I have to say that I felt a bit disappointed in this book. I was on the fence about weather or not I wanted to read it, but there were some aspects wh...moreI have to say that I felt a bit disappointed in this book. I was on the fence about weather or not I wanted to read it, but there were some aspects which intrigued me about it, and I saw it was considered Magic Realism which I generally quite enjoy.
But reading the story I felt that it was a bit mediocre. The magical part of it did not go quite far enough, and came off as being very muted, and the story itself was not strong enough on its own accord. I feel as if in a way the book did not push the envelop far enough, and that nether the realistic elements of the story nor more fantastical parts were strong enough. It felt like the author did not really fully commit to the story but held back.
I enjoyed the parts of the story which dealt with the Tiger and the Tiger's wife the most, and I loved the character of Darisa. In a way I feel as if the book would have been stronger if it focused more upon telling the story of the village where her grandfather grew up, instead of revealing it through flashbacks.
Part of the problem I have is that I feel as if the narrator did not really do anything for the story. Her own little story didn't seem to go anywhere and it seemed that her purpose was only to tell her grandfather's story. Though parts about the Deathless man were interesting.
I had trouble with the narrative voice, as at times it seemed a bit awkward, and the way the flashbacks were presented it was difficult to keep track as to what events were happening when. (less)
The title of the book is what originally caught my eye, and I fear that interest within the story ended with the title too. When it first began I bore...moreThe title of the book is what originally caught my eye, and I fear that interest within the story ended with the title too. When it first began I bore some reminiscence to Water For Elephants in the narration style. The story is told by an old man looking back upon his life and one summer during his childhood, and flashes back and forth between the past and present, but I fear that Out Stealing Horses did not have the same gripping power that I found in Water For Elephants.
Nothing within this story really caught my interest and engaged me in a way to make me really care about what was happening to these characters. I had trouble concentrating throughout most of the book and found my mind wondered frequently in the reading, it did not compel to want to turn the next page. There was something about it that just felt flat with only occasional rare moments that were of some interest, and there was some nice prose work.
But I found several issues throughout the story and the way in which it was told and formed. One of the biggest issues I had with the story and perhaps one of the factors that prevented me from becoming truly engaged within the story was that everyone was so disjointed, between the flashes of both past and present there was no true sense of connectivity, nor was there any frame of reference in time. The memories came off as seeming random, and it was difficult to follow when the various different episodes happened in relation to each other.
The story also seemed to be filled with loose ends that were never tied in to each other, but just left out dangling. In the beginning of the story a friend of the narrators Jon is introduced, and the author gives the impression that this character is going to be of some significance and importance to the story, but after the early chapters in the book he all but disappears from the story. There are other moments of things or characters which are presented as if they are going to have some importance and yet never given any true significance as the story progresses.
The end of the story I found to be rather anti-climatic and another what appeared to be just a completely random memory disconnected from the rest of the story, and came off as a bit of an odd scene, as the narrator of the story seems almost have been turned into a completely different person in his attitude and personality.
There were many things throughout the story that were left murky and nothing really came together in a cohesive way. (less)
I thought that the concept of this book was rather intriguing and I loved the idea of it, and had been looking forward to reading it for some time, bu...moreI thought that the concept of this book was rather intriguing and I loved the idea of it, and had been looking forward to reading it for some time, but I found the book itself to be disappointing and did not live up to my expectations. I have to admit I find I am not a fan of Rhy's writing style, this is my second book of hers, the first being "Good Morning Midnight" and I find her way of writing often difficult to follow and it fails to really draw me into the story.
Her presentation of the character of Bertha I also felt to be lacking here. I did not feel she actually really flushed out the character that much or gave her much substance, and thus by the end of the book I do not feel that any more light was shined upon her character than in Jane Eyre.
In some ways this book reminded me of Winesburg, Ohio. It provides a picture of the life in a small rural town by creating these portraits of a variet...moreIn some ways this book reminded me of Winesburg, Ohio. It provides a picture of the life in a small rural town by creating these portraits of a variety of different characters in order to create a fuller picture of what life was like. In a way it is kind of like putting together a puzzle where you have all these little pieces that together make the whole picture.
While the lives of some of the characters more directly intertwining with others, some are more subtle, and each of the stories could be read individually.
It is a very moving story about those who are lost seeking some companionship and understanding in their lives, and some of the rather unlikely and unexpected bonds which may be formed.
The only difficulty I had with this book is that one of the storylines was left rather vague, and perhaps the author intended it that way but throughout the reading I kept waiting for some more answerers and to gain some greater understanding upon the situation, but it never was made very clear.
Like life this book has no true ending, it does not wrap things up in a tidy little bow but you can imagine the lives of the characters continuing on beyond the pages. (less)