“Saving Fish from Drowning – Amy Tan
I enjoyed this very original novel. It’s narrated by a Chinese lady who lives in San Francisco and deals in antiquities. She’s supposed to lead a cultural tour in Burma, but she has a fatal accident before the novel begins. And so the narrator is a ghost, a device that works very well in this novel (as in several others I could name). She doesn’t desert her tour group, but hovers around them as they bravely go forward without her. Unfortunately, she can’t stop them from getting into a lot of trouble.
We know from the beginning that they are going to disappear. We don’t know exactly when or how, or what happens to them afterwards. But as we get to know the people, their situation becomes inevitable. They wanted to immerse themselves in another culture, a place very foreign to them, and they do. In the process, they reveal how innocent of the world they really are.
Amy Tan doesn’t get really deeply into any of the character’s psyches, so this is a social novel rather than a character-driven one. The narrator is the only one who knows all the character’s true motivations, so we see each person through the erroneous assumptions of the others. And so the novel is quite satirical, sometimes farcical, but never bitter.
“get through the first chapter or so and you'll love it”EmmyHalli wrote this review Thursday, May 3, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Eleven American tourists disappear in the jungles of Burma! The tale is told from an Asian art expert who suddenly found herself unable to take the tour group herself. Reading this book felt as if we were visiting in China and Myanmar ourselves. ”Judy K wrote this review Tuesday, March 13, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Another compelling book by Amy Tan.”Kelly K. Vriezen wrote this review Tuesday, January 31, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Okay. Skipping lots of pages of what I find uninteresting. 12 people tour China and Myanmar & get kidnapped.”Mary W wrote this review Saturday, January 14, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Beautiful imagery and a captivating story.”Nicky GRIFFITHS wrote this review Sunday, November 13, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is one of my favorite books because of the twists in the plot. This book is about some rich tourists that get kidnapped in Myanmar when they are on a tour of the Silk Road. Their kidnappers aren't bad people, they just think one of the tourists is a reincarnation of Jesus and they think that the guy can get them out of the forest they live in. There are many twists and turns, and I don't want to ruin the ending for you.”Jingalinga wrote this review Thursday, November 10, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I can't remember anything about this book other than I hated it and I spent the entire book not waiting until it was over, but it was for a book club I was in so I read it anyway. ”Kimberly Smith wrote this review Thursday, August 11, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No