Kristin Walcott Figueroa's Reviews > One Day as a Tiger

One Day as a Tiger by Alan Taylor
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Mar 03, 12

Read from February 18 to March 02, 2012

One Day as a Tiger by Alan Taylor

This work of historical fiction is infused with rich details and mystic elements. I am not very familiar with India’s struggle for independence, so I cannot speak to the historical accuracy of this novel, but I found the events and activities described here very believable. They make for an interesting back-drop and vehicle for propelling the characters along.

Rama…Jason…India…Britain…Delhi…Berhampur…legend…history…Gods…men…tiger…sheep…The yin and the yang. Rama and Jason are the two central characters. They are representative of the two cultures and yet each is influenced by the other. This mirrors the political climate of India during this time period as it is represented in this book. The differences, prejudices, alliances, and friendships between the English and Indian were all represented through a multitude of characters.

Through his writing, the author is able to draw the reader into this time period and setting. As I was reading, I could feel and smell the differences as we traveled throughout India—especially when Jason’s family moved from Coonoor to Delhi. When Jason’s family arrived in Delhi, I felt assaulted by the stench and filth as the author described the city. And his description of the riots and violence in Delhi made me feel incredibly sad and angry.

I enjoyed the legends and the mystical aspect of the story. I was intrigued by Rama. The extraordinary circumstances of Rama’s birth and his inherited gifts promised an intriguing tale. But as the story continued, I questioned who and what he really was. My feelings toward this character ran from wonder to distrust and back again.

About half way through the book I thought I had figured out how it would unfold. I was not disappointed by this thought; it was not at all that it felt predictable. I felt the author was dropping bread crumbs, and I was happy to follow them. At first the story’s focus would alternate between Jason and Rama. But at some point the focus became more about Jason than Rama. About three-quarters of the way into the story, it felt a bit vague. Time had to pass, and the focus stayed on Jason but not much was happening. I found myself wondering what was going on with Rama, but the author did not really return to his story as it related to him—only in how he related to Jason. In the end, I was both surprised and not surprised at the outcome of the story. I think the author accomplished a great feat by pulling this off.

This was not one of those books that I took with me everywhere in hopes of having a spare moment to read it, but I did find myself thinking about the characters and the story even when I was not actively engaged in reading it. I found it to be a very good read and would definitely recommend it.
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02/24/2012 "I am 57% done."
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