Saving Fish from Drowning

by Amy Tan | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0399153012 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Tarna of Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on 4/17/2007
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
7 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Tarna from Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Tuesday, April 17, 2007
First published in 2005. Ballantine Books Mass Market Edition, New York 2006. Paperback, 492 p. The book is rather thick but still under 3 cm (2,5 cm, to be exact) and weighs (unregistered—without labels and stuff, that is) about 250 g.

The blurb:

“A superbly excecuted, 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 socialite Bibi Chen has planned the ultimate vacation along the notorious Burma Road for a group of her dearest friends. But after her mysterious death, Bibi is forced to watch from the spirit world as the eleven travellers bumble through their adventures. Determined to make the best of it, the pleasure seekers embark on a trail paved with uncertainty, questionable food, and tribal curses. And then, on Christmas morning, they cruise across a misty lake—and vanish. Colored with picaresque characters and haunting imagery, this mesmerizing tale is about the actions we choose, the moral questions we might ask ourselves, and, above all, the deeply personal answers we seek when happy endings seem far out of reach.
“A rollicking, adventure-filled story...packed with illusuins and the human capacity for love.”
—USA Today
“A book that’s easy to read and hard to forget.”

I bought this copy yesterday. But since BC-books seem to be a flowing into my house I think I’d better make this one a bookring. I know the postal fees wont be the lowest but I still hope some Finnish bookcrossers will take this bait. Around 5 weeks to read the story sounds ok with me. We’ll see how the others feel about it...

Bookring participants :
• marja-leena, Oulu
• Niora, Joensuu
• Rakuna, Helsinki
• chirel, Tampere (asked to be down on the list)
• hetku77, Nokia (asked to be last on the list)
• back to Tarna, Tampere **The book is back home again. THANKS, EVERYONE!**

EDIT May 2, 2007. The ring is starting! Mind you that since the book is quite fat, I didn’t label it or anything. It still is a BC-book! :-)
I know you know what to do but, anyway, I wrote down some
Ring Guidelines:
• make a journal entry when the book arrives
• try to read it within 5 weeks*)
• PM the next on the list for her address
• make another journal entry when you’ve finished it
• send the book to the next person by mail or by a courier**)
• make one more JE (or edit the old one) stating when you’ve sent the book
*) If you need more time, that’s ok. Just keep me (and the next person in line) posted
**) You may take a few weeks to arrange a courier for the book. (Keep me posted, please.)
Remember: Reading is supposed to be fun. Still, no one is supposed to keep the book for several months.
Happy reading, everyone!

EDIT May 2, 2007: Mailed the book today.

Journal Entry 2 by marja-leena from Oulu, Pohjois-Pohjanmaa / Norra Österbotten Finland on Thursday, May 03, 2007
I got the book today with the mail. Thank you, Tarna.

Journal Entry 3 by marja-leena from Oulu, Pohjois-Pohjanmaa / Norra Österbotten Finland on Thursday, July 12, 2007
First I need to apologize beeing such a slow reader. I moved to Norway and started a new job so my reading has been little by little. I will send the book to Niora asap.

The book was a pleasant read. The beginning describing Bibi's death and her life as a spirit was a weird one but later on I forgot that it is a spirit telling the story. The members of the travelling group were American inviduals and the author has not forgotten humour when creating their story. This book is a lot about travelling and understanding or not understanding foreign cultures. I am interested in tourism industry and the book was entertaining and thought-provoking in many ways.

Journal Entry 4 by wingNiorawing from Ranco, Lombardia Italy on Wednesday, July 18, 2007
The book arrived in the mail this morning all the way from Norway - thanks, marja-leena (and Tarna, for setting up a bookring)! I'm currently reading Harry Potters, and that's all there is to it, but I'll get to this one as soon as I can - probably next week.

Journal Entry 5 by wingNiorawing from Ranco, Lombardia Italy on Wednesday, August 01, 2007
I finished it late last night - another one of those times when I couldn't go to sleep without finishing the book.

This was my first Amy Tan, and I was pleasantly surprised if not quite enthralled: she's a skillful writer and an interesting and original storyteller. This particular story gave her, among other things, the opportunity to explore the meeting of radically different cultures by giving the reader all the thoughts and misunderstandings on both sides. The result is both funny and sad and rather thought-provoking.

I will mail the book to Rakuna soonish!

Update (August 2): I mailed it today.

Journal Entry 6 by Rakuna from Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Friday, August 03, 2007
Arrived today. I have total of three rings waiting and since I''m going to move within a month, it might take me more than the recommendet one month to finnish these all.

Journal Entry 7 by Rakuna from Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Monday, October 01, 2007
I'm sorry I keep the book with me so long, I just got, well, life that interfeared the reading. I really like the book, so I try to finnish it as soon as possible.

Journal Entry 8 by Rakuna from Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I'm finally done with this book AND I loved it! My first Amy Tan too, and it was a pleasant suprice. Also the fact that Burma/Myanmar was on the headlines at the same time made it a interesting to read.

The book is in the mail, hope it gets to Chirel soon.

EDIT: I almost forgot. I used this book as part of my Books from every country -challenge, as Myanmar ofcourse.

Journal Entry 9 by chirel from Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Wednesday, November 14, 2007
It's here.

Journal Entry 10 by chirel from Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Saturday, December 08, 2007
I liked this book, although at first it failed to capture my attention. All those introductions meant nothing for me and for the most part I couldn't remember who was who. When the group arrived in China I got sucked into the story and could hardly take a break from reading.

I'll give the book to Hetku at our meeting (I hope she's coming.)

Journal Entry 11 by winghetku77wing from Nokia, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Tuesday, June 23, 2009
13.12.2007 I got the book from chirel tonight in monthly BC-meeting. Thank you, chirel and Tarna for organizing the ring!

23.6.2009 I finally was able to start reading the book about a month ago and finished it a few days ago. I've read a few books by Amy Tan before and this one was a bit different than those. I kind of have mixed feelings about this one after finishing. First of all I think the story was made a bit too long. At times it felt that Tan was writing about unnessary details - or maybe I just wasn't able to appreciate her style? Then on the other hand I liked the original story writing style - how the happenings were described from many points of view. Especially the misunderstandings between the missing tourist group and the tribe were thought-provoking.

Going back to Tarna as soon as possible.

Journal Entry 12 by Tarna from Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Thursday, July 16, 2009
Thanks, hetku! Saving Fish is back home again. Now I just need to find time to read it.
Thank you all for your reviews. I enjoyed reading them.

Journal Entry 13 by Tarna at Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Sunday, June 30, 2013
I finally got into reading this book. Wasn't going to, though. I started to read the Finnish translation which literally drove me into taking the original language version in my hands.
Sometimes I think Amy Tan adds too many supernatural elements in her stories, but in this case it was alright. Using a dead person as narrator is a brilliant idea. Bibi has no difficulties in understanding different people, she has her ways of knowing even their most secret thoughts. Besides, the first page is just yummy. — I'm glad that in the end both Bibi and readers gets to know how and why she died.
There's a lot of irony in the story. I don't see the group typically American, I think they act like any Western tourist group in a poor developing country — or in any country they think is somehow lower than their own. I really enjoyed reading about cultural differences etc. Also, it was really interesting to learn about Myanmar and Burmese culture, history and all that, especially the Karen people. And Nats. I think they'll stay with me a long time. I just hope they'll behave...
I like the book's title. In my read the tourists are. Actually, trying to save the fish from drowning. Karen people are the fish.

Now, I think I might just reserve this novel for Palkintokaappi, Finnish Forum Trophy Cabinet. After all, Saving Fish from Drowning was nominated for IMPAC Dublin Award, it was Booklist Editors' Choice (Adult Books), and was awarded an honorable mention from the Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature.

About Amy Tan in the Southwestern University site
Amy Tan Biography in the Academy of Achievement site
Amy Tan in Wikipedia>

Saving Fish from Drowning in Wikipedia

Karen people in Wikipedia
The Karen People in the KBDDF (karen Buddhist Dhamma Dhutta Foundation) site

Journal Entry 14 by Tarna at Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Monday, September 30, 2013

Released 6 yrs ago (9/30/2013 UTC) at Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland


Runojalka made some good choices when choosing books from Palkintokaappi, Finnish Forum Trophy Cabinet VBB. Saving Fish from Drowning is one of them. Happy Reading!

Journal Entry 15 by Runojalka at Kokkola, Keski-Pohjanmaa / Mellersta Österbotten Finland on Wednesday, October 02, 2013
Thank you Tarna, book arrived today. This is book was actually on my wishlist, only in Finnish. Looking forward to reading this.

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