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This is a dark novel about longing - longing for a better, "more exciting" life, (however that is defined), longing for release from pain, and longing to possess the object of one's affections. Hence the line "Tigers in red weather" from the Wallace Stevens poem, the subject of drunken sailors' thoughts - either wanting what they can't have, or summoning the courage and energy to get it.
What separates this novel from others on a crowded shelf of beach books and chic fic is not only Klaussmann's finely nuanced and detailed character development, but also the deep sense of dread and ominous foreboding that flows through the book.The story is told through the various voices of several characters, and a series of events in one summer is seen through a different lens by several main players who are gathered at the Tiger House, the family "cottage" on Martha's Vineyard.
The author does an excellent job of communicating darkness camouflaged by sunny circumstances, and individual stories have mystery because they are only partially fleshed out, with unanswered questions lurking in the mind of each storyteller. There are some seriously unpleasant, even tragic, moments but they are not so much "told" with melodrama but rather, are painted with a highly dialed-in visual sensibility and with a fine artist's brush. In fact, in one sense the novel can be viewed as a series of set designs art-directed by Klaussmann.
I think it's accurate to compare the underlying mood and tone color to what comes across in the work of F. Scott Fitzgerald, that feeling that underlying all the "yellow cocktail music" is a rather sad and nasty streak of "red weather".
From a production aspect, the book is fantastic, interlaced with with all the right music from the period, the post-World War II 1940's to the late 1960's. The narrator strikes all the right accents, specifically that Hollywood semi-Britspeak from the 1950's, socially "appropriate", formal and distant.
I'm giving this one all the stars, and hoping it makes it to the big screen.
52 of 58 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to Tigers in Red Weather the most enjoyable?
The narrator was captivating! It made the book. I don't know that I would have enjoyed reading the book as much as I did listening.
What about Katherine Kellgren’s performance did you like?
Her voices for each character set each apart and gave them a clear idea in my mind of how they would look.
Who was the most memorable character of Tigers in Red Weather and why?
5 of 5 people found this review helpful