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Tiger Pelt

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  97 ratings  ·  35 reviews
This a previously-published edition of ISBN 9780997609004.

Gripping, suspenseful, and unflinching, Tiger Pelt is a story of rebirth from the rubble of a savage time and a ravaged place: Korea during the Japanese occupation followed by the Korean War. A farm boy embarks on a quest that propels him on an odyssey spanning the Korean peninsula and crossing the Pacific. In a par
Paperback, 362 pages
Published January 9th 2017 by Leaf Land
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4.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  97 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Jeffrey Keeten
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
”In the middle of the night, you hear a goddamn bugle. Then a bunch of commie chinks come swarming over the mountain like an exploded nest of fire ants. I’m not ashamed to say it. The sight of a million chinks coming at you with one purpose in mind, to kill you, is enough to make any man shit his pants. Every time a flare goes up, you see more of them crawling over the crest of the hill. They’re covering the earth like a goddamn plague of Egypt. You shoot till your ammunition is all gone, which ...more
Nov 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
! Now Available !
The Publication date on this has changed from 24 Nov 2016 to 9 Jan 2017 and now 13 December 2016 according to Amazon and other booksellers, but if you've been waiting for this it is now available.

Beginning with the Japanese occupation in 1942-1943 through the Korean Civil War of 1950 to the year 1985, this covers a lot of territory, geographically as well as time span and people. There are history lessons that are likely to be learned on a more intimate scale, as this focuses r
Apr 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
A sweeping and dramatic tale set in an important period of Korean history.

I believe it was Cheri’s review that convinced me to download this novel from Netgalley back in November. I have been meaning to read it since then but I could not find myself in the mood to tackle such a dramatic story. Be warned, this novel is painful to read although the ending provides for some release. Still, it is worth reading.

The novel plot spans over 42 years. It starts with the Japanese occupation in Korea from
Dec 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This is not an easy book to read. Dealing with the Japanese occupation of Korea and up through the Korean War and beyond, it dwells on all the horrors of those times. Kim Young Nam is a young boy during the occupation. Starving, he watches the dissolution of his family. Lee Hana is just twelve when she is forced into life as a comfort woman for the Japanese army. How sick that this group was called the Women’s Voluntary Service Corp. The book hits you hard, dealing with starvation, disease, slav ...more
Angela M
Nov 14, 2016 rated it really liked it

This is a powerful and a painful snapshot of a part of Korea's history from the years of the Japanese occupation from 1943 - 1945 covering decades as it moves over time to the Korean War in the 1950's and to a more recent time in the 1980's following characters to America. It is told through two stories, one of a young boy and the other of a young girl. Their stories alternate as the reader waits and wonders how and when will they connect.

This is so very difficult to read , so very brutal espec
May 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
In Japanese occupied Korea, a disturbing story takes place. As in any war, cultural norms are pushed aside and new ways of life become the standard. Families are torn apart to support the new regime and starvation becomes the collateral damage to those not in the army.

Kim Young Nam, the 3rd child of 5 boys and a scholar, is drafted. Hana Lee, only 12, is recruited into a comfort home for Japanese soldiers. Their stories are told in parallel leading up to an event in which their lives become ent
Patrick Fay
Oct 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
I loved the book and was drawn more and more deeply into the lives of the characters with every page. I really appreciated seeing the stories of the horrors of the Japanese occupation and the Korean civil war through the eyes of individuals. I had previously known about all of this only through drier histories so this was the first time I felt the severity and scale of it all on a visceral, emotional level.

The inside view into Korean culture and thought was an added bonus.
Sep 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Annabelle Kim's "Tiger Pelt" is extraordinary. Since reading this novel, I've continued to think about it every day for weeks. The compelling and interweaving stories, the vivid imagery, the strength of the characters in incredibly painful circumstances: all of these elements continue to live on inside the reader, bringing continued insights and explorations. This novel is a beautiful illustration of the many ways even the most intense suffering can be deeply meaningful, often in unexpected ways ...more
Sep 26, 2016 rated it liked it
I took this from the “read now” section of NetGalley. I want to apologize to the author and publisher now, before I get started with this review. I don’t fit the market for this book. I have nothing against the skill, but this didn’t match well with my preferences. I’ll do my best to give an honest review, which leads to compliments as well as an explanation.

This writer has a high level of ability. She writes with the uniqueness of Stephen King in style, and writes eloquent, beautiful and poetic
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A gripping, soulful story that is at once heartbreaking and heartwarming. The author masterfully weaves together the main characters' lives to make a very powerful story. A lesson in holding on to your dream in the face of overwhelming hardships and obstacles. I highly recommend this beautiful book!
Maria Beltrami
Siamo in Corea, negli anni dopo la guerra, e un giovane militare salva una donna che sta per essere inghiottita dai flutti di un fiume in piena. Questo è il momento che mette in contatto, apparentemente per la durata di questo episodio, in realtà intrecciandone i destini, due giovani coreani dal passato, e dal futuro, travagliati.
Dopo questo momento di incontro la storia torna indietro, e, a capitoli alternati, racconta l'infanzia tragica di entrambi, prima sotto l'occupazione giapponese, poi so
Sep 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
A novel of Korea from the Japanese occupation of 1942-43 through the civil war to 1985, Tiger Pelt traces the lives of two children of peasant farmers, Kim Young Nam and Lee Hana, who in adulthood end up seeking a better life in the United States. Kim Young Nam grasps what opportunity he can, first with the American troops and then in a quest for higher education in the Korean Christian church. He has an lifelong affinity for academia but must struggle to gain access to proper schooling before m ...more
Nov 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

"Tiger Pelt" is an epic saga of two Koreans as they live through the Japanese rule over their country, the Korean civil war, and eventually emigration to America. Been there, read that? No, not quite, believe me. Annabelle Kim does a wonderful job of writing gut-wrenchingly realistic scenarios and describing the hard conditions under which the Koreans lived. At times, the narrative was a bit repetitive, but that served
Susan Gruskin
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Reading Tiger Pelt gave me an entirely new perspective on a time in history that I really did not know much about. It took me less than three days to read this book and had I not been at work, I probably would have finished it in one sitting. This book captivated me; mainly because I was so fascinated by the main male character. I saw this book in my head as I was reading it, and that, to me, is when I know I've latched onto something special. Ms. Kim was able to create characters that really ca ...more
Apr 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
I won this book as a Goodreads Giveway.

Kim's Tiger Belt, is a honest, unsettling odyssey into Korea during the Japanese occupation. Impressive historical fiction indeed!
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Tiger Pelt, set primarily during Japanese-occupied Korea and the Korean War, follows two main characters who are fighting to survive. I always love great historical fiction in which the story sweeps you away and you learn something new about a certain time in history. The stories are gripping and at times hard to read - Kim brings you directly into the narrative, no matter how uncomfortable, to understand what these characters are going through. The writing is very visceral - you can almost touc ...more
Reader Views
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views (12/16)

“Tiger Pelt” by Annabelle Kim is set in Korea during the Japanese occupation, 1943-1945. The story traces the lives of two children, Kim and Lee. Even through all the hard times, each seeks a new life in America. Whereas Kim is ambitious, hard working, and doing well, Lee has a harder time due to lack of skills, motivation, and money.

During his younger years, Kim Nam had to change his name from the Korean way to the Japanese way. It was a time of t
Jan 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
Illuminating. Anabelle Kim took me to a place I didn't know. Showed me things I knew nothing about. To a place of war and children, survival and tenderness.
The travels of two separate main characters, Kim Young Nam and Lee Hana. Adolescents grown old so young in occupied Korea. A tale of survival at all costs, of reaching higher, and learning to humbly believe in yourself, against all odds. Casualty of war redeemed by a chance encounter.
I couldn't put the book down. It was excellent from page
Jen Juenke
Dec 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. At first I had to put it down and step away from it, because it was too depressing. Yet I was still drawn to it. The book follows the story of 2 Koreans, one male, one female from World War 2 to the 1980's. Its a painful, depressing, and yet uplifting story of survival in unbelievable odds. I loved the story of the female and wished that there was more to it. I just felt her loneliness, her degradation, and yet her strong will to survive.
Read this book in a sitting or two. I
Polly Krize
Nov 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Set in Korea during the Japanese Occupation, 1943-1945, and through the Korean civil war of the 1980s, this is a brutally honest tale told through the eyes of two people, a boy and a girl. The brutality of the Japanese affected both of them, although differently. Very well written and empathetic to the point of bringing tears to my eyes! To find the strength to go on in the face of such adversity makes for strong and powerful charac
Gloria Brooks
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gifted-books
This book shows the brutality of Korea's history , it has a lot of gruesomeness but it shows the reality of living in that time and the starvation and rape and horrible things that had to be endured. I really liked this book as it shows what people went through to survive even though its fictional but historical book. The characters of Kim Young Nam and Lee Hana draws you into there lives and Annabell Kim wrote a amazing book .
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: asia-other
What an incredible description of the brutality of war and the invincibility of the human spirit. The book traces the lives of two South Koreans from 1942 to 1985. I should warn that the scenes of war and war-related events are brutal; however, this is a story that needs to be told and remembered. The writing is excellent. I will look for other books by this author.
Jan 05, 2017 added it
Gripping! Couldnt put Tiger Pelt down. I didnt know anything about the Korean War but this shed a little bid ot light.
Elaine Reinhard
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction-history
Phenomenal book. Astounding story that grips your heart from beginning to end. Beautiful characters. A can't put it down book. Wow! I won this on good reads. Thanks so much for an amazing story. Well written.
Dec 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaway-books
I got this book in a good reads giveaway. I love books that take place during wartime. on that front, the book did not disappoint. the horrors of war for civilians was brought to life by the author. although I did connect with the two main characters I found myself disliking them more and more as the book progressed. I also grew to dislike the writing style. although as stated before the author certainly does a good job of bringing the story to life, I felt like she forcefully filled the story w ...more
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This engaging novel tells of the lives of two Koreans, a young farm boy, Kim Young Nam, and a young girl Lee Hana, and the hardships and perils they have to face over the decades from the last days of the Japanese Occupation of Korea to the 1980s. It’s an often shocking and heart-breaking odyssey and the author doesn’t flinch away from describing the horrors of war, and the terrible experiences her protagonists have to face. Kim Young Nam, for all his poverty, aspires to an education above all e ...more
I bought this book last year after reading Packinko and realizing that my education re the history of the Korean Peninsula was dismal. One way to correct that was to read some stories. This book was positively reviewed and made a list or two of the Best Books of 2015. It isn't as well-written or as compelling as Packinko. Parts of it are a dry recitation of the passage of years, but it is a more in-depth story of the Korean people who lived through the Japanese occupation and the Korean War, and ...more
Mary Anne
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow, this book is intense. It is particularly fascinating to learn more about Korea's history during this time of renewed focus on this country. The story is told through the lives of two Koreans. I read this book after reading 'Pachinko' and learned a lot from both.
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2-goodread_wins
I won this in a GOODREADS giveaway. Disturbing and intense story. Graphic, brutal, haunting.
Jan 02, 2017 rated it liked it
I tried so very hard to read this book, but I couldn't get into it. This book doesn't fit any of my preferences. I won this book from a giveaway on Goodreads, and while I'm very grateful that I won and got the chance to read the book, I just didn't really like it. I stopped 100 pages in. Parts of the book just made me way too uncomfortable to continue.
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Annabelle Kim’s debut novel, Tiger Pelt, was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015 and is a Finalist for the Center for Fiction for the 2017 First Novel Prize. She studied in the MIT Writing Program. She lives with her husband, four children, and Bouvier des Flandres in New Jersey: Exit 8.

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