Saving Fish from Drowning
7 journalers for this copy...
—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 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
• 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.
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.
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.
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.
I'll give the book to Hetku at our meeting (I hope she's coming.)
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.
Thank you all for your reviews. I enjoyed reading them.
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
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