The Tiger Killers is the second volume of a new translation of the Chinese classical novel generally known as The Water Margin. Like the first volume, The Broken Seals, it follows the fortunes of various outlaw heroes as they move through a world of treacherous officials, jealous toadies, bullying jailers, hired assassins, foolhardy generals and cannibalistic innkeepers.
This volume contains some of the most famous scenes in the novel, starting with the episode in which Wu Song gets drunk at the tavern, ascends the pass in late evening and kills a notorious man-eating tiger with his bare hands. His subsequent encounter with his midget brother's flirtatious wife, Jinlian or Golden Lotus, and her vain attempt to seduce him lead into a tale of adultery, callous murder and bloody vengeance. The second half of the book is concerned with Song Jiang's attempts to serve out his prison sentence honorably and avoid becoming an outlaw, until he is unjustly condemned to death for a misconstrued poem. Towards the end of this volume we meet the violent Li Kui, variously known as Iron Ox or Black Whirlwind, who also turns out to have a way with tigers. This volume consists of chapters 23 to 43 of the full 120-chapter version of the novel by Shi Nai'an and Luo Guanzhong. It is the first English translation based on this version.
About the Author
John Dent-Young has taught in Burma, Sri Lanka, Spain, and Thailand, and at present is lecturer in English at The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Alex Dent-Young works as a translator with Baker and Mckenzie in Hong Kong
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The translators used the least popular copy for their translation(There are several different versions of this book, this being the least popular because of the poor quality of the last 50 chapters). Not only is the version a poor one, but the translations are poor as well. Compared with Sydney Shapiro's translation(The Outlaws of the Marsh), you will find that this is more like the work of a student. To rate the three different translations, I give Sydney's 100, 50 for Pearl Bucke's and 15 for this one.