Moon Tiger

Moon Tiger

Book - 2015
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Penelope Lively's Booker Prize winning classic, Moon Tiger is a haunting story of loss and desire, published here as a Penguin Essential for the first time.

Claudia Hampton - beautiful, famous, independent, dying.

But she remains defiant to the last, telling her nurses that she will write a 'history of the world . . . and in the process, my own'. And it is her story from a childhood just after the First World War through the Second and beyond. But Claudia's life is entwined with others and she must allow those who knew her, loved her, the chance to speak, to put across their point of view. There is Gordon, brother and adversary; Jasper, her untrustworthy lover and father of Lisa, her cool conventional daughter; and then there is Tom, her one great love, found and lost in wartime Egypt.

'Leaves its traces in the air long after you've put it away' Anne Tyler

'A complex tapestry of great subtlety. Lively writes so well, savouring the words as she goes' Daily Telegraph

'Very clever- evocative, thought-provoking and hangs on the mind long after it is finished' Literary Review
Publisher: London :, Penguin Books,, 2015
Edition: Penguin essentials edition
Copyright Date: ©1987
ISBN: 9780241973684
0241973686
Branch Call Number: FIC Livel
Characteristics: 207 pages

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w
wyenotgo
Dec 28, 2018

Assigning a rating to this book is problematic for me; it's a brilliant piece of work, masterfully done and I can see why it won the Booker prize. Regrettably, I did not like it one bit.
Structurally, I'm reminded of those B&W films of the 1940s where the course of events over time is represented by a spiraling vortex with events, dates, headlines, people swirling downward. A flash of recognition, moments of memory. The dying Claudia drifts in and out of contact with the fading world around her, the successions of visitors to her bedside. It's of necessity a string of vignettes.
Which might have worked, as unorthodox as it was. But I found myself actively disliking three of the four main characters and from that there was no recovery: Supercilious, bitchy, condescending Claudia; Gordon, the arrogant prig, trumpeting his intellectual superiority at every opportunity; bovine, long-suffering Sylvia, the constant victim of the cruelty of her husband and sister-in-law. The courageous, down-to-earth Tom could not right the balance, even if he had lived.
I'm sure the book deserves better than three stars; I hope others appreciated it more than I did.

s
SRZ37
Jul 14, 2017

A lovely book. Claudia is a real person, an independent woman in an era when it was tough to be yourself. Not likable, but often lovable for her honesty. And I loved the shifting between first person and third person.

l
LELerner
Jun 10, 2017

Brilliant writing that captures the essence of time, memory, living, and death.

k
kathylou
Sep 21, 2016

This is clever and very well written. The characters are interesting but not quite believable and yes, quite self involved. It's certainly worth reading but as many have noted, not Lively's best work. I wasn't crazy about the storyline but her descriptions of certain situations were wonderful.

modboi5 Jun 24, 2015

Claudia is not an easy person to like. Penelope Lively's protagonist is a selfish, opinionated cold fish. Though she is beautiful and educated, there is nothing to recommend here. The writing is repetitious & uninspired, but the chapters devoted to her earlier episodes in the English countryside & in Cairo clearly resonate. One can't help thinking how much is autobiography & how much is pure fiction?

m
Minnetonka_Library
Feb 24, 2012

As she lays dying, an old woman remembers her life, her experiences as a war correspondent and as a writer of popular history. Her memories revolve around her complex and sometimes contentious relations with her brother and with the man who is the father of her daughter. Most significantly, she remembers the man she with whom she had a brief but intense affair in Egypt during World War II. Her description of that relationship is a thing of beauty. All-in-all, a remarkable character study and a wonderfully written novel. Small wonder this won the Booker Prize. One of my four favorites in 2012.

hermlou May 02, 2010

Although it won the Booker Prize in 1987, this book is disappointing. Claudia is old and dying, and she remembers excerpts from her life. She was married, had a daughter Lisa who didn't understand her and wasn't understood by her. Claudia was an observer in the desert war and fell in love with a soldier in Egypt. Claudia is an outspoken beautiful women who never had a deep relationship with anyone except her lover, who was killed in the war. Lively describes the desert well, and she contrasts the war with the British living pampered lives in Cairo. I preferred her book "The Photograph".

j
Julia
Jan 04, 2010

Not one likeable character...except maybe Tom.
A sour story and definitely not
Ms Lively's finest work.

melwyk Jun 24, 2009

Very clever look at how history and language shape a life, told from the viewpoint of a shocking and cantakerous narrator. Understandably won the Booker in 1987.

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Liberty40439
Feb 26, 2019

Liberty40439 thinks this title is suitable for 55 years and over

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