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Waar de tijgers thuis zijn

by
3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  348 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
Een journalist in Brazilië ontdekt een manuscript met de levensbeschrijving van de merkwaardige 17e-eeuwse jezuïet en sinoloog Athanasius Kircher.
Paperback, 662 pages
Published 2010 by Ailantus (first published 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jonfaith
Mar 10, 2013 Jonfaith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Where does one begin? The sweeping scale of Where Tigers Are At Home is crushing to behold. But wait, I don't want to lose my focus. The experience was mine, why this was a victory for me, jon faith. I haven't felt this geyser of love for a book in a while. It wasn't a keen appreciation or anything sophisticated or technical. It simply was a joy, the way that Mason and Dixon and Three Trapped Tigers glowed in my 20s. I've noticed that I am drawn to the reviews of books which I love or harbor a c ...more
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
You can put your snob in a drawer for this one. Its eight hundred pages and its encyclopedic self are more in line with Umberto Eco or Neal Stephenson than its lovely title, Where Tigers are at Home (taken from Goethe), would lead one to suspect. I was looking for something more in colleagueship with a Bolaño or a DeLillo, even if a Gaddis or Vollmann were too much to ask.

Goethe is of course name checked. So too is Eco. And Borges makes a natural appearance in a novel set in Brazil. Flaubert is
...more
Didier Vanoverbeke
This was my first run-in with Blas de Roblès, after having read many a positive critique of the book. I am given to understand that this man has been a writer since the early '80s, so I have no earthly clue how this novel compares to his earlier work.

Tigers, in essence, links two storylines and frames them next to each other along 32 chapters and a very satisfying epilogue. On the one hand, we are presented with the story of Athanasius Kircher, a German jesuit polymath / con man, depending on yo
...more
Liviu
an interesting book; not sure when will finish but it is quite compelling so far; US publication next year, UK or Romanian editions available now

Where Tigers Are at Home by JM Blas de Robles - this is a book that deserves all the accolades and prizes it got as it will be hard to find a better book next year when it is published in the US; on the other hand it is not really sff, though its collection of oddities and strangeness are more sffnal than many genre books, while its structure will not a
...more
Edith
Jan 06, 2009 Edith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
J'ai fini la lecture juste avant de me coucher hier et je suis encore en train de digérer la fin.
C'est excellent. J'adore les romans à plusieurs voix. Des voix uniques au début et qui en viennent à faire une chorale. Et le refrain étant Athanase Kircher.
On sent la jungle à travers le livre. J'avais vraiment l'impression d'y être. (Fallait le faire quand même quand je lisais ça avec un -20C dehors.)
Superbe couverture. Imprimé avec deux polices de caractères peu communes. C'est vraiment un bel ob
...more
Jana
Jan 02, 2017 Jana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pozoruhodný literární zážitek, který vyžaduje trpělivého čtenáře se sklony k masochismu :D Jeden z recenzentů přirovnává styl tohoto díla k románům Umberta Eca. Patrně má pravdu, také to bylo místy intelektuálně poměrně náročné a jsem přesvědčena, že mi spousta vtipů, hříček a odkazů určitě unikla :(
Stratos
Nov 21, 2016 Stratos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Η απόλαυση της ανάγνωσης!
Tudor Ciocarlie
Apr 02, 2013 Tudor Ciocarlie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book as large and fascinating as life itself.
Ellen
Feb 24, 2013 Ellen rated it really liked it
Shelves: recensies
Een waanzinnig leesfeest. Anders kan ik dit boek niet omschrijven. Waar de tijgers thuis zijn neemt je mee naar het hedendaagse Brazilië. Naar het langs de kust gelegen Alcântara, mooi van vergane glorie, naar Fortaleza met zijn stranden, nachtclubs en sloppenwijken en naar het regenwoud van Mato Grasso. En tussendoor neemt een Jezuïtische pater je aan de hand mee op een tijdreis door het Duitsland en Italië van de 16de en 17de eeuw.

In Alcântara woont Eléazard von Wogau, sinds een half jaar ges
...more
Paul Fulcher
May 18, 2014 Paul Fulcher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
I came to this book as several respected bloggers (including one of the judges) highlighted it as the most glaring omission from the Best Translated Book Award 2014, where it didn't even make the long-list. Having read it, I share their surprise - it's certainly deserves a place as one of the top translated books published last year.

When Tigers Are At Home is centered around the figure of Athanasius Kircher, a real-life 17th century scholar.

One part set in the (near) present say tells the stor
...more
Paul Lunger
Jean-Marie Blas de Robles's "Where Tigers Are at Home" is a complicated epic novel that if you can follow is actually worth the read. The story which is primarily set in Brazil is a story within 2 or 3 beginning with the biography of 17th century Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher whose story is the beginning of each individual chapter. From there, though, we delve into the real story that belonging to the family of Eleazard von Wogau as he writes the novel & the travels of his ex-wife & ...more
Amanda
Feb 26, 2014 Amanda rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I can't remember the last time I was this happy to finish a book. I really did not enjoy this one. Had I not been the one who nominated it for a group read I would have DNF'd it way back at the first rape scene. Not only did I not enjoy reading this book I found very little to discuss. There are 6 story lines that all start out together and very, I mean very, slowly come together and the end feels like a big rush to connect everything. I only really found one of the story lines interesting and i ...more
Christophe Jung
Un peu lassant. La vie d'Anathase Kircher sert de liant à toute l'affaire, une sorte de prétexte érudit, très richement documenté et raconté, mais sans que cela fasse vraiment ciment avec toutes les autres histoires parallèles du roman. On en vient très vite à préférer l'une ou l'autre de ces histoires croisées, et à sauter des pages pour connaitre la suite de l'histoire que l'on a choisie comme étant la meilleure. La sauce ne prend pas vraiment et au final, on s'ennuie.
Carolyn
Aug 10, 2016 Carolyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just finished this tome. In here to see what others thought of it. I liked it, but the message is rather bleak, as far as our endeavors go...
Eltine
Oct 18, 2010 Eltine rated it did not like it
This book is translated in from French into English:

Jean-Marie Blas de Roblès
Where Tigers Feel at Home
(Là où les tigres sont chez eux)
Mighty_k24
Jun 06, 2012 Mighty_k24 rated it really liked it
In 't kort:
Eléazard von Wogau woont in Alcàntara, Brazilië, en is er correspondent voor een Franse krant. Ondertussen werkt hij aan een biografie van Athanasius Kircher, een erudiet jezuïet uit de 17de eeuw, waarbij hij diens leven beschrijft door de ogen van zijn leerling Caspar Schott. Elaine, Eléazards ex-vrouw, is paleontologe, en vertrekt op expeditie met enkele vakgenoten naar de Amazone-jungle. Moéma, hun dochter, studeert in Fortaleza, maar slaat liever aan het feesten dan in haar studi
...more
L.E. Smith
Jun 29, 2014 L.E. Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

All the characters in this book have agendas beyond the scope of the ordinary. They over-reach. That’s why the immersion in Renaissance Man Anthanasius Kircher’s seemingly absurd view that all may be understood is both sensible and grounding. (“A rock would be God if it know it were,” observes the character Eleazard.)

In Kircher’s time, science and art and religion were the same. In our time, of the three, art is useless but somehow also necessary. So why does writing novels matter? (something I
...more
Sam
Oct 15, 2013 Sam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining enough book, with tales of adventure, death, erudition and sex that take place in modern-day Brazil. The stories are interspersed with entries from what appears to be an old biography of a Jesuit priest.

Normally I go in for the Borges/Eco type of thing but I have to admit in this case it didn't fully click for me. Maybe I just missed something or didn't fully appreciate the end. While some absurdity is par for the course, I feel that the last-minute attempt to tie all the ends toget
...more
Claudia Taller
Earl Pike wrote in the Plain Dealer about Where Tigers Are At Home by Jean-Marie Blas de Robles that “the novel begins as Heidegger the Parrot garbles Holderlin the poet, as perhaps the real Heidegger the Philosopher garbles Holderlin the poet, and they are all misspeaking the nature of Humanness and the Transcendent.” Interesting. And so I had to get the book for myself. Pike goes on to call it “a semiotic feast, a fabulist fantasia of people, stories, myths, symbols, artifacts, cultures and id ...more
Shawn
Sep 11, 2013 Shawn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A big convoluted book which was entertaining but at the end I didn't feel like it made a cohesive whole.
I don't think that this is the best new book I read this year. I think my biggest problem is that some of the parts, while fine in themselves don't seem to add as much to the whole.
Like Roetgen's trip out fishing, it adds some adventure but as the novel progresses Roetgen doesn't even turn out to be an important character and the section ends up being a bit of a riff that takes us away from
...more
Jo Celis
Dec 03, 2010 Jo Celis rated it did not like it
Maakte zijn reputatie op basis van de vaak juichende kritieken absoluut niet waar. Geen exoticsch cliché wordt de leze bespaard, houten personages praten houten dialogen, oeverloos gedram, een boodschap die er in dikke klodders opgesmeerd ligt en volgepropt met onverwerkte resultaten van - toegegeven soms interessant opzoekingswerk.
Maar elke schrijver die bladzijden volstouwt dankzij stompzinnige strucutren als:
-- "En vertelt u eens over uw reis naar China eerwaarde?" - 10 pagina's uiteenzetting
...more
Jean-Paul Adriaansen
If you're in for a literary feast, buy this book!

So many stories, so many characters, so many subjects, so many themes ...
Poverty, religion, superstition, abuse of power, greedy politicians, survival, the yearning for knowledge, historical tidbits, Brazil in the 80s, Germany and Italy in the 17th century, love, sex, and crime, the deepness of the human soul, the secrets of the Matto Grosso, and so much more ...
I'm still digesting the end which is surprising, stunning and left me with questions
...more
Peter
Mar 23, 2013 Peter rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must be the simple dolt that many Europeans consider American to be. This guy ain't no Eco. I do like, from time to time, read European stuff not originally written in English. While the author makes much of the tragedy of Brazil, he, like many Europeans, engage in not "magical realism" but rather magical thinking. I think it would be fun, for once, to see a Franco-phone or one who speaks the languages of the Iberian peninsula to think, just a bit of how those countries in what we now call the ...more
Mary Ann
May 12, 2016 Mary Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is a lot to not like about this book, but I really enjoyed it for it uniqueness and similarity to another multi-layered and somewhat confusing novel "Cold Atlas". Cons- one very awful rape and murder scene; the story thread about the erudite priest became annoying to the point that I skipped over most of that; and it ended unsatisfacturly (sic) for ALL the characters.

Still it was beautifully written and most of the story lines were very interesting! I'm glad I got the chance to pluck this
...more
Rachel
Dec 13, 2016 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are aspects of this book I loved and aspects I found exceedingly frustrating.
Three stories ultimately asking what is truth and what is truth to each of us.
Part of the novel is a manuscript written by Athanasius Kircher who is a historical Jesuit scholar in the mid 1600s, the other stories are in the present day but the main one is about Kircher. To me that was the least interesting story of the three. I am glad I read it and completed it- it is quite long but again found it interesting and
...more
Emily
Aug 29, 2014 Emily rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Six, not two or even three! This supposedly magnificent book has six stories and a cast of hundreds that come together at the end. Because readers cannot see the relationship between the stories, the average reader, who in addition to reading must live a life, will be disoriented and discouraged. In my desire to determine if it was worthwhile to plod ahead, I read a few reviews and discovered that the book contains very graphic violence and rape. That tipped the balance because what I read becom ...more
Monica
Jul 17, 2015 Monica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not really sure what was the purpose of this book, except making you aware of Athanasius Kircher, one of the most complex scientists of 17th century and also a name less known, though his work and his studies are remarkable. My four stars go for the incredible pleasure and easiness with which the author delivers hundreds of remarkably well written pages. Besides this, we have lots of fascinating characters somehow put together without much of a plot.
Jonathan yates
May 21, 2013 Jonathan yates rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Generally i am a pretty easy reviewer, but this book got under my skin. It is a trashy novel, which is totally ok and wonderful, its a sexy adventure story, but every other page there is some absolutely unfounded reference to a piece of literature or art or philosophy which is trying to make this trashy kinda great thing a bit classier and really it just makes it unreadable and terrible instead. Its just too contrived.
Bonnie
Mar 07, 2015 Bonnie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know what to say about this book. I will remember it for a long time. Does that make it good? There were parts that were very, very engrossing and long boring parts. It felt like it was written by a couple different people. Every time I was excited to see what happened, the next chapter switched to a different time and place. So frustrating and yet a lot to think about. And I could not tell you where the title came from. No clue.
Anca
800 long pages showing different sides of Brazil but also the life and work of Athanasius Kircher - a German 'Leonardo da Vinci'. Half of the book is a recollection of the scholar's life and findings, which I found strange, since it has no real connection with the other characters in the book (except just one). It could be that I missed some hidden 'lesson', but I can't bear reading again those 800 pages to find it.
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Jean-Marie Blas de Roblès is a French writer, poet, philosopher and archaeologist. In 2008 he won the Prix Médicis for his novel "Là où les tigres sont chez eux".
Born in 1954 in Sidi Bel Abbes, he repatriated to France with his parents after the independence of Algeria, he spent his adolescence in Provence, in the Var. He then studied philosophy at the Sorbonne and history at the College de France
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“Nonsense. The man who gave him to me, a German friend, had tried to teach him a line by Hölderlin: 'Man's dwelling is poetic' or something like that, but it didn't work. The stupid bird insists on repeating that 'Man's swelling his pointed dick,' and there's no way of making him correct it." [bird's name is 'Heidegger']” 0 likes
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