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The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu
The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu | Tom Lin
11 posts | 9 read | 8 to read
An astounding debut that reimagines the classic Western through the eyes of a Chinese American assassin on a quest to rescue his kidnapped wife and exact his revenge on her abductors. "In Tom Lin's novel, the atmosphere of Cormac McCarthy's West, or that of the Coen Brothers' True Grit, gives way to the phantasmagorical shades of Ray Bradbury, Charles Finney's The Circus of Dr. Lao, and Katherine Dunn's Geek Love. A story full of archetypal echoes, yet with a velocity and perspective all its own, The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu is a fierce new version of the Westward Dream." --Jonathan Lethem, author of Motherless Brooklyn Orphaned as a boy, Ming Tsu, the son of Chinese immigrants, is raised by the notorious leader of a California crime syndicate, who trains him to be his deadly enforcer. But when Ming falls in love with Ada, the daughter of a powerful railroad magnate, and the two elope, he seizes the opportunity to escape to a different life. Soon after, in a violent raid, the tycoon's henchmen kidnap Ada and conscript Ming into service for the Union Pacific Railroad. Battered, heartbroken, and yet defiant, Ming partners with a clairvoyant old man known only as the Prophet. Together the two set out to rescue his wife and to exact revenge on the men who destroyed him, aided by a troupe of magic-show performers, some with supernatural powers, whom they meet on the journey. Ming fights his way across the West, settling old scores with a single-minded devotion that culminates in an explosive and unexpected finale. Written with the violent ardor of Cormac McCarthy and the otherworldly inventiveness of Ted Chiang, The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu is at once a thriller, a romance, and a story of one man's quest for redemption in the face of a distinctly American brutality.
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cheesemoi
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Panpan

I hate leaving bad reviews :(

I rather hoped that Ming would subvert this genre that has such a racist reputation but woe. I found it reeking of cliche from the damsel in distress to the blind prophet to the brooding cowboy hero. The writing style was rambling and impersonal and tedious. The plot was predictable and boring. None of the characters had any personality therefore no chemistry. Vapid shallow prose that a 14yo might find moving.

:(

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BillBlume
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Pickpick

I‘ve struggled to finish books this year, and while my reading of THE THOUSAND CRIMES OF MING TSU was slow going, I never felt the urge to abandon it. Tom Lin‘s voice is both lyrical and abrupt. His western has a certain magical realism quality to it, especially once Ming falls in with a circus group, all of whom have mystical abilities. Ming Tsu is on a quest for revenge, and it doesn‘t take long to realize it won‘t end well for him.

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OwenB
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Mehso-so

Overall a good story but I struggled to really get into this book. The characters are well developed but the flow of the book failed to hook me. It‘s a good western plot with a satisfying ending

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BookishTrish
Pickpick

There was something I really enjoyed about this revenge Western. Good if you like episodic fiction with archetypal characters and a side of violence.

42 likes2 stack adds
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BookishTrish
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Rainy Sunday vibes

Branwen Rainy Sundays are the BEST! 1y
53 likes1 comment
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BookishTrish
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The thousand crimes of sleeping floofs

BethM I was like wait does she have a pet squirrel? Lol. Things that happen when you scroll too fast. 1y
BookishTrish @bethm lololol 1y
50 likes2 comments
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Hooked_on_books
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Pickpick

Ming Tsu is a Chinese-American assassin on a bloody revenge mission who hooks up with a unique group of traveling performers in the old West. This book is a fun, though violent, Western that I liked but didn‘t love. I enjoyed the characters and felt the racism Ming experienced read as accurate to the era.

vivastory I recently came across this online and thought it sounded fantastic 1y
Hooked_on_books @vivastory I think you‘d like it. It‘s a solid hero‘s journey story. I really liked the twist on the main character‘s ethnicity in a Western. I happened to bump into this from my library without ever having heard of it and gave it a go. I‘m glad I did! 1y
42 likes1 stack add2 comments
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GerardtheBookworm
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Pickpick

Set in an aternative history of the American West, Chinese immigrant and former railroad worker Ming Tsu becomes a top mercenary for a local crime boss. When his wife is kidnapped, Ming enacts bloody vengence to rescue while being aided by a mystical circus troupe in this spaghetti western meets kung-fu adventure that will appeal to Tarantino fans of Kill Bill and Django Unchained.

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TracyReadsBooks
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Pickpick

A man‘s wife is kidnapped, he is blackmailed & indentured to the Central Specific Railroad where he languishes doing backbreaking work until the reason for the blackmail goes away. The man then leaves & seeks his revenge against those responsible. The twist? The man is the son of Chinese immigrants. Ming Tsu is a fantastic character & this is a western unlike any I‘ve read. Brutal, vivid, & entertaining. A solid debut from Lin.

16 likes1 stack add
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TracyReadsBooks
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This afternoon‘s book on a Saturday of chores and reading and hiding from the hot sun.

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TracyReadsBooks
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Today‘s #bookhaul.