19 January 2010

Book Review: Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively

Moon Tiger
Penelope Lively

I finished this one right before we left for vacation on December 31st so there is much about it that I remember with any clarity. Between travelling and other books read during the past 19 days, I don’t remember as much about this book as is necessary to write a decent review.

Booker Prize-winner Moon Tiger is the fourth book by Penelope Lively that I have read. And while I found it interesting, I did not find it as compelling as other Lively books. (My favorite is still Consequences.) Claudia Hampton is dying and reflecting on her life as a journalist in WWII Egypt and as a writer. I actually found the bits in the present tense the most interesting. I was fascinated by Lively’s description of Claudia’s state of being as she lay dying. The part I found most disquieting was Claudia’s too close, and sometimes incestuous, relationship with her brother.

Beyond those two impressions I don’t remember enough to comment further. I found the book interesting and can understand why it won the Booker, but I have enjoyed other Lively books much more.


  1. I tried reading this before but couldn't get into it, but will try again one day because I have a personal goal of reading through all the Booker winners.

  2. Claire: I like paying attention to the Booker (and other prizes for that matter), but to be totally honest, more often than I would expect I just don't enjoy the winners all that much. Even when I like the author. Same thing is true for Brookner's Hotel du Lac (love Brookner, but that title is my least favorite) and Atwood's Blind Assasin.

  3. I liked this one a lot; the stylistic elements of sharing Claudia's mind & especially the ending... so great. But I still like Making it Up and Consequences best, I think.

  4. Melwyk: Making it Up is in my TBR and I loved Consequences. It is definitely my favorite Lively thus far.


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