The Night Tiger
A sweeping historical novel about a dancehall girl and an orphan boy whose fates entangle over an old Chinese superstition about men who turn into tigers.When 11-year-old Ren's master dies, he makes one last request of his Chinese houseboy: that Ren find his severed finger, lost years ago in an accident, and reunite it with his body. Ren has 49 days, or else his master's soul will roam the earth, unable to rest in peace.Ji Lin always wanted to be a doctor, but as a girl in 1930s Malaysia, apprentice dressmaker is a more suitable occupation. Secretly, though, Ji Lin also moonlights as a dancehall girl to help pay off her beloved mother's Mahjong debts. One night, Ji Lin's dance partner leaves her with a gruesome souvenir: a severed finger. Convinced the finger is bad luck, Ji Lin enlists the help of her erstwhile stepbrother to return it to its rightful owner.As the 49 days tick down, and a prowling tiger wreaks havoc on the town, Ji Lin and Ren's lives intertwine in ways they could never have imagined. Propulsive and lushly written, The Night Tiger explores colonialism and independence, ancient superstition and modern ambition, sibling rivalry and first love. Braided through with Chinese folklore and a tantalizing mystery, this novel is a page-turner of the highest order.

The Night Tiger Details

TitleThe Night Tiger
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 12th, 2019
PublisherFlatiron Books
ISBN-139781250175458
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Fiction, Magical Realism

The Night Tiger Review

  • Debra
    January 1, 1970
    The Night Tiger has a little bit of something for everyone! Fans of this Author's debut book, The Ghost Bride will love this sweeping tale set in Malaya (Malaysia) in the 1930's. There is a lot going on in this book that I am only going to give a brief synopsis of the main characters.Ren is an 11-year-old boy on a mission to locate his former masters missing finger so that he can bury it with his body. He has 49 days to do so for his master to be a rest. If he fails to find the missing finger, h The Night Tiger has a little bit of something for everyone! Fans of this Author's debut book, The Ghost Bride will love this sweeping tale set in Malaya (Malaysia) in the 1930's. There is a lot going on in this book that I am only going to give a brief synopsis of the main characters.Ren is an 11-year-old boy on a mission to locate his former masters missing finger so that he can bury it with his body. He has 49 days to do so for his master to be a rest. If he fails to find the missing finger, his master will be doomed to roam the earth forever.Ji Lin is a young woman who works as an apprentice to a dressmaker. She is intelligent and had dreams of going into medicine, but being born a female at this time, she must do as her stepfather wishes. While learning to make dresses, she moonlights as a dance hall girl to pay off her mother's Mahjong debts. One night she dances with a man and takes a small container from his pocket - in it, a finger! She begins a quest to find out just why this man had this in his pocket and where it came from.The Night tiger uses history, Chinese superstition, folklore and mysticism. This book is an intricately woven tale of two characters as they grow and evolve on a collision course to learn the truth. Choo utilizes many themes: the class system of servant and master, sibling rivalry, domestic abuse, the afterlife, superstition, romance, coming of age, and even were-tigers.This book is full of beautifully written passages, vivid descriptions and imagery. This book has a mystery which unites all the characters. It was easy to be sucked into the world that Choo has created. This book is as lush as the Malaysian jungle. I felt as if I experienced this book rather than read it. This book is atmospheric, captivating and intriguing. Yangsze Choo has a creative mind and a gift for writing intricate plots. The result is a beautiful journey into 1930's Malaya utilizing mystical elements and superstition.Mark your calendars and be on the lookout next year when this book comes out!Thank you to Yangsze Choo and Flat Iron books who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.Read more of my reviews at www.openbookpost.ocm
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  • Elyse Walters
    January 1, 1970
    “Time is running out: there are only 20 days left before Dr. Mac Farlane’s forty-nine days of the soul are over. If by then he can’t find the finger, he’ll have failed. How will his old master rest? Ren remembers Dr. MacFarlane’s last days, shivering fevers. And then the dreams, the waking nightmares in which the old man would cry for mercy, or crawl slavering on all fours. If Auntie Kwan had still been with them, she would have taken charge, but in the end there was only Ren”. “A gust of wind s “Time is running out: there are only 20 days left before Dr. Mac Farlane’s forty-nine days of the soul are over. If by then he can’t find the finger, he’ll have failed. How will his old master rest? Ren remembers Dr. MacFarlane’s last days, shivering fevers. And then the dreams, the waking nightmares in which the old man would cry for mercy, or crawl slavering on all fours. If Auntie Kwan had still been with them, she would have taken charge, but in the end there was only Ren”. “A gust of wind shivers through the house, banging all the doors simultaneously. To Ren, peering out the window at the top of the stairs, the trees are a waving green ocean surrounding the Bungalow. It’s a ship in a storm, and Ren is the cabin boy peeking out of a porthole. Clutching the windowsill like a life buoy, Ren wonders what secrets lurk in the jungle surrounding them, and if his old master is in fact trapped in the form of a tiger”. Ren is only 11 years old....a Chinese houseboy is on a mission to fulfill his formers master’s dying wish. His former master, Dr. MacFarlene, lost a finger due to an accident many years ago. Ren promised to find it and bury it with his body. The old age superstition says this ‘must’ happen in 49 Days...or his old master’s soul will wander the earth forever. “Malaya, with its mix of Malays, Chinese, and Indians, is full of spirits: a looking-glass world governed by unsettling rules. The European werewolf is a man who, when the moon is full, turns his skin inside out and become a beast. He then leaves the village and goes into the forest to kill. But for the natives here, the weretiger is not a man, but a beast who, when he chooses, put on a human skin and comes from the jungle into the village to prey on humans. It’s almost exactly the reverse situation and in some ways more disturbing”. “There’s a rumor that when we colonials came to this part of the world, the natives, considered us beast-men as well, though nobody has said that to my face”.William is Ren’s new master. Ren is grateful for the work. ....Jin Lin was a rookie dressmaker....but the job as a student/apprentice wasn’t enough money to help get her mother out of a Financial jam. So on the side she secretly took a job working at the May Flower Dance Hall. It wasn’t trained professional dancing ( which she was), that they were looking for. She had to learn the ‘Tango’ fast. Jin Lin was bright- she wished she could have left for college - wished to study medicine and become a doctor like her stepbrother, Shin’s plans. ( they were born on the same day), and Jin Lin had higher marks in school, but the culture in the 1930’s, Malaysia for women wasn’t encouraging. So.....dressmaker/ dance hall dancer it was.....Big MAMA at the dance hall had Jin Lin Cut her long braids off to look more like a modern -western woman. In truth if her mother or stepfather knew what her moonlighting job was - it would have bad news. It was not considered respectable in her family at all! With the new dance name that big MAMA gave her - Louise- she got tapped by a salesman for a dance. When he asked her name, she forgot and gave her real name...and accidentally ends up with a thin walled cylinder made of glass - a specimen bottle - with a dried up finger inside. Jin Lin’s 𝐋𝐢𝐟𝐞 begins to get much more interesting- SHE’S BRIGHT - ZEALOUS- SHREWD - INGENIOUS.This book is wonderful, covering a fascinating time period set in the 1930’s colonial Malaysia. ( called Malaya in the 1930’s). As you might be able to piece together - Ren and Jin Lin are going to cross paths. It’s filled with surprises- textured characters - ( engrossing sibling relationship), unexplained deaths - danger- humor - suspenseful turmoil - foods to make you hungry- ( I was so in the mood for steaming yummy noodles when I finished this novel), history - magical realism- ghosts - & tigers - forbidden love - Love - I admit to an extra appreciation of my fingers, too. Yangsze Choo’s writing was totally alluring giving attention to detail and descriptive prose. It also had the best ending!!!! I felt so warm and wonderful after finishing it. Thank you Flatiron Publishing for sending me this novel. Many thanks to Yangsze Choo, too. Quote - ( part of the full message to readers) from Yangsze: “As a child in Malaysia, I was fascinated by the black and white colonial Bungalo’s left behind by the British, many of which lie now in ruins. With their high ceilings and gracious windows, they spoke of a life that vanished—sort of Downton Abbey of the tropics with it shadowed interplay between servants and masters”. “The Night Tiger” came out of the secrets I imagined in those houses together with many of my favorite obsessions: Chinese dancehall girls, twins, men who turned into tigers, A train that takes you to the world of the dead. And of course a good mystery”.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    The Night Tiger offers a stunning look at culture, history, and Chinese superstition. Told in two alternating perspectives, and set in 1931 Malaya (Malaysia), this is a story of loyalty and loneliness, death and distressed souls, and man-eating weretigers. Ren, a young houseboy, is an orphan and has also suffered the loss of his twin. Alone and with complete loyalty to his dying master, Ren has accepted his final task to find his master's missing amputated finger and bury it with him in his grav The Night Tiger offers a stunning look at culture, history, and Chinese superstition. Told in two alternating perspectives, and set in 1931 Malaya (Malaysia), this is a story of loyalty and loneliness, death and distressed souls, and man-eating weretigers. Ren, a young houseboy, is an orphan and has also suffered the loss of his twin. Alone and with complete loyalty to his dying master, Ren has accepted his final task to find his master's missing amputated finger and bury it with him in his grave before the 49 days of his soul are over. The soul cannot rest in peace if the body is not made whole again at death, and 49 days is a long time to wander the earth. Ji Lin, also known as Louise, is a faithful daughter working 2 jobs to help her mother pay off a high-interest Mahjong debt. During her secret job as a dance instructor, she never knows if her random dance partner will really want to practice a popular Western dance or if he just wants to exploit those moments with his wandering hands. During an episode of the latter, the pair awkwardly stumble and Ji Lin comes into custody of a preserved finger from the gentleman's pocket. The Night Tiger follows both of these characters as dreams and visions lead them on a search for the other in an effort to make a body whole. In the interim, a tiger has been killing local women. Some think the resolution is a bated tiger hunt. Others think this man-eater cannot be killed by bullets, because it is a ghost tiger, a shape-shifting weretiger, and is possessed by the dead. Could it be Ren's master unable to rest? The clock is ticking and 49 days is no time at all.I absolutely loved the superstition element of this story where simple numbers can hold enough power to decide one's fate in both life and death. Also the idea of haunted beasts and guided dreams added unique magical realism to an already engaging tale rich in cultural belief. Overall, an enjoyable, one-of-a-kind reading experience that is sure to keep the interest of a variety of readers. Check it out! Thank you to Flatiron Books for generously mailing me an advance readers' edition of Yangsze Choo's The Night Tiger. In exchange, I agreed to share my thoughts on goodreads and my other favorite social media sites.The Night Tiger is set for release in February 2019. Visit your favorite book supplier for a pre-order.
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  • Book of the Month
    January 1, 1970
    Why I love itby Brianna GoodmanIf someone told me there’s a book out there that’s part history, part love story, part coming-of-age, part magical tale that is also a well-paced book that clocks in at under 400 pages, I’d be instantly suspicious. It sounds too good to be true. But here’s the thing: This book exists. It’s called The Night Tiger, and it’s epic and pleasing in every possible way.The book follows two main characters: Ji Lin, a dressmaker by day and dancehall girl by night who dreams Why I love itby Brianna GoodmanIf someone told me there’s a book out there that’s part history, part love story, part coming-of-age, part magical tale that is also a well-paced book that clocks in at under 400 pages, I’d be instantly suspicious. It sounds too good to be true. But here’s the thing: This book exists. It’s called The Night Tiger, and it’s epic and pleasing in every possible way.The book follows two main characters: Ji Lin, a dressmaker by day and dancehall girl by night who dreams of becoming a doctor (if only her stepfather would let her); and Ren, a kindhearted houseboy so loyal to his late master that he’ll stop at nothing to reunite the man’s missing finger with his body. They also happen to be complete strangers who are somehow linked by a mysterious force—one that connects them with others (both dead and alive) who might just cause them harm.This is a book that has something for everyone. There’s a central mystery—will Ren find that missing finger?—to satisfy puzzle-solving readers. There’s a will-they-won’t-they love story to tug at the heartstrings of every romantic. There’s a touch of magic for fantasy fans; a portrait of colonial Malaysia for history buffs; and enough family drama to please those looking for a moving saga. Equal parts nail-biter and heartwarmer, this book transported me into a world entirely unlike my own—one I’m eager to revisit.Read more at: https://bookofthemonth.com/the-night-...
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  • Nadia
    January 1, 1970
    Filled with superstition, ghosts and the afterlife, the Night Tiger explores colonial Malaysia in 1930s. Five people are brought together through a connection of the five Confucian virtues, while mysterious events with no rational explanation start to happen around them.Yangsze Choo has created a whimsical imaginary world of ghosts and spirits that was unlike anything I have read before. I was not sure whether I liked the book at first, but it progressively grew on me and eventually I found myse Filled with superstition, ghosts and the afterlife, the Night Tiger explores colonial Malaysia in 1930s. Five people are brought together through a connection of the five Confucian virtues, while mysterious events with no rational explanation start to happen around them.Yangsze Choo has created a whimsical imaginary world of ghosts and spirits that was unlike anything I have read before. I was not sure whether I liked the book at first, but it progressively grew on me and eventually I found myself fully immersed in the story. It is hard to describe the plot but I think this atmospheric and magical novel will appeal to many. The book is a must read for fans of magical realism and those intrigued by Chinese/Malaysian culture. Many thanks to Quercus and NetGalley for my review copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Kathy
    January 1, 1970
    *whispers* I need this book in my liiiiife *sits here and waits*
  • James Cham
    January 1, 1970
    A terrific read. I read The Ghost Bride and thought this was even better. It well-paced and the mix of the two main characters--a frustrated dance hall girl and a naive young Chinese servant boy--made for a rich experience. I especially liked the portrayal of 1930’s Malaysia, with all of its romance and mix of English and Asian culture. I hope that she writes another book!
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  • Rae
    January 1, 1970
    Check out this review and others on my blog: https://thriftybibliophile.comThe Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo is a story about a severed finger, ancient Chinese folklore, and superstition. The severed finger brings together two young teenagers, Ji Lin and Ren, and provides them with mystery and intrigue as their stories intersect.I went into this audiobook with few expectations. The idea that the whole plot centered around a severed finger intrigued me--how was the author going to pull it off? Well Check out this review and others on my blog: https://thriftybibliophile.comThe Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo is a story about a severed finger, ancient Chinese folklore, and superstition. The severed finger brings together two young teenagers, Ji Lin and Ren, and provides them with mystery and intrigue as their stories intersect.I went into this audiobook with few expectations. The idea that the whole plot centered around a severed finger intrigued me--how was the author going to pull it off? Well, she did! And she did it beautifully. The Night Tiger is gorgeously written with enough detail that I felt as though I was dropped into 1930s China. While I thought the pacing was a little on the slow side, the beautiful words made the pace more palatable.The plot truly centers around a severed finger--Ren's master's finger, specifically. According to folklore, a body must be entirely whole within 49 days of death, otherwise the soul will roam, never finding peace. Ren is on a mission to find the missing finger, that way he can reunite it with his master's body. Meanwhile, the severed finger exchanges hands multiple times and goes on a journey of its own.Overall, I enjoyed the story. It was unique, interesting, and showcased a life that's hard to imagine. Ji Lin was probably my favorite character in The Night Tiger. She's a feisty young girl with a strong sense of loyalty to her family. While she dreams of being a doctor, she finds herself as a dressmaker's apprenticeship and a dancehall girl on the side. She's smart, but in 1930s Malaysia, a woman's place is not in becoming a doctor. Ji Lin swallows her pride on more than one occasion and tries to fill the role that society and her family deems appropriate.I thought the inclusion of the folklore around the tiger was a nice touch. I enjoyed learning about the folklore and the superstitions and witnessing everyone's reactions to them.The one thing I struggled with at times during the audiobook was boredom. Yes, it was beautifully written, but sometimes the plot seemed to drag on. Since there were no "big action" moments in the audiobook, some of the mundane moments felt tedious and unnecessary. Luckily this was an occasional thing and not the norm.The ending was okay. It didn't blow me away, but it wrapped everything up nicely.The audiobook was narrated by the author, who did an amazing job! She really brought the characters to life. I enjoyed listening to her narrate!If you're looking for something a little different, check out The Night Tiger!Thank you to MacMillan Audio for providing the audiobook version of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Travel.with.a.book
    January 1, 1970
    When culture meets history and Chinese illusions, it shapes a perfect story which we rate it 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟, The Night Tiger is our Book Of The January and we're loving the fabulous writings from Yangsze!The imagination within the book goes beyond creativity, .It really has such an interesting and intriguing plot, the structure of the book is very fascinating and unique and I can see this book in a very Big Major Picture, the characters are very well connected and I really loved their strength and faith When culture meets history and Chinese illusions, it shapes a perfect story which we rate it 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟, The Night Tiger is our Book Of The January and we're loving the fabulous writings from Yangsze!The imagination within the book goes beyond creativity, .It really has such an interesting and intriguing plot, the structure of the book is very fascinating and unique and I can see this book in a very Big Major Picture, the characters are very well connected and I really loved their strength and faith with each other, reading this you'll have a lot of mysteries in your mind, but and the twists are very breath-taking!.The book is set in 1931 in Malaysia, the main characters are Jin Li also knoen as Louise, a young woman, who has a busy life working in part-time jobs and she still doesn't know what to do with her life!Ren is a 13 year old, he is an orphan and has suffered with the loss of his twin, also he worked for an English physician!.The novel is a little bit complicated because the Author is not focused only in one thing but it has various acts which are going on but they are reasonable reactions as in the end we can connect all the dots with such intrigue and unbelievable twists!I really enjoyed the Malaysian background, it has a very powerful descriptions and I love their culture, the book has explored very different topics like myth, gender inequality, culture, magic and agony!.I loved the part when Jin Li wanted to study medicine but when her parents stopped her because she's a girl I really had mixed emotions as this is an everyday problem in every society! And the parts of Jin Li working in different jobs only to cover her mother's gambling debts are so powerful and feminist, I enjoyed her as a character she is really strong and smart woman!.Choo's novel is one of our most favourite of the Year, her folklore's stories are so unique and blended in different perspectives!You can feel different emotions within the book and we highly recommend you to read it if you love Historical Fictions with a little bit of ghost parts! We're sure that you'll love the endind too because that's what we enjoyed the most, solving out all the mysteries of the novel!
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  • Isabel
    January 1, 1970
    This book is a gem! I started reading it on a long flight between California and Singapore and finished it in one sitting. Beautifully written, it blends mystery, romance, rich historical detail and the supernatural all together. I literally could not put this book down. It's even better than her first book (the ghost bride), the pacing is faster, the plot was all-absorbing, the characters were intriguing and the descriptive details made for a thoroughly immersive experience. I was kept guessing This book is a gem! I started reading it on a long flight between California and Singapore and finished it in one sitting. Beautifully written, it blends mystery, romance, rich historical detail and the supernatural all together. I literally could not put this book down. It's even better than her first book (the ghost bride), the pacing is faster, the plot was all-absorbing, the characters were intriguing and the descriptive details made for a thoroughly immersive experience. I was kept guessing all the way to the end, and when it ended I really really really didn't want to leave the world of shin, ji lin and ren. There have been lots of great books set in colonial malaya, but few have been written from the Asian perspective and this is what makes this book so wonderfully interesting.
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  • Sue
    January 1, 1970
    This was a beautifully written mystery weaving together themes of masters and servants, twins, and men who may or may not turn into tigers. A fun and sometimes complicated plot leads up to a very exciting and surprising ending. It left me guessing the whole way, with well-developed characters and multiple mysteries to solve.
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  • Meike
    January 1, 1970
    A novel about Malaysia in the 1930s? I couldn't stop myself, I just needed to have this...
  • Amy Sturgis
    January 1, 1970
    I absolutely loved The Night Tiger. In fact, before I even finished reading it, I bought Yangsze Choo's other novel, so I would have it on hand to devour as soon as possible. In short, if you are looking to be intellectually and emotionally transported, this novel is for you. It took hold of my imagination and wouldn't let go.The Night Tiger is a richly atmospheric book steeped in its time (1930s) and place (Malaysia). Three-dimensional, compelling characters find their lives and fates intertwin I absolutely loved The Night Tiger. In fact, before I even finished reading it, I bought Yangsze Choo's other novel, so I would have it on hand to devour as soon as possible. In short, if you are looking to be intellectually and emotionally transported, this novel is for you. It took hold of my imagination and wouldn't let go.The Night Tiger is a richly atmospheric book steeped in its time (1930s) and place (Malaysia). Three-dimensional, compelling characters find their lives and fates intertwined as they move through a plot that expertly combines historical fiction, the Gothic, mystery, romance, and fantasy. This official description is absolutely accurate: "Captivating and lushly written, The Night Tiger explores the rich world of servants and masters, ancient superstition and modern ambition, sibling rivalry and unexpected love. Woven through with Chinese folklore and a tantalizing mystery, this novel is a page-turner of the highest order." As a historian, I often ask a lot from historical fiction and sometimes find myself disappointed, but this work clearly reflects expert knowledge, careful research, and abiding respect for the subject matter. I especially appreciate how the author treats aspects of the supernatural -- and, on a related note, how very down-to-earth and mundane the sources of most of the mysteries are. I tend to have short patience with convenient romance subplots, as well, but the romance here is not only inconvenient, but truly believable and relevant. Most of all, the main characters and their relationships are achingly real and compelling, and I found myself moved by young houseboy Ren's dedication to his late master and connection to his late twin brother, and by Ji Lin's complicated connections to her family (by blood and by marriage) and her assumed/assigned options in life. The repeated motif of the five Confucian virtues serves as a fitting backdrop to this beautifully crafted story. I know I will reread and savor this story. I am very grateful I had the opportunity to read an ARC of the book -- and heartily recommend it! I received this book as part of the Goodreads First Reads program.
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  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    Similarly to The Ghost Bride, Choo's latest work intertwines folklore, myth, and magic with the everyday trials of grief, feeling like one's fate is out of one's hands, and examining the gender inequality so present in society. Taking place in a different Malaya (Malayasian) location, mostly in Ipoh and Batu Gajah, during the early 1930's, the setting is a beautifully bittersweet rendering of a country that sees the blend of so many rich cultures side by side with the careful grip of colonialism Similarly to The Ghost Bride, Choo's latest work intertwines folklore, myth, and magic with the everyday trials of grief, feeling like one's fate is out of one's hands, and examining the gender inequality so present in society. Taking place in a different Malaya (Malayasian) location, mostly in Ipoh and Batu Gajah, during the early 1930's, the setting is a beautifully bittersweet rendering of a country that sees the blend of so many rich cultures side by side with the careful grip of colonialism. In this setting, we meet Ji Lin, a smart, clever girl whose name corresponds with the virtue of wisdom, even if at times she feels she is always doing the wrong thing. Ji Lin loved academics and longed to study medicine, but her family forbid it due to her gender, and instead she is relegated to apprenticing at a dress shop and earning extra money as a "dance instructor" at a dance hall, the May Flower. In 1930's Malaya, working in a dance hall is seen as being very unbecoming and lowers her status, but Ji Lin enjoys the female friendship and it's the only way she can make enough money to help cover for her mother's secret gambling debts. Ji Lin grew up along side Shin, (or xin, the the virtue of faithfulness) her stepbrother, and they were always close, even sharing a birthday, until they finished school and Shin left home to pursue the career in medicine that Ji Lin so desperately wanted.Running parallel to Ji Lin's struggles, we meet Ren, who is a possibly ten or eleven year old trying to pass for "almost thirteen", an orphan whose twin brother died years ago. Ren, an extremely competent houseboy, is on a mission to fulfill the dying wish of his former master, which was to be buried with his missing finger so that he could pass into the afterlife as a complete person. Ren, clever and determined and honestly the highlight of this book, goes to work for a new master, a doctor like his previous one, in the town where Shin happens to be working as an orderly. In the background of the private struggles of each character is a possible man-eating tiger who may not be a man or a tiger completely, but some fearsome combination of both. Add to this a magical blend of ghosts, premonitions, and dreams that feel "like stories unfolding", and you can almost picture the perfection that is The Night Tiger. Drawing from folklore and mythology combined with beautifully evocative writing, I'm glad that Choo took her time with this manuscript because the finished work has turned out to be one of my favorite books (once again!) that will stick with me for a long time. I highly recommend preordering this book, and even though I received an e-ARC of it, I'll probably end up purchasing it as well. Not only is the cover gorgeous, but I feel this is the type of story I will want to read and re-read and get more out of it with each reading. If you love historical fiction, settings that are often not written about historically, and a blend of magic and ghost story, I cannot recommend this book enough.Note: I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Thebooktrail
    January 1, 1970
    Visit the locations in the novelOut in the UK in Feb 2019 but get this on your TBR Pile!Malaysia of course used to be called Malaya and during the 1930s when the book takes place, the country is under a state of war.The story explores the rich world of servants and masters, superstitions and more. I was more than excited to receive this and even more excited when I’d read it. Out in February, this is the one to keep an eye on…If you’d said I would enjoy a novel where the characters are on the se Visit the locations in the novelOut in the UK in Feb 2019 but get this on your TBR Pile!Malaysia of course used to be called Malaya and during the 1930s when the book takes place, the country is under a state of war.The story explores the rich world of servants and masters, superstitions and more. I was more than excited to receive this and even more excited when I’d read it. Out in February, this is the one to keep an eye on…If you’d said I would enjoy a novel where the characters are on the search for a missing finger, I might have looked at you funny. If then you talk about dead people’s souls which can get stuck on earth, who can then turn into tigers, I would have really started to wonder. This novel however is one of the most magical and fascinating novels I’ve read in a long time.The writing is just glorious. The setting of 1930s Malaysia is fascinating in itself but this is so much more than a novel about an occupied country. The colours both on the cover and inside the story are bright and alive. There are so many themes explored here – the colonial times of course, but also the relationship between master and servant, superstitions, culture, belief systems and the need to do what is right.It’s poetic and lyrical throughout and reads like a piece of music with its swirling images, lush forest like descriptions which shimmer in the Malaysian heat which emanates from the page. Aspects of Magic and magical realism shimmer and make this a sumptuous piece of writing. That cover is just gorgeous! I really enjoyed this and thought it more of an experience than a book. Vivid, raw and real.
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  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    The Night Tiger is set in 1931 in Malaysia, which at the time was a British colony. The central point-of-view characters are Li Jin, a young woman who's left home and has a couple of part-time jobs, and hasn't quite sorted out what she wants to do with herself long term; and Ren, a young boy who worked for an English physician who passed away, and is now working for another.Usually I summarize the plot of the novel I'm reviewing in the first paragraph. I won't this time because "plot" isn't the The Night Tiger is set in 1931 in Malaysia, which at the time was a British colony. The central point-of-view characters are Li Jin, a young woman who's left home and has a couple of part-time jobs, and hasn't quite sorted out what she wants to do with herself long term; and Ren, a young boy who worked for an English physician who passed away, and is now working for another.Usually I summarize the plot of the novel I'm reviewing in the first paragraph. I won't this time because "plot" isn't the main focus of the book, I don't think. Various things are happening, some which are threats to the characters, but there isn't one specific through-line like you'd see in a mystery or a fantasy or a romance, all of which are represented to some degree in this story. It's much more about the characters and how they are connected.There are five characters whose connections go especially deep. Li Jin is one of a pair of step-siblings who were born on the same day, and Ren had a twin named Yi who died three years ago. There's a fifth character whose connection to the others is a mild spoiler. There are several other characters who create a convincing feeling of lively interconnected humanity with the leads: the cook in Dr. Acton's home where Ren works, Li Jin's dressmaker employer, her coworker friend at the dance hall, the creepy guy who assists the pathologist at the local hospital, and so on.While the titular "night tiger" is important to the story, it doesn't have as important a role as the magical landscape where Li Jin and Ren individually meet Yi in dreams. The dream world creates a bond between Li Jin and Ren even before they've met. The scenes there gave me the shivers sometimes, especially as events in the "real world" were reflected in it.The Malaysian setting is done really well, too. The area of Falim and Ipoh comes to vivid life, from Li Jin's stepdad's storefront/home, to Dr. Acton's home, to the hospital and its pathology storeroom and ward, and the lush landscape surrounding these places. There's a whole range of background characters who are Tamil, Chinese, Malay, and English. Malaysia's being a colony is evident throughout, and gets some discomfiting emphasis in a character who could be called a sexual colonizer. As a minor warning, there's a fair amount of body horror throughout the story, though it wasn't enough to bother this squeamish reader very much, so most readers should be fine.Someone who looks for a three-act story might not get much out of The Night Tiger. I was absorbed and enchanted, and my mental landscape was filled with this book both while I was in it and when I was away from it. Highly recommended to those who like magical, very human stories. Many thanks to Flatiron Books for sending me this book in a giveaway. It's one of my favorite reads from this year, even if it doesn't officially come out until next year.
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  • Karen Kay
    January 1, 1970
    I received this from netgalley.com in exchange for a review. Ji Lin always wanted to be a doctor, but as a girl in 1930s Malaysia, apprentice dressmaker is a more suitable occupation. When 11-year-old Ren’s master dies, he makes one last request of his Chinese houseboy: that Ren find his severed finger, lost years ago in an accident, and reunite it with his body. This book has a little bit of everything for everyone. Asian culture historical fiction, magical realism, folklore, superstitions and I received this from netgalley.com in exchange for a review. Ji Lin always wanted to be a doctor, but as a girl in 1930s Malaysia, apprentice dressmaker is a more suitable occupation. When 11-year-old Ren’s master dies, he makes one last request of his Chinese houseboy: that Ren find his severed finger, lost years ago in an accident, and reunite it with his body. This book has a little bit of everything for everyone. Asian culture historical fiction, magical realism, folklore, superstitions and a well written story. Must read. 4☆
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  • Kristin
    January 1, 1970
    I don’t think that I connected it to the story as much as I was hoping to. There was something about the writing that made the events seem ordinary and a little boring and I didn’t really connect with the characters. It’s told from multiple points of view of the inner connected characters and is set in Malaysia during the colonial period. The writing at times was very descriptive, poetic and lyrical. It definitely plays with magical realism that is threaded through out the story. I do however th I don’t think that I connected it to the story as much as I was hoping to. There was something about the writing that made the events seem ordinary and a little boring and I didn’t really connect with the characters. It’s told from multiple points of view of the inner connected characters and is set in Malaysia during the colonial period. The writing at times was very descriptive, poetic and lyrical. It definitely plays with magical realism that is threaded through out the story. I do however think many readers will enjoy this book. I am giving it ⭐️⭐️⭐️
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  • Caleb Masters
    January 1, 1970
    Set in Malaysia during the colonial period, The Night Tiger follows a series of characters: a dressmaker and dancer, a young servant boy, a British doctor, and a handsome step-brother; all brought back together by the threads of fate and maybe something more sinister. Choo does an excellent job making her characters feel lifelike and I really enjoyed the switching perspectives of the story. There was a pretty central romantic plot that really didn't work for me, but overall, I loved the mysterio Set in Malaysia during the colonial period, The Night Tiger follows a series of characters: a dressmaker and dancer, a young servant boy, a British doctor, and a handsome step-brother; all brought back together by the threads of fate and maybe something more sinister. Choo does an excellent job making her characters feel lifelike and I really enjoyed the switching perspectives of the story. There was a pretty central romantic plot that really didn't work for me, but overall, I loved the mysterious, almost magical, atmosphere of the book.
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  • Cydney Daniel
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book! The plot description honestly didn’t fascinate me at first, but the reviews for this book looked so promising, so I decided to take a chance, and I’m glad I did. I really felt like the description of the plot just barely scraped the surface of this story.. so many more important things happen besides this missing finger and the mahjong debt.The beginning was slow, but once things got going it was hard to put down. I needed to know what happened next. There are so many compelli I loved this book! The plot description honestly didn’t fascinate me at first, but the reviews for this book looked so promising, so I decided to take a chance, and I’m glad I did. I really felt like the description of the plot just barely scraped the surface of this story.. so many more important things happen besides this missing finger and the mahjong debt.The beginning was slow, but once things got going it was hard to put down. I needed to know what happened next. There are so many compelling characters, some of whom wiggle their way into your heart without you even really realizing it (ahem, Ah Long). I loved the mystery, the suspense, the history, the magic. I appreciated Choo’s attention to detail and history. I’m enjoying this goal of reading more books by POC; it’s been enlightening so far! Also, weretigers?! Those are things? It was fun to read about something I had never heard of before; now excuse me while i Wikipedia the heck out of weretigers. Thanks, BOTM! Really loved this one.
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  • Carole
    January 1, 1970
    The Night TigerEven though I have finished the book, I find myself picking it up again and again. The writing is beautiful, the story line multi-layered , the main characters are richly developed. Each time I reread a section I find a new discovery. I initially requested Night Tiger because it sounded different from my regular reading. It was! You get romance, magical elements, threatening situations, mystery and paranormal. All blended together expertly. This is one of those few books that I wi The Night TigerEven though I have finished the book, I find myself picking it up again and again. The writing is beautiful, the story line multi-layered , the main characters are richly developed. Each time I reread a section I find a new discovery. I initially requested Night Tiger because it sounded different from my regular reading. It was! You get romance, magical elements, threatening situations, mystery and paranormal. All blended together expertly. This is one of those few books that I wish was longer. Put this on your list of must reads !. It is an amazing book. The author said Night Tiger took her four years to write. That was time well-spent. Thank you!
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  • Rebecca Hanover
    January 1, 1970
    I loved THE GHOST BRIDE and was waiting eagerly for Choo's next novel! THE NIGHT TIGER, like Choo's first book, is an epic, sweeping tale set in 1930's Malaya. Choo weaves together Chinese superstition and folklore in gorgeous, lush prose that sucks you right in and keeps you reading into the night hours. The characters and setting are so vivid, her plot masterful... From a severed finger to a dancehall girl in colonial Malaysia, with a helping of Chinese lore, it's incredibly unique and a thril I loved THE GHOST BRIDE and was waiting eagerly for Choo's next novel! THE NIGHT TIGER, like Choo's first book, is an epic, sweeping tale set in 1930's Malaya. Choo weaves together Chinese superstition and folklore in gorgeous, lush prose that sucks you right in and keeps you reading into the night hours. The characters and setting are so vivid, her plot masterful... From a severed finger to a dancehall girl in colonial Malaysia, with a helping of Chinese lore, it's incredibly unique and a thrilling, breathtaking read! I highly recommend it and cannot wait for it to hit bookshelves.
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  • Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    One of the best and most intelligent books I've read. Briefly, the story involves several themes that pertain specifically to the areas of Malaysia and surrounding Chinese culture. Superstitions, interactions with the imperialist workers, danger of adjacent wildlife, and expectations for different age groups in the 1930s, to make a few. It's fascinating.The storyline and integration of these themes are complex without being unapproachable. The complicated nature of the superstition that serves a One of the best and most intelligent books I've read. Briefly, the story involves several themes that pertain specifically to the areas of Malaysia and surrounding Chinese culture. Superstitions, interactions with the imperialist workers, danger of adjacent wildlife, and expectations for different age groups in the 1930s, to make a few. It's fascinating.The storyline and integration of these themes are complex without being unapproachable. The complicated nature of the superstition that serves as the basis is slowly revealed without hand holding. So often, a colonial / imperial historical fiction can carry such a heavy agenda that it is annoying to read. When that happens, it's also ironically all about the white man the author is trying to critique, preventing the "locals" from creating their own identity. In those cases, it's still like "The White Man's Burden," though the objective is to criticize that sentiment. This one just tells a great story, with plenty of depth for learning about imperialism, the era, and how the cultures worked together or clashed.Spoiler: the love story within this was so well-handled. It felt like an authentic progression of feelings and exposure of the foundation for love. The characters developed within the story, as well as revealed their pay development as the story moved. It's just so creative, I'm definitely going to have a book hangover after this one. I hope the author quickly writes another so I have something good to read.Merged review:One of the best and most intelligent books I've read. Briefly, the story involves several themes that pertain specifically to the areas of Malaysia and surrounding Chinese culture. Superstitions, interactions with the imperialist workers, danger of adjacent wildlife, and expectations for different age groups in the 1930s, to make a few. It's fascinating.The storyline and integration of these themes are complex without being unapproachable. The complicated nature of the superstition that serves as the basis is slowly revealed without hand holding. So often, a colonial / imperial historical fiction can carry such a heavy agenda that it is annoying to read. When that happens, it's also ironically all about the white man the author is trying to critique, preventing the "locals" from creating their own identity. In those cases, it's still like "The White Man's Burden," though the objective is to criticize that sentiment. This one just tells a great story, with plenty of depth for learning about imperialism, the era, and how the cultures worked together or clashed.Spoiler: the love story within this was so well-handled. It felt like an authentic progression of feelings and exposure of the foundation for love. The characters developed within the story, as well as revealed their pay development as the story moved. It's just so creative, I'm definitely going to have a book hangover after this one. I hope the author quickly writes another so I have something good to read.
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  • Rita
    January 1, 1970
    I received an advance Reading Copy of "The Night Tiger" from Goodreads. Thank you Goodreads and Yangsze Choo. The description of the book was intriguing. I have never heard of a weretiger and admit my knowledge of Malaysia is very limited. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The characters were real. The story was interesting. I was able to escape into a different world at a different time, in other words, enjoy a good book. I would recommend this book for anyone, but especially anyone that loves to I received an advance Reading Copy of "The Night Tiger" from Goodreads. Thank you Goodreads and Yangsze Choo. The description of the book was intriguing. I have never heard of a weretiger and admit my knowledge of Malaysia is very limited. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The characters were real. The story was interesting. I was able to escape into a different world at a different time, in other words, enjoy a good book. I would recommend this book for anyone, but especially anyone that loves to learn about different cultures.
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  • Susan McGrath
    January 1, 1970
    I received an Advanced Reading Copy of The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo from the publisher (Flatiron Books) in exchange for an honest review. The Night Tiger is scheduled for release on February 12, 2019.The Night Tiger takes us to 1930s Malaya (currently known as Malaysia) where Ji Lin is working as a "dance instructor" in a dance hall to earn money to pay off her mother's Mahjong debt. An encounter with a salesman on the dance floor ends in Ji Lin holding a glass vial with a shriveled human fi I received an Advanced Reading Copy of The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo from the publisher (Flatiron Books) in exchange for an honest review. The Night Tiger is scheduled for release on February 12, 2019.The Night Tiger takes us to 1930s Malaya (currently known as Malaysia) where Ji Lin is working as a "dance instructor" in a dance hall to earn money to pay off her mother's Mahjong debt. An encounter with a salesman on the dance floor ends in Ji Lin holding a glass vial with a shriveled human finger inside. Ji Lin sets out to return the finger to a more appropriate place, without revealing to anyone her slightly shady job.At the same time, a young boy named Ren is trying to fulfill the death bed wish of his former master. He is searching for the finger his master had amputated years ago so that it can be buried with the rest of his body and his soul can be at peace.The paths of Ji Lin and Ren dodge and twist around each other while a man-eating tiger terrifies the area. Mythology, folklore, and cultural norms further bend their paths, leading to an intricate and tightly woven plot. The story explores the battle between personal desires and family expectations, the limits of societal norms, connections that we can't see with our mortal eyes, and the influence of outside forces.The writing in The Night Tiger is lovely. Once I started reading Choo's words, I was dropped into this time and place she brings to life so well. She is able to describe things in a way that brings them to life, even the elements of the story that are drawn from the magical.The Night Tiger has two main characters (Ji Lin and Ren) who are very different despite their underlying connection. Both of these characters are well-written, with clearly defined desires and wishes. They are surrounded by a variety of other characters, including foreigners, that are equally well-written. While there are definitely character types in this story (required to fulfill the mythological and folklore basis of the story) they are not two-dimensional. Everyone in this novel has their own goal and personality.Overall, The Night Tiger was an enjoyable, lovely read that I whole-heartedly recommend to anyone craving a bit of magical realism.
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  • Anton Prosser
    January 1, 1970
    A thrilling, fantastic story! The shift of perspective/tense provided two different views on the events of the story, giving it a richness that could not have been achieved with only one. It was exciting and every time I had to put the book down I felt antsy, wondering how things would resolve themselves. I can't wait to recommend this to everyone.
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  • Abigail Ameen
    January 1, 1970
    A wonderful story with multiple plot lines and lots of characters that all comes seamlessly together. It also drew me comfortably into a culture I don’t have much exposure to.
  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    I LOVED this story. It's a combination of magical realism and historic fiction set in Malaysia during the 1930's. Ren is a young houseboy whose master Dr. MacFarlane dies. But due to an accident, one of his fingers was amputated and Ren is on a mission to grant his master's wish of having his finger buried with him. But not only does Ren have to find the finger, there is a time limit since Dr. MacFarlane's soul only has 49 days to wander the earth. This book is filled with Chinese mythology and I LOVED this story. It's a combination of magical realism and historic fiction set in Malaysia during the 1930's. Ren is a young houseboy whose master Dr. MacFarlane dies. But due to an accident, one of his fingers was amputated and Ren is on a mission to grant his master's wish of having his finger buried with him. But not only does Ren have to find the finger, there is a time limit since Dr. MacFarlane's soul only has 49 days to wander the earth. This book is filled with Chinese mythology and superstition in a backdrop of colonial Malaysia. The pacing is taut making you want to race through this story, but you will want to savor the beautiful lyrical prose. This is an excellent choice for literary or historic fiction lovers.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    Received through FirstReads...I was really excited to get this, as I loved "The Ghost Bride". It didn't disappoint. It had that same wonderful way of hovering between real and unreal. All aspects are brought to life..characters, surroundings, weather, the silk of a dress, the red dirt. Like her previous book it has the feel of a fairytale.
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  • Renée (bookishblissandbeauty)
    January 1, 1970
    *An advanced reader ebook copy was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review* As book lovers and avid readers we all search for that gem of a novel that makes our bookish heart pitter-patter with excitement. Sometimes we hit the mark, other times we strike out. Praise the book gods for Yangsze Choo’s mesmerizing new book The Night Tiger because I want to shout from the rooftops about this book.Set in 1930s Malaysia, under British colonialism, The Night Tiger follow *An advanced reader ebook copy was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review* As book lovers and avid readers we all search for that gem of a novel that makes our bookish heart pitter-patter with excitement. Sometimes we hit the mark, other times we strike out. Praise the book gods for Yangsze Choo’s mesmerizing new book The Night Tiger because I want to shout from the rooftops about this book.Set in 1930s Malaysia, under British colonialism, The Night Tiger follows two main character Ji Lin and Ren.Ren is an 11 year old Chinese houseboy sets out to fulfill his master’s dying wish for the boy to find his missing (amputated) finger and return it so that his soul can rest in peace. Following the local traditions, Ren has 49 days to find the finger and return it to his master’s grave. Ji Lin is an ambitious and smart young woman but due to sexism and a controlling and abusive stepfather she’s apprenticed to a dressmaker rather than continuing her education. Meanwhile, after her daily work in a dress shop, Ji Lin takes a job as a dance hall girl under the alias “Louise” where men pay to dance with lovely women. Although she hides the fact that she works at a dance hall, she needs the money to help payoff her mother’s mahjong gambling debt. It’s during one of her dance sets that Ji Lin comes into possession of a mysterious and grisly object.Ji Lin and Ren’s stories converge around unexplained deaths that locals claim to be the work of a were-tiger, or men that can turn into tigers. Add to this premonitions, ghosts, and fate and you have a blend of magical realism and mystery that will keep you hooked.There’s so much more to the story than a quick description can truly describe, but for fear or revealing too much I’ll stop here.I absolutely loved how Choo immersed the novel fully in Malay folk belief and tradition, which is an amalgam of the various cultures that inhabit it. I had never heard of the were-tiger belief that either men could turn into tigers or that some tigers have the ability to wear a human skin. Simultaneously feared and revered the were-tiger provided a fascinating premise for a book. Moreover, Choo weaves in other beliefs such as superstitions surrounding numbers like “4” as well as the five Confucian virtues that create the perfect man. Such rich details throughout the novel really made this novel so special and, well, magical. Choo’s incorporation of these elements never felt forced and instead allowed me to get lost in the magical realism of the novel. Moreover, I felt like the characters were richly developed. Ren was endearing and the child innocence of his plot line added some much heart and depth to the story. While Ji Lin’s struggles to create her autonomy in a world and culture where respectable female jobs were limited as well as a budding forbidden romance connected with me a female reader. Though I live in a different time and place from Ji Lin I felt like I could connect with her coming-of-age story and her decisions about what was right for herself. Subtle themes of gender, class, and colonialism add historical depth to the book while also providing reflections of our own society. The plot was well-paced and I devoured the nearly 400 page book in a span of about 5 days and that’s only because real life things like work and chores got in the way of my reading time. I highly recommend this book!
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