Saving Fish From Drowning
3 journalers for this copy...
"Amy Tan (Chinese: 譚恩美; pinyin: Tán Enmei) (born February 19, 1952) is an American writer of Chinese descent whose works explore mother-daughter relationships. In 1993, Tan's adaptation of her most popular fiction work, The Joy Luck Club, became a commercially successful film.
Tan has written several other books, including The Kitchen God's Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, and The Bonesetter's Daughter, and a collection of non-fiction essays entitled The Opposite of Fate: A Book of Musings. Her most recent book, Saving Fish From Drowning, explores the tribulations experienced by a group of people who disappear while on an art expedition in the jungles of Burma.
The book opens with an article from the San Francisco Chronicle, stating that eleven tourists, including four men, five women, and two children have mysteriously vanished in Burma, after sailing away on a cruise on Christmas morning.
From then on, the story is told through the omniscient first person narrative of Bibi Chen, the tour leader who unexpectedly dies before the trip takes place and who continues to watch over her friends as they journey towards their fate.
The novel explores the relationships, insecurities and hidden strengths of the tourists, set against the uneasy political situation in Burma." (Wikipedia)
ETA. In the meantime I finally got around to reading my own copy of this novel.
I find it hard to explain how I liked this novel. I was glad it wasn’t another mother-daughter story, Amy Tan has really explored that territory.
The tale of the group of US-Americans was the part I didn’t enjoy, I didn’t like the gossipy tone and the spoilt, ignorant and complacent characters. But there are good descriptions of each person, I could easily imagine them (even though there is too much information about their lives).
Often the story gets close to a comedy with mosquito nets catching fire and people having difficulties recognizing public restrooms. There are some really hilarious moments.
The real story about the reclusive Karen tribe gets pushed aside by the rambling prattle about the Americans. I wish she had concentrated more on it, on “The Lord of the Nats”, and the tribe’s members, the cultural clashes. The background about the human rights situation in Burma and the military dictatorship is well-researched and one doesn’t that often find that kind of thing in a contemporary novel.
There is some really good story-telling, but with too many unimportant anecdotes and themes – at least for my taste.
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
I am sorry to say that, though parts of this story were interesting, amusing, and entertaining, I didn't enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed a couple of Amy Tan's other titles.