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The Night Tiger

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  232 ratings  ·  90 reviews
"Mythical creatures, conversations with the dead, lucky numbers, Confucian virtues, and forbidden love provide the backdrop for Choo’s superb murder mystery. Mining the rich setting of colonial Malaysia, Choo wonderfully combines a Holmes-esque plot with Chinese lore."—Publisher's Weekly (starred, boxed review)

“Choo has written a sumptuous garden maze of a novel that immer
Expected publication: February 12th 2019 by Flatiron Books
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Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Elyse Walters
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“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
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 13-year-old 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 hi
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In 1930's Malaya (Malaysia), an orphaned Chinese eleven year old, Ren, was houseboy to Dr. MacFarlane. A deathbed promise was made to the doctor. Ren had 49 days to find the severed finger of his dead master and reunite and bury it with his body or MacFarlane's soul will roam the earth for eternity.

Ji Lin, an apprentice dressmaker, moonlights as a dance hall instructor at the May Flower Dance Hall where men can purchase tickets and choose a dance partner. The men often have "wandering hands". Ji
Book of the Month
Why I love it
by Brianna Goodman

If 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
Jul 18, 2018 marked it as to-read
*whispers* I need this book in my liiiiife *sits here and waits*
James Cham
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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!
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Check out this review and others on my blog:

The 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
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Amy Sturgis
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
Nov 25, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aaa, malaysia
A novel about Malaysia in the 1930s? I couldn't stop myself, I just needed to have this...

Visit the locations in the novel

Out 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
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
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
Karen Kay
I received this from 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
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
I love that feeling of reader satisfaction when a book ends that has transported you to a different place, has grabbed you up in it's charm and intricate plot, and then pulled off a great ending that ties up all the loose ends. The Night Tiger is one of those books and I am so grateful to Flatiron Books and Yangsze Choo for an ARC of this great novel. What a great way to begin my 2019 reading journey!
Caleb Masters
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 ...more
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed

The Night Tiger
Even 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
Rebecca Hanover
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: five-stars
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
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
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 ...more
Susan McGrath
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Anton Prosser
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 07, 2019 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Abigail Ameen
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.
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Lolly K Dandeneau
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
via my blog:
"If I’d been named something feminie and delicate like “Precious Jade” or “Fragrant Lily”, things might have turned out differently."

Set in 1930’s colonial Malaysia, Yangsze Choo has written a novel rich in Maylayan folklore, superstition, tradition involving ghosts who interact with the living, a were-tiger on the prowl and intensely realistic dreams. The characters very names are steeped with meaning in the five Confucian Virtues, too. Housebo
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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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Book of The Month: The Night Tiger 5 20 Jan 06, 2019 08:53AM  
Yangsze Choo is a fourth generation Malaysian of Chinese descent. After graduating from Harvard, she worked as a management consultant and at a startup before writing her first novel. Yangsze eats and reads too much, and often does both at the same time. You can follow her blog at or on Twitter @yangszechoo