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SAVING FISH FROM DROWNING (SIGNED)

Tan, Amy

27,416 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0399153012 / ISBN 13: 9780399153013
Published by Putnam, New York, 2005
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Kathleen Simpson (Simi Valley, CA, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since July 15, 1998 Seller Rating 2-star rating

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About this Item

A 474 page novel set in Burma. SIGNED by the author on the title page. First edition, first printing. New and unread. Dust jacket is enclosed in a clear mylar cover. Received a starred review from Publisher's Weekly. Book will be carefully packed and shipped in a box. Bookseller Inventory # 14537

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Bibliographic Details

Title: SAVING FISH FROM DROWNING (SIGNED)

Publisher: Putnam, New York

Publication Date: 2005

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

During an ill-fated trip to Myanmar, eleven American tourists are abducted by a renegade tribe that believes that Rupert, a surly teenager with the group, is the reincarnation of their god Younger White Brother, who has returned to save them from their country's militaristic government, in a novel narrated by the ghost of the murdered woman who had set up the trip. 400,000 first printing.

Review:

Amy Tan, who has an unerring eye for relationships between mothers and daughters, especially Chinese-American, has departed from her well-known genre in Saving Fish From Drowning. She would be well advised to revisit that theme which she writes about so well.

The title of the book is derived from the practice of Myanmar fishermen who "scoop up the fish and bring them to shore. They say they are saving the fish from drowning. Unfortunately... the fish do not recover," This kind of magical thinking or hypocrisy or mystical attitude or sheer stupidity is a fair metaphor for the entire book. It may be read as a satire, a political statement, a picaresque tale with several "picaros" or simply a story about a tour gone wrong.

Bibi Chen, San Francisco socialite and art vendor to the stars, plans to lead a trip for 12 friends: "My friends, those lovers of art, most of them rich, intelligent, and spoiled, would spend a week in China and arrive in Burma on Christmas Day." Unfortunately, Bibi dies, in very strange circumstances, before the tour begins. After wrangling about it, the group decides to go after all. The leader they choose is indecisive and epileptic, a dangerous combo. Bibi goes along as the disembodied voice-over.

Once in Myanmar, finally, they are noticed by a group of Karen tribesmen who decide that Rupert, the 15-year-old son of a bamboo grower is, in fact, Younger White Brother, or The Lord of the Nats. He can do card tricks and is carrying a Stephen King paperback. These are adjudged to be signs of his deity and ability to save them from marauding soldiers. The group is "kidnapped," although they think they are setting out for a Christmas Day surprise, and taken deep into the jungle where they languish, develop malaria, learn to eat slimy things and wait to be rescued. Nats are "believed to be the spirits of nature--the lake, the trees, the mountains, the snakes and birds. They were numberless ... They were everywhere, as were bad luck and the need to find reasons for it." Philosophy or cynicism? This elusive point of view is found throughout the novel--a bald statement is made and then Tan pulls her punches as if she is unwilling to make a statement that might set a more serious tone.

There are some goofy parts about Harry, the member of the group who is left behind, and his encounter with two newswomen from Global News Network, some slapstick sex scenes and a great deal of dog-loving dialogue. These all contribute to a novel that is silly but not really funny, could have an occasionally serious theme which suddenly disappears, and is about a group of stereotypical characters that it's hard to care about. It was time for Amy Tan to write another book; too bad this was it. --Valerie Ryan

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Modern Fiction and Mystery. New and used. Many signed. For further information, please contact me at 805-582-0162.

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Kathleen Simpson, 2992 Chippewa Avenue, Simi Valley, CA 93063. Telephone and
fax number 805-579-9656. E-mail is mkthpms@aol.com. Shipping and handling via
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