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Old 02 December 2011, 02:32 AM
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Join Date: 01 August 2005
Location: Fairfield, CT
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A group of teachers and librarians recently started a book club at work - we just finished our first selection, The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht. It's a pretty remarkable first work from a twenty-something author. It's vaguely reminiscent of both Kite Runner (in that it reflects the impact of war on an area through the experiences of a few related individuals) and some of John Irving's work (in that it's pretty seriously weird in places, and keeps introducing a whole host of characters to keep track of). Like much of Neil Gaiman's work, the nature and evolution of myth is a strong presence. Structurally, the novel resembles nothing so much as Pulp Fiction - there's essentially a framing story at the beginning and end of the book, and the rest of the book is tracing the various threads to explain what happens to all the tangentially involved characters, jumping willy-nilly between timelines. It also has some resonance with the film Big Fish, in that the protagonist is in some ways chasing down the magical elements of her grandfather's stories, only to find more mundane and in some ways unsatisfactory explanations, but leaving the possibility of real magic open. It was definitely an enjoyable read, and I'm eager to see what Obreht produces next. Next up for us is The Unbroken by Lauren Hillenbrand, but we haven't started yet.
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