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Author Topic: PC243: Tiger in the BSE  (Read 2660 times)
Talia
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« on: January 16, 2013, 09:43:55 AM »

PodCastle 243: Tiger in the BSE

by E. Lily Yu

Read by TCA Lakshmi Narasimhan

Originally published in Cicada.

There was once a tiger in Mumbai, a Kshatriya and a ruthless trader of
stocks, who lived in a glossy high-rise the color of the sea. His
suits of slick poplin and seersucker were confected by two tailors in
Milan; his bath was cut from marble as rich as soap, and always drawn
warm and fragrant for him at the end of each day; and his suppers,
which threw the meat markets into an uproar, were prepared under the
hands of some of the finest cooks from Mangalore and Chengdu. He had,
in short, the kind of life that any well-bred tiger could hope to
have. But he lacked one thing, and it made him pace between the red
walls of his living room and bite the pads of his paws.

He went to the house of an old friend, where he and his trading tips
were always welcome, and said, “Brother, I have no mother or father to
help me in this matter, and no family except my friends. For the sake
of the tricks we played in school, for the beatings I took for you,
will you help me find a bride?”


Rated G.


Listen to this week’s PodCastle!
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chemistryguy
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« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2013, 03:02:51 PM »

I don't know.  I enjoyed listening to it for the most part.  And I like that it has some of the flavor of folklore where you're not really sure how you're supposed to be picturing an animal/person.

But in the end, the tiger just becomes an almost non-character.  A free-loader. There's a lesson in here, I just know it.  But it's getting mixed in with this The Lady or the Tiger vibe.  The lady becomes the tiger.  I don't know what to think other than I think it would have made for a more fantastical, ironic ending had the tiger totally transformed into a human and his wife ate him. 
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InfiniteMonkey
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« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2013, 04:00:57 PM »

Well, it was certainly pleasant enough, Mr. Lakshmi Narasimhan's reading giving it a fairy tale feeling, and it's woman-empowering message certainly makes a nice contrast to the actual headlines coming out of India at the moment.
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Corcoran
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« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2013, 02:13:51 PM »

Dont forget that reading storys by People with bad accents makes the story very hard to understand for People who did not have English as first Language. Like that Spanish reading some time ago, It was so hard to understand, that I did not get the meaning at first hearing and decided not to waste my time with a rerun. Lost time, lost story
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eytanz
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« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2013, 07:47:35 PM »

Corcoran - could you please clarify your remark? In what way was the narrator's accent "bad"?
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FireTurtle
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« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2013, 08:23:28 PM »

I enjoyed. I kept waiting for more bad stuff to go down and had to remind myself that it had originally benn in Cicada and therefore would not degernate into kinky sex or wanton bloodletting. I admit freely that there were a few times I stumbled in understanding the accent. This suprised me because many many of my colleagues have a similar accent and I am failry adept at listening easily to accented Enlgish of all kinds (being from California, I have no accent to speak of  Grin).
I enjoyed the tiger's transformation into a friendly cooking and family loving beast as well as the wife's gradual transformation into the true Tiger in the BSE. I like a good fairy tale. And any tiger that cooks and lets kids tie ribbons on his tail is good with me. Where can I get one?
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Corcoran
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« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2013, 10:54:18 AM »

Excuse me, maybe bad was the wrong word.

I meant hard to understand. If I watch an english movie, i can always switch the english subtitels on and so everything becomes clear. Here I had to hit the "Repeat last 30 seconds" so often it destroyed the story.

But I think most listeners are from the USA, they should have no trouble understanding him, so see me as the only one complaining and after all I can live with it, I still have so many Podcastle and Escapepod story to listen to and I can stand to loose a few one to funny accents.
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Max e^{i pi}
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« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2013, 07:08:41 AM »

This story just didn't do it for me.
It had the general feel of a Kipling story: the setting, the pace, the characters... but it lacked the mystique of Kipling's stories, and it lacked (IMO) a plot and tension. It was like one of the stories that the guy sitting next to you on the bus would start telling you and you keep waiting for him to get the point and he never does.
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chemistryguy
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« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2013, 02:58:41 PM »

It had the general feel of a Kipling story: the setting, the pace, the characters... but it lacked the mystique of Kipling's stories

Probably because it's taking place in a stock exchange.  I can't imagine Shere Khan buying and selling.


It was like one of the stories that the guy sitting next to you on the bus would start telling you and you keep waiting for him to get the point and he never does.

Yeah.  This.  Instead of a conclusion, the story just stops.

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Scattercat
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« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2013, 11:08:06 PM »

Well, I thought this was glorious and highly amusing, from the tiger going soft to the new, brutal side of the wife, who must uphold her family's honor.  Top marks.
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Devoted135
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« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2013, 03:14:05 PM »

I must say that I love this narrator, though I can appreciate how his accent would be difficult for non-native English speakers. Smiley

While listening to this story I was completely carried away by the setting and the transformation of the tiger. Looking back, the plot sort of seems like a non-plot, in that the momentous happenings didn't really seem to go anywhere. However, that didn't bother me at all at the time.
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« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2013, 10:02:38 AM »

I liked the tiger.  I liked his wife.  I'm glad they found a way to make it financially.  But I didn't really feel like the story had any tension for me.  Tiger loses money, wife helps get them back on their feet, the end.  I never felt like their survival was in question, only his occupational identity.  I didn't really care about his occupational identity.  When he went home and spent all of his time playing with the kids, and they apparently weren't starving to death or in danger of living on the street that in itself seemed like a happy enough conclusion, when they got some money back I thought "Oh, I guess that's nice too".
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TimothyAWiseman
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« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2013, 12:47:57 AM »

While I respect the effort the author put into this story, it was not really to my taste.  It felt like it tried too hard to push an agenda and ended up neither conveying its message in an effective way nor really being entertaining.
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LaShawn
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« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2013, 01:09:13 PM »

Well, seeing this was in Cicada, I wasn't expecting much plotwise, and to be honest, I wanted to hear more about the tiger as he learned to become a domesticated Housecat...er...HouseHusband. But still, it was adorable, and I loved the reading. I had to stop what I was doing to listen because I loved the narrator's voice. It made me feel five years old all over again. In a good way, of course.
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