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Saving Fish from Drowning by Amy Tan
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Saving Fish from Drowning (original 2005; edition 2006)

by Amy Tan (Author)

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4,048951,951 (3.39)133
A pious man explained to his followers: "It is evil to take lives and noble to save them. Each day I pledge to save a hundred lives. I drop my net in the lake and scoop out a hundred fishes. I place the fishes on the bank, where they flop and twirl. 'Don't be scared,' I tell those fishes. 'I am saving you from drowning.' Soon enough, the fishes grow calm and lie still. Yet, sad to say, I am always too late. The fishes expire. And because it is evil to waste anything, I take those dead fishes to market and I sell them for a good price. With the money I receive, I buy more nets so I can save more fishes." - Anonymous Twelve American tourists join an art expedition that begins in the Himalayan foothills of China - dubbed the true Shangri-La - and heads south into the jungles of Burma. But after the mysterious death of their tour leader, the carefully laid plans fall apart, and disharmony breaks out among the pleasure-seekers as they come to discover that the Burma Road is paved with less-than-honorable intentions, questionable food, and tribal curses. And then, on Christmas morning, eleven of the travelers boat across a misty lake for a sunrise cruise - and disappear. Drawing from the current political reality in Burma and woven with pure confabulation, Amy Tan's picaresque novel poses the question: How can we discern what is real and what is fiction, in everything we see? How do we know what to believe?… (more)
Member:Moretlo
Title:Saving Fish from Drowning
Authors:Amy Tan (Author)
Info:Ballantine Books (2006), 474 pages
Collections:Your library
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Saving Fish from Drowning by Amy Tan (2005)

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» See also 133 mentions

English (93)  German (2)  All languages (95)
Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
I always enjoy Tan's lush prose and her perspective on relationships. ( )
  JoniMFisher | Sep 19, 2019 |
On an ill-fated art expedition into Burma, eleven Americans travelers veer off their itinerary and embark on a trail paved with cultural gaffes and tribal curses, Buddhist illusions and romantic desires.
  JRCornell | Dec 8, 2018 |
Excerpts from my original GR review (Mar 2013):
- I was left confused as to what Ms Tan was trying for here. Quirkiness? A story of astringently charming, uncouth tourists who seemingly have taken a wrong turn off the Santa Monica freeway and wound up in Burma? Add some bathroom "humor" and a liberal sprinkling of vanity among the one-dimensional cast, and what do you have? I've no idea, but I had to grit my teeth through this one. The only feature I genuinely liked was the concept of the original tour guide, the belated Bibi, as overseer of the narrative. ( )
  ThoughtPolice | Aug 1, 2018 |
Saving Fish from Drowning is far from one of Amy Tan's best novels. We start off rather slow and things progress only at a snails pace until about half way through the 450+ page book. Once things get going the story becomes marginally more interesting, but the conclusion and climax are lacking. The whole novel lacks the substance that one becomes accustom to expecting from a Tan novel, neither is the prose quite on par with her other works. While the concept behind the novel is intriguing the execution is lacking, I really did want to love this book as I have others by Tan, but something about it is just off, so to speak. ( )
  rlgemperline89 | Jul 14, 2018 |
2-1/2 stars. I would have liked this better if I had realized early on that a lot of it was meant to be light & amusing. I was distracted by the early introduction of apparent tragedy. ( )
  Siubhan | Feb 28, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding. - Albert Camus
A pious man explained to his followers: "It is evil to take lives and noble to save them. Each day I pledge to save a hundred lives. I drop my net in the lake and scoop out a hundred fishes. I place the fishes on the bank, werhe they flop and twirl. "Don't be scared," I tell those fishes. "I am saving you from drowning." Soon enough, the fishes grow calm and lie still. Yet, sad to say, I am always too late. The fishes expire. And because it is evil to waste anything, I take those dead fishes to market and I sell them for a good price. With the money I receive, I buy more nets so I can save more fishes. - Anonymous
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For Lou DeMattei, Sandra Dijkstra and Molly Giles for saving me countless times.
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It was not my fault.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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