The Tiger's Wife

T%C3%A9a Obreht, read by Susan Duerden and Robin Sachs. Random House Audio, unabridged, nine CDs, 11.5 hrs., $40 ISBN 978-0-307-87700-0
Obreht, named last year as one of the New Yorker's 20 novelists to watch under the age of 40, makes her debut with this magical-realist evocation of a country in wartime. The author, herself an immigrant to the U.S. from the former Yugoslavia, transforms a young woman's memories of her grandfather's stories into a kaleidoscopic portrait of her former country's traumatic history. The book is read in tag-team fashion by Susan Duerden and Robin Sachs. Sachs sounds gravelly, grouchy, and well-pickled in various alcoholic libations; Duerden is British, plummy, arch, and delicate in her intonations, reverberating into near-Cockney working-class tone. The unlikely combination is surprisingly pleasing, nicely matching the contrast between Obreht's elaborate storytelling conceit and its grubby, homely details. A Random hardcover. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 05/02/2011
Release date: 03/01/2011
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Hardcover - 337 pages - 978-0-385-34383-1
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