Mister Yam by author Yeng Tan
Thank you so much to author Yeng Tan for providing me with a copy of his book in exchange for this honest review.
Mister Yam is the strange name of the protagonist of this story. He loves food, is unsatisfied at his work, and has just gone through a breakup. He meets up with his college friend Lorenzo who is going through a life transition as well.
Lorenzo needs a new job and hands Mister Yam his business card should he find any leads. The card contains an odd image of a winged sheep, and not much else. Yam finds this curious but doesn’t think much of it until he starts to find the symbol elsewhere.
Lorenzo goes missing and Yam is contacted by an unknown woman via phone. A stranger hands him an unopenable box with the winged sheep decorating one side. What does this stranger have to do with Lorenzo? Where did he go?
The novel follows Mister Yam through a mystical and mysterious journey as he attempts to find his friend. He sets aside his own troubles to focus on the much more important matter of rescuing Lorenzo from wherever he may be. Fans of Haruki Murakami will recognize this style of magical realism adventure. It’s clear that Murakami has influenced the author greatly but Yeng Tan finds his own voice as the book progresses.
Mister Yam, the novel, glides seamlessly from clue to clue leading the reader to the emotional conclusion. Whether or not you’re able to see where the story is headed the ending is satisfying, honest, and emotional. Thank goodness for books with solid conclusions! An unfortunate rarity anymore as everything is a series, this mystery novel is a delightful single volume.
This novel leaves no loose ends. There are no red herrings, no dead ends, and no questions left unanswered. We are treated to a self-contained non-traditional mystery that drives home what it means to experience true friendship, love, and loss.
Human nature is complex but there are a few things left that we all have in common. Grieving, whether it is the loss of a relationship, the end of a journey, or even the loss of a treasured item, is universal. Everyone has experienced it and will experience it again. Mister Yam must face loss in more ways than one but it is also human nature to find resiliance when all seems hopeless.
Yeng Tan is certainly an author to keep on your radar. His characters ring true to life and his prose is complex without pretension. I truly look forward to reading more from him in the future. In the meantime, I strongly suggest that you pick up a copy of Mister Yam for yourself.
5/5 sheep 🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑
If you like Mister Yam you might also like Goodbye, Moonflower
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