I had a chance to meet and talk to Emily Culliton this past summer during a busy…
Three Guys One Book
The Amazing Amy books are a wonderful piece of skywriting on Flynn’s part, and these little moments blow in and out of the book. The years leading up to the disappearance which is the central theme of this novel are so precisely woven together that I can only imagine how wonderfully fantastically intricate Flynn’s flowchart on her office wall must have been.
This review is a repost of DH’s original three posts, from October and November 2010.
The Tiger’s Wife weaves back and forth over many decades in war-torn, former Yugoslavia. And I say “war-torn” as if it were part of the name of Yugoslavia, like you would say “New York”. This is not an area of the world that most Americans know much about.
What struck me as most honest and sincere was the fact that these people were hungry, whether they’re eating each other, dried candle wax or boiled bark, there is an underlying slow death that floats like a cool mist around every corner. You never knew when the enemy was going to turn his gun on you, say for instance, if they found out if you could read or not. I’m trying not to spoil this novel for you. There are tons of memorable moments from a house in the woods that’s filled with young girls (use your imagination) to a small hunters lodge that gets truly grizzly when it’s filled with too many people. Then there is Lev and Kolya who are both funny and charming, shy and gregarious.
All of this may seem like surface paint, and nothing more than a façade but it’s not. I’m interested to hear what you both thought about the structure of this book, not only from these four/five lives we follow for five hundred pages but the riveting historical facts that Frey weaves into the tapestry of this fine novel. I was stunned by the little thumbnail sketches that really amounted to nothing more than Frey showcasing his talents and made up for the wanderings that other writers tend to do within a character. With these people who come and go he manages to fill out his primary characters with throw away people as background which really only take up a few pages every so often.