The highly-anticipated new novel from the best-selling author of "The Joy Luck Club" and "The Bonesetter's Daughter". On an ill-fated art expedition of the Southern Shan State in Burma, eleven Americans leave their Floating Island Resort for a Christmas morning tour - and disappear. Through the twists of fate, curses, and just plain human error, ...
The highly-anticipated new novel from the best-selling author of "The Joy Luck Club" and "The Bonesetter's Daughter". On an ill-fated art expedition of the Southern Shan State in Burma, eleven Americans leave their Floating Island Resort for a Christmas morning tour - and disappear. Through the twists of fate, curses, and just plain human error, they find themselves deep in the Burma jungle, where they encounter a tribe awaiting the return of the leader and the mythical book of wisdom that will protect them from the ravages and destruction of the Myanmar military regime. Filled with Amy Tan's signature 'idiosyncratic, sympathetic characters, haunting images, historical complexity, significant contemporary themes, and suspenseful mystery,' (Los Angeles Times), "Saving Fish from Drowning" seduces the reader with a facade of Buddhist illusions, magician tricks, and light comedy, even as the absurd and picaresque spiral into a gripping morality tale about the consequences of intentions - both good and bad - and of the shared responsibility that individuals must accept for the actions of others.
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This book snared me from the beginning. Of all Amy Tan's novels, this is the one I have enjoyed the most. The central character is a ghost. In some other novels, this has seemed very contrived, but in this story it feels appropriate and believable. Ms. Tan also pokes a bit of fun at tourists, but in a loving way.
Apr 3, 2007
Another of Tam's wonderful books!
What I love about reading Amy Tam's books is I am not only entertained but I always learn so much about other cultures. I found Saving Fish from Drowning hard to put down. First of all the title was intriguing. All the characters were interesting and Ms. Tam developed each one so well that at the end of the book, I felt I had personally met them. I can't wait for her next book!
Publishers Weekly, 2005-08-29 Tan (The Bonesetter's Daughter) delivers another highly entertaining novel, this one narrated from beyond the grave. San Francisco socialite and art-world doyenne Bibi Chen has planned the vacation of a lifetime along the notorious Burma Road for 12 of her dearest friends. Violently murdered days before takeoff, she's reduced to watching her friends bumble through their travels from the remove of the spirit world. Making the best of it, the 11 friends who aren't hung over depart their Myanmar resort on Christmas morning to boat across a misty lake-and vanish. The tourists find themselves trapped in jungle-covered mountains, held by a refugee tribe that believes Rupert, the group's surly teenager, is the reincarnation of their god Younger White Brother, come to save them from the unstable, militaristic Myanmar government. Tan's travelers, who range from a neurotic hypochondriac to the debonair, self-involved host of a show called The Fido Files, fight and flirt among themselves. While ensemble casting precludes the intimacy that characterizes Tan's mother-daughter stories, the book branches out with a broad plot and dynamic digressions. It's based on a true story, and Tan seems to be having fun with it, indulging in the wry, witty voice of Bibi while still exploring her signature questions of fate, connection, identity and family. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly, 2006-03-06 When Amy Tan walks into a bookstore and reads from her work, the audience is enthralled by her very presence. But an audio recording is an art form and a performance, not an author appearance. Some authors excel as performers-for example, Simon Brett performs his Murder in the Museum with aplomb -but Tan is not gifted with an actor's range. Alone in a studio, Tan does not do justice to her own work. Words melt when Tan drops her voice at the end of sentences-and even in the middle. It sounds as if she is rocking back and forth in front of the microphone, or perhaps looking down and away from the mike to study the text. She is also unable to produce different voices for her characters. The narrator who finds Bibi Chen's writings (via a psychic) sounds exactly like Bibi herself. The comments of Bibi's ghost on the ill-fated trip of several of her friends in China and Myanmar are clearly meant to be humorous, but this, too, doesn't come across in Bibi's voice. As a writer, Tan has a well-deserved following. Hopefully, she will leave future recordings to someone who can give her novels the breadth they deserve. Simultaneous release with the Putnam hardcover (Reviews, Aug. 29). (Dec.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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