Saving Fish From Drowning

Saving Fish From Drowning

Book - 2006 | Ballantine Books trade paperback edition.
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"A rollicking, adventure-filled story . . . packed [with] the human capacity for love."
-USA Today

"A superbly executed, good-hearted farce that is part romance and part mystery . . . With Tan's many talents on display, it's her idiosyncratic wit and sly observations . . . that make this book pure pleasure."
-San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco art patron Bibi Chen has planned a journey of the senses along the famed Burma Road for eleven lucky friends. But after her mysterious death, Bibi watches aghast from her ghostly perch as the travelers veer off her itinerary and embark on a trail paved with cultural gaffes and tribal curses, Buddhist illusions and romantic desires. On Christmas morning, the tourists cruise across a misty lake and disappear.

With picaresque characters and mesmerizing imagery, Saving Fish from Drowning gives us a voice as idiosyncratic, sharp, and affectionate as the mothers of The Joy Luck Club. Bibi is the observant eye of human nature-the witness of good intentions and bad outcomes, of desperate souls and those who wish to save them. In the end, Tan takes her readers to that place in their own heart where hope is found.

"Amy Tan is among our great storytellers."
-The New York Times Book Review

"Amy Tan has created an almost magical adventure that, page by page, becomes a metaphor for human relationships."
-Isabel Allende

"With humor, ruthlessness, and wild imagination, Tan has reaped [a] fantastic tale of human longings and (of course) their consequences."

"A book that's easy to read and hard to forget."
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, 2006.
Edition: Ballantine Books trade paperback edition.
ISBN: 9780345464019
Branch Call Number: FIC Tan
Characteristics: xv, 496 pages ; 21 cm


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Mar 17, 2018

Amy Tan is a good story teller, but this book left me a bit disappointed. There is a flatness to the book that detracts from the characters and story - why did she tell this story and what is its purpose? The fate of the Karen tribe people is tucked into the happy ending for the Americans and you can ignore it as a reader just like the Americans ignore it as they return to their busy and self-satisfied lives. The people are caricatures and their humanity is somehow lost in spite of the story keeping one's attention.

Aug 08, 2016

An interesting book, narrated through writings recorded by Karen Lundegaard's of Bibi Chen. What I liked the least were the in-depth descriptions of the 12 tourists; what was most enjoyable was the trials and tribulations of these individuals of their time in China and with the Karen in Burma.
Those who wish a deeper knowledge of the violence and genocide on the part of the military in Burma (Myanmar), you might read the autobiography of Zoya Phan entitled "Little Daughter".

WVMLStaffPicks Jan 24, 2015

Unlikely circumstances lead to the disappearance of a group of Americans during their cultural tour of Burma. The group are led to the jungle where they get an insider view of the ideals and sacrifices that many Burmese are making in their determination to overthrow the represssive military regime that currently has a stranglehold on the country. Amy Tan brilliantly juxtaposes deadly serious subjects such as genocide, social responsibility and human rights with hilarious situations and lightweight characters whose actions often verge on slapstick. None of the characters escape Tan's ironic take on life, neither the Americans nor the Burmese. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and admire an author who can make me laugh out loud, but has left me with many issues to revisit.

Dec 29, 2014

Best Amy Tan book I've read. I loved it.

Jul 11, 2014

Loved Amy tan writing, however this book failed to lived up to its charm. Slow moving and non engaging plots

Aug 01, 2011

Very interesting book. Humor, sarcasm, details, knowledge, drama.
You read it very fast

Sep 14, 2009

This book did not receive the attention it deserved. Amy Tan is better known for her earlier books, but she is still writing wonderfully. This novel will take you on a trip into Burma, and along the way you will gain a new perspective on what is happening when we North Americans venture into Asia. Great settings, and great observations of life and travel. The weakness of the novel is the last chapter...the story is really over, but Tan just can't let it go yet.

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Jun 22, 2014

ehuang8 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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EPLPicks_Teen Apr 07, 2010

Twelve American tourists join an art expedition that begins in China and continues into the jungles of Burma. The original tour leader dies just before the trip, but in spirit form she follows the group's misadventures.


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Jun 12, 2016

“I read to escape to a more interesting world, not to be locked up in a sweltering prison and find myself vicariously standing among people who are tortured beyond the limits of sanity.”


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