefully Hall & Oates won't be stuck in my head the whole time!

Ryan said...


Yeah, I guess I should have apologized in the post for anyone who inadvertently gets bad music in their head because of this post. Oh well, I've had Hungry Eyes in my head all day, we can all suffer together.

I'm glad you like the review format.

I hope you enjoy the book.

Bryce L. said...

Nice work, love the post. I'll have to remember that one. Nothing but good has been said about this book.

Ryan said...

Great post!

Ryan said...

Bryce, This one is definitely worth checking out. I hope you enjoy it.

Ryan said...

Hey Ryan, thanks! Are you excited for the NEW Dark Tower book?

Ryan said...

Yeah kind of in two minds about it right now. Happy I'm going back to mid-world but worried he's going to ..... well put politely mess it up! I guess we just got to have faith in Sai King.

Ryan said...

Indeed. The synopsis sounds pretty cool, a story within a story within a story...Plus Oy! So, I'm excited. I'll be snagging this one in hardcover.