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The Night Tiger: A Novel de Yangsze Choo
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The Night Tiger: A Novel (edició 2019)

de Yangsze Choo (Autor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
6853024,610 (3.82)35
The Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick INSTANTNEW YORK TIMESBESTSELLER "A sumptuous garden maze of a novel that immerses readers in a complex, vanished world." --Kirkus(starred review) An utterly transporting novel set in 1930s colonial Malaysia, perfect for fans of Isabel Allende and Min Jin Lee Quick-witted, ambitious Ji Lin is stuck as an apprentice dressmaker, moonlighting as a dancehall girl to help pay off her mother's Mahjong debts. But when one of her dance partners accidentally leaves behind a gruesome souvenir, Ji Lin may finally get the adventure she has been longing for. Eleven-year-old houseboy Ren is also on a mission, racing to fulfill his former master's dying wish: that Ren find the man's finger, lost years ago in an accident, and bury it with his body. Ren has 49 days to do so, or his master's soul will wander the earth forever. As the days tick relentlessly by, a series of unexplained deaths racks the district, along with whispers of men who turn into tigers. Ji Lin and Ren's increasingly dangerous paths crisscross through lush plantations, hospital storage rooms, and ghostly dreamscapes. Yangsze Choo's The Night Tigerpulls us into a world of servants and masters, age-old superstition and modern idealism, sibling rivalry and forbidden love. But anchoring this dazzling, propulsive novel is the intimate coming-of-age of a child and a young woman, each searching for their place in a society that would rather they stay invisible. "A work of incredible beauty... Astoundingly captivating and striking... A transcendent story of courage and connection." --Booklist(starred review)… (més)
Membre:JayeJ
Títol:The Night Tiger: A Novel
Autors:Yangsze Choo (Autor)
Informació:Flatiron Books (2019), 384 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:to-read

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The Night Tiger de Yangsze Choo

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Es mostren 1-5 de 29 (següent | mostra-les totes)
I listened to this on Hoopla, so have no idea how many of the characters' names and places are spelled.

British Malaya, 1930s. A found finger, a lost twin, 5 Chinese virtues, a dance hall, a hospital pathology collection that is missing fingers, surprising accidents, and a purported wher-tiger.

This plot is fairly complicated, but Choo does a great job of pulling everything together even as it seems the story has gotten away from her. We meet British expats living and working at a Malaya hospital, native servants, hospital employees, dance hall girls, local people working on plantations. There might be a man who turns into a tiger, and there are definitely Brits who are in Malaya to hide their pasts--just as their are locals hiding their presents from family and friends. Choo weaves in Malay and Chinese tradition and superstition, colonialism, romance, treachery, mystery, and more.

Choo narrated this audiobook herself. I absolutely love her Singaporean accent, and she is a great reader. ( )
  Dreesie | Jan 18, 2021 |
Adventure is a five-pack. There are five Chinese virtues. Five people named after those virtues. Five fingers. And (at least) five deaths. There are also mysterious were tigers, a black-market in charmed body-parts, and (at least) one extremely dangerous woman. You’d be right if you were thinking that the only thing missing is simmering sexual tension. But there it is, right around the corner. Between Ji Lin, her (unrelated) step-brother, Ren, Yi, and William (or Lydia), there is a remarkable web of coincidence, suspicious happenings, and mounds of eerie perceptions. It must be fate, because the adventure that ensues in 1930s colonial Malaysia is positively spooky.

Yangsze Choo does an admirable job tying together her plot and her five key figures. Told, alternately, from Ji Lin’s first-person perspective and a third-person viewpoint, primarily focused on Ren, the story leaps into high gear almost from the opening. Once Ji Lin accidentally acquires the amputated and preserved fifth finger of someone, she is on her way to discovering the connections between herself and each of the others. At once a stylish thriller and a murder mystery, Ji Lin’s story is every bit as exciting as one from her hero, Sherlock Holmes. It will keep you guessing.

Although Choo makes an effort to bring colonial Malaysia to life, I suspect that she is more interested in the intricacies of her plot. Which is perhaps a missed opportunity because I think the atmosphere and details of life there might have been equally compelling. However, if her goal was action and adventure, she at least accomplished that end. And maybe that should be enough.

Gently recommended. ( )
  RandyMetcalfe | Nov 5, 2020 |
I listened to the audiobook. The performance was great. The story itself was so-so. I just couldn’t really connect with the characters. ( )
  DKnight0918 | Sep 12, 2020 |
In the notes at the end of the novel, Choo explains that the spirit tigers appeared in different guises in Asian folklore and were revered with a mixture of respect and dread. Choo also suggests (although it is not clear whether this is based on actual beliefs or a fictional reinterpretation) that a body which is not buried “whole” can return to prey on humans as a weretiger – a sort of Asian cross between the werewolf and the vampire.

Taking this as a starting point, Choo crafts an engaging historical novel set in 1930s colonial Malaya. Young Ren is a houseboy for an eccentric English doctor. In the final months of his life, his master falls prey to feverish delusions and starts to confess to nightly roams and killings in the neighbourhood. On his deathbed, he sends his trusted houseboy on a mission – within forty-nine days from his death, Ren must track his master’s amputated finger and reunite it with his body – otherwise, the soul of the old doctor will not rest. Ren’s path crosses that of Ji Lin, an apprentice dressmaker and part-time dancehall girl who coincidentally ends up in possession of the finger. The severed body part however is the least of her worries – what with strange men following her (and then falling dead) and trouble brewing between her and her stepfather.

The names/words “Ren” and “Ji” refer to two of the five “Confucian Virtues”, and it turns out that the destinies of “Ren” and “Ji” are also closely tied to those of three other figures named after these virtues: Ren’s dead twin brother “Yi”, Ji Lin’s stepbrother “Shin” and a fifth characters which will – to avoid spoilers – remain unnamed. The link between these characters is highlighted in several dream sequences where the dead seemingly interact with the living.

I found The Night Tiger to be an enjoyable novel. The historical and cultural context is well-researched and conveyed in atmospheric prose. For most of the book, the plot zips along at a fast pace, its twists and turns making this an entertaining ride.

Yet, I have two major reservations about the book, both of which refer to approach and style. First of all, considering the supernatural underpinning of the novel and its share of gruesome episodes, it had all the potential to become an unsettling piece of speculative fiction played out against a historical backdrop. Instead, Choo chooses to concentrate on the various romantic sub-plots, mostly centred around the boyish but apparently irresistibly attractive Ji Lin. As a result, Choo steers away from horror and ventures instead into YA Romance territory. No doubt, several readers will be perfectly fine with this. I, for one, would have preferred a much darker book.

Another issue is that by the end of the book, it becomes somewhat overburdened with unlikely narrative twists and facile explanations. Of course, in a supernatural novel about weretigers, it is reasonable to suspend one’s disbelief. Yet, even allowing for cosmic connections and otherworldly interventions, some “coincidences” just seem too convenient.

These reservations aside, I would recommend the book to lovers of historical novels who do not mind romance generously thrown into the mix. Horror fans can, however, safely give this a miss.

Read the full review at: https://endsoftheword.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-night-tiger-by-yangsze-choo-book.... ( )
  JosephCamilleri | Sep 12, 2020 |
The Night Tiger, by Yangsze Choo, blends the legends of jungle weretigers, restless spirits and prophetic dreams with everyday challenges in 1930s Malaysia.

The beginning starts slowly, for the same reasons that shifting narrators is usually slow. As soon as I caught on to who’s who and what’s happening in one storyline, we switched to another. I usually don’t much like shifting narrators, for exactly that reason, but after a few shifts, I really enjoyed seeing the same story unfold from different angles. It helped that there was a mystical connection between characters and storylines, so I kept seeing the same themes and events.

The characters start to cross and interact, and the shifting narration also helped show wildly different experiences of Malaysian life. Ren, an orphan boy, works as a servant to Dr. William Acton, an English doctor with layers of secrets in the expat enclave. Teenage Ji Lin is better off than Ren, but she’s still been pulled out of school and sent to work in a suitable occupation for girls, as a dressmaker’s apprentice, while the boy of her family, her “twin” stepbrother Shin, can attend medical school. Race, class and gender separate these characters, creating such a wide variety of experiences, but something supernatural is pulling them together.

Warning, though, there are some revolting moments in this book. The plot hinges on reuniting a severed finger with a corpse, and the story includes multiple severed fingers, preserved organs in general, gruesome tiger attacks, murder, and medical descriptions. It’s not gory or gratuitous, but if Crazy Rich Asians is the Singapore/Malaysia novel to make you hungry, The Night Tiger is the Singapore/Malaysia novel to kill your appetite.

A man loses a finger and a man-eating tiger, missing just that toe, prowls the village… is it a coincidence or a supernatural predator? William’s girlfriends don’t seem to have a long life expectancy… is he terribly unlucky, or is something more sinister happening? This compelling novel kept me questioning what was supernatural, and what was just an unlucky (or way too lucky) coincidence. Outside of the central question of weretigers, each character has other things they’d like to keep quiet, too.

Spoiler alert from here on, so if you haven’t read it, stop here and go pick up The Night Tiger!

One plot point relies on knowing the Chinese versions of English names, and I immediately guessed the answer, because that’s how I would transliterate Lydia. When William’s Chinese name came up, it turned out to be 威力安,not 威廉 as I expected, so I thought that Lydia was just another coincidence or a misdirection. So it was a double twist when the whole thing was revealed. Such a great series of twists.

Lydia’s backstory threw me off the trail, because I just assumed she had a broken engagement back home and now she’s husband-hunting out in the Colonies where English men greatly outnumbered the women. As one did.

Overall, I was on board with the step-sibling romance. I understand why Ji’s mom was upset, but they’re not really related by blood, so ok. There was one really yucky moment when Shin tells Ji that he’s going to sleep with her because another suitor won’t want her if she’s not a virgin anymore. This is a perfectly reasonable attitude for 1930s Malaysia, but eeew, gross. The whole idea of women as pure virgins vs secondhand goods is gross, and banging a girl to defeat another guy is gross, and just, yuck. Shin, I expected better from you.

I also liked how, at the end of the novel, you could still insist that everything was just a coincidence, or you could be completely caught up in the supernatural connections between Shin and Ji, between Ren and Yi, and between William and Lydia, and the danger of restless weretigers. ( )
  TheFictionAddiction | Aug 12, 2020 |
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The Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick INSTANTNEW YORK TIMESBESTSELLER "A sumptuous garden maze of a novel that immerses readers in a complex, vanished world." --Kirkus(starred review) An utterly transporting novel set in 1930s colonial Malaysia, perfect for fans of Isabel Allende and Min Jin Lee Quick-witted, ambitious Ji Lin is stuck as an apprentice dressmaker, moonlighting as a dancehall girl to help pay off her mother's Mahjong debts. But when one of her dance partners accidentally leaves behind a gruesome souvenir, Ji Lin may finally get the adventure she has been longing for. Eleven-year-old houseboy Ren is also on a mission, racing to fulfill his former master's dying wish: that Ren find the man's finger, lost years ago in an accident, and bury it with his body. Ren has 49 days to do so, or his master's soul will wander the earth forever. As the days tick relentlessly by, a series of unexplained deaths racks the district, along with whispers of men who turn into tigers. Ji Lin and Ren's increasingly dangerous paths crisscross through lush plantations, hospital storage rooms, and ghostly dreamscapes. Yangsze Choo's The Night Tigerpulls us into a world of servants and masters, age-old superstition and modern idealism, sibling rivalry and forbidden love. But anchoring this dazzling, propulsive novel is the intimate coming-of-age of a child and a young woman, each searching for their place in a society that would rather they stay invisible. "A work of incredible beauty... Astoundingly captivating and striking... A transcendent story of courage and connection." --Booklist(starred review)

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