02 January 2016

Man Tiger ~ Eka Kurniawan

** OK **

Like the garden, an abundance of florid language
Like the garden, characters kept at arms length

Maybe it was the translation.  It flowed well and had beauty of language, but I felt an emotional disconnect to characters.  It often felt like a domestic violence soap opera penny dreadful.  I guess I wanted a narrative with more folklore and magical realism than abuse of women and children.

The plotting was well constructed with the crime announced right at the beginning and the reason behind it slowly revealed.  This was well done with the timeline slipping and sliding to give background and context.  The ending, especially as the reader knew how it ended from the outset, was crisply executed.

While the tiger lived within the main character and was unleashed to wreak havoc, there was an angry beast within many of the protagonists giving rise to depravity and violence.