Reader reviews and comments on The Night Tiger, plus links to write your own review.

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The Night Tiger

A Novel

by Yangsze Choo

The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo X
The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2019, 384 pages
    Feb 11, 2020, 400 pages


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There are currently 23 reader reviews for The Night Tiger
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Florence K. (Northridge, CA)

The Night Tiger
The more I think about this book the more I like it. The premise is a promising one: Chinese people and other foreigners living in Malaya before the onset of World War II. They have all come to the island for different reasons.
The beliefs, the events, the customs, the superstitions, the numerology, the motley characters were all well delineated. Of particular interest to me was the fascination with death and life, and the rituals that accompanied them. Also, the unexpected twists and turns were a clever touch. As the book ended and the characters went their different ways, I wondered if the author plans to write a sequel to NIGHT TIGER. Time will tell.
Cheryl M. (Le Claire, IA)

Are there relly night tigers out there?
Reviewing The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo was hard for me. It is a very complex book set in the 1930's in Malay, or Malaysia as Americans would call it. Britain's colonial empire had reached Malay and many ex pats were living there. They influenced societal culture and served as a stark contrast to the native culture.
The main characters, Ji Lin, Ren, Shin, and one or another of several physicians and lady friends, seemed drawn to each other, no matter where any settled. Their names, in one form or another, made up the five virtues, so they seemed a "matched set." Ji Lin was knowledge, Ren humanity, and Shin integrity. Yi, a part of the after world and Ren's twin, stood for righteousness. William and Lydia, both escaping their pasts in England, were ritual. Native culture says all are needed in life and they work throughout your lifetime to come into balance. This seems to agree with western thought, phrased as maturing or coping.
Step siblings raised together Ji Lin and Shin deal with sibling rivalry, love, and women's changing roles. Shin is encouraged and helped to enter medical school, while Ji Lin, who is smarter, is expected to marry well. Both enter into an agreement with Shin's father that enables them to pursue what they want - if they can decided on what that is.
Ren and Yi are connected even after Yi dies at the age of seven or eight. Ren feels the pull to join Yi, but does not understand what is happening. Ren is a houseboy to first Dr. McFarland, followed by Dr. Acton, and then Dr. Rawlings. Each man has his secrets, and they share more than a passing interest in local legends about night tigers.
Are there things that crop up repeatedly in your life? Is there something that causes them to be resolved? Are night tigers real? These are subjects to discussion and confusion for all.
Mary A. (Lake Nebagamon, WI)

Tigers and superstitions
This story takes place in Malaysia during the early 1930's under the colonization of the British.
The author kept me fascinated with the mystery, intrigue, dreams and romance in this story. Her word usage to convey images of dreams and what Rem senses in the characters is remarkable.
Rem, an eleven year old twin orphan is my favorite character. He is loyal, smart and determined to follow through with his Master's last wish. The story evolves around the completion of this wish.
JiLin starts working in the dance hall to help pay off her mother's MahJong debt keeping it a secret from her mother, stepfather and stepbrother.From there the story progresses to tigers, dreams, numbers and superstitions.
Ilene M. (Longmont, CO)

Well written
I thought that this book was well written because of the alternating points of view from chapter to chapter. The spiritual aspect of the tale was intriguing. The book kept my interest from the beginning. However, I was disappointed by the way in which the author chose to tie everything together at the end of the book.
Madeline M (FL)

The Night Tiger
Settle in for a story steeped in magic and myth, for a tale where fate and superstition tangle with life, love and death. The details of the time period and the setting are fascinating, but it is the young, gentle houseboy, Ren, who will beckon you into this story, keep you there, and steal your heart.
Kenan R. (Liberty, MO)

I liked it but...
There were parts of this story that I found compelling and there were parts that I struggled to get through. The concept excited me as a reader - a historical novel of love and family set in Malaysia in the '30s with a dash of magic. I just found the narrative to be uneven. There were times I could easily put the book down and I cannot quite put my finger on the why of it. The dream sequences were wonderful and too few - I think. The "Nancy Drew Mystery" portions felt a bit contrived, and did not hold my interest at all. All in all - I liked the book, I just didn't find it to be quite enough to wholly recommend it.
Veronica E. (Chesterton, IN)

Not a Page Turner
I struggled through this story. I finished it... but it took me awhile. I found the story to be very slow paced. There are a number of characters, however I only found two that were real interesting. I felt there was another story inside this story that needed to be told. I found the story to be incomplete. The cover will get you to pick the book up and the introduction is enticing. I also liked the author's notes. Just not my night tiger.
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Beyond the Book:
  The Five Confucian Virtues

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