The Fictioning Horror Sale
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Original Essays | September 4, 2014

Edward E. Baptist: IMG The Two Bodies of The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism



My new book, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, is the story of two bodies. The first body was the new... Continue »
  1. $24.50 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$4.95
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Burnside Literature- A to Z

Saving Fish from Drowning

by

Saving Fish from Drowning Cover

ISBN13: 9780399153013
ISBN10: 0399153012
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $4.95!

 

Staff Pick

Saving Fish from Drowning is a funny, almost magical look at group dynamics, altruism, and self-interest set against the beauty and repressive politics of Myanmar. Impressive and surprisingly moving.
Recommended by Tessa, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A provocative new novel from the bestselling author of The Joy Luck Club and The Bonesetter's Daughter.

On an ill-fated art expedition into the southern Shan state of Burma, eleven Americans leave their Floating Island Resort for a Christmas-morning tour — and disappear. Through twists of fate, curses, and just plain human error, they find themselves deep in the jungle, where they encounter a tribe awaiting the return of the leader and the mythical book of wisdom that will protect them from the ravages and destruction of the Myanmar military regime.

Filled with Amy Tan's signature "idiosyncratic, sympathetic characters, haunting images, historical complexity, significant contemporary themes, and suspenseful mystery" (Los Angeles Times), Saving Fish from Drowning seduces the reader with a façade of Buddhist illusions, magician's tricks, and light comedy, even as the absurd and picaresque spiral into a gripping morality tale about the consequences of intentions-both good and bad — and about the shared responsibility that individuals must accept for the actions of others.

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."

Review:

"Tan (The Bonesetter's Daughter) delivers another highly entertaining novel, this one narrated from beyond the grave. San Francisco socialite and art-world doyenne Bibi Chen has planned the vacation of a lifetime along the notorious Burma Road for 12 of her dearest friends. Violently murdered days before takeoff, she's reduced to watching her friends bumble through their travels from the remove of the spirit world. Making the best of it, the 11 friends who aren't hung over depart their Myanmar resort on Christmas morning to boat across a misty lake — and vanish. The tourists find themselves trapped in jungle-covered mountains, held by a refugee tribe that believes Rupert, the group's surly teenager, is the reincarnation of their god Younger White Brother, come to save them from the unstable, militaristic Myanmar government. Tan's travelers, who range from a neurotic hypochondriac to the debonair, self-involved host of a show called The Fido Files, fight and flirt among themselves. While ensemble casting precludes the intimacy that characterizes Tan's mother-daughter stories, the book branches out with a broad plot and dynamic digressions. It's based on a true story, and Tan seems to be having fun with it, indulging in the wry, witty voice of Bibi while still exploring her signature questions of fate, connection, identity and family." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"[Tan's] most politically astute and shrewdly satirical tale to date..." Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"An extremely funny novel with serious undercurrents." School Library Journal

Review:

"The author's research ultimately smothers her story and characters. A pity, because this vividly imagined tale might very well have been her best yet." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"[A] strange and fascinating trip..." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Review:

"This is the perfect winter book....Rich with mystery and culture, this is a novel that will put you under its spell — under Tan's spell — and entertain you through a blizzard, a post-holiday escape, or just a long night of R and R." Providence Journal

Review:

"The novel...lacks the tender, intergenerational wisdom and delicate East-West insights of Tan's earlier work....Tan is a prodigious talent, but Saving Fish From Drowning needs its own search and rescue team." Cleveland Plain Dealer

Review:

"Tan's new book poses many of her familiar questions, but in unfamiliar ways." Houston Chronicle

Review:

"[A]ll Tan's trademark strengths — her lush language, her memorable characters, her wide-ranging curiosity about people and history — quickly come to the fore." Baltimore Sun

Review:

"Saving Fish from Drowning is a new sort of adventure for Tan, an assured step in a thrilling new direction....[A] grand comic novel...sharp and droll..." Miami Herald

Review:

"A hilarious yet politically charged tale....[A] rollicking, adventure-filled story." USA Today

Synopsis:

On an ill-fated art expedition into Burma, 11 Americans leave their Floating Island Resort for a Christmas-morning tour — and disappear. Through twists of fate, they encounter a tribe awaiting the return of a leader and the mythical book of wisdom that will protect them from the ravages of the Myanmar military regime.

About the Author

Amy Tan is the author of The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God's Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, The Bonesetter's Daughter, The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life, and two children's books, The Moon Lady and Sagwa: the Chinese Siamese Cat. Her work has been translated into thirty-six languages.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 6 comments:

Nahuatl, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by Nahuatl)
Super interesting, I could not put it down because of the intrigue, I love when stories are based on partly real facts while at the same time there is aspects you find hard to believe, like that the narrator is already dead but speaking from beyond.

You'll love it.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Shoshana, December 30, 2009 (view all comments by Shoshana)
While not Tan's best, this was an enjoyable and relatively quick read. The narrator is the ghost of a woman who died shortly before she was to have lead a tour group to Burma. The group decides to go anyway but immediately begins changing her itinerary. The ghost follows them as their deviations put them in greater and greater danger. The narrative voice wavers at times, but Tan's use of this frame allows her to make observations and jokes that require a non-omniscient and sometimes politically incorrect voice. I found the novel sometimes poignant and often funny, in a ratio opposite of my usual reading of Tan.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
boannextra, November 22, 2009 (view all comments by boannextra)
At first I thought that the group of people who ended up disappearing must be the most clueless group of Americans who ever traveled abroad. Once I learned that the narrator, Bibi Chen, was also a fictional character, and the novel was a fantasy about what happens when a hapless group of Americans, through the best of intentions, but horribly unaware of others and other cultures, wind up lost in Burma/Myannmar - a country too often in the news for the brutality of its political suppression, I appreciated the novel much more. Tan effectively mixes a satirical sense of humor with very touching descriptions of how a repressed people are affected by the actions of a harsh regime.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 6 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780399153013
Author:
Tan, Amy
Publisher:
Putnam Adult
Subject:
General
Subject:
Americans
Subject:
Missing persons
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Suspense fiction
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
October 18, 2005
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
496
Dimensions:
9.28x6.34x1.52 in. 1.61 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

Other books you might like

  1. Hitler Para 1000 Anos New Trade Paper $12.75
  2. War Trash Used Trade Paper $5.50
  3. The Bonesetter's Daughter
    Used Mass Market $0.95
  4. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
    Used Trade Paper $2.95
  5. A Wedding in December Used Mass Market $3.50

Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Metaphysics » Fiction

Saving Fish from Drowning Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.95 In Stock
Product details 496 pages Putnam Publishing Group - English 9780399153013 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Saving Fish from Drowning is a funny, almost magical look at group dynamics, altruism, and self-interest set against the beauty and repressive politics of Myanmar. Impressive and surprisingly moving.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Tan (The Bonesetter's Daughter) delivers another highly entertaining novel, this one narrated from beyond the grave. San Francisco socialite and art-world doyenne Bibi Chen has planned the vacation of a lifetime along the notorious Burma Road for 12 of her dearest friends. Violently murdered days before takeoff, she's reduced to watching her friends bumble through their travels from the remove of the spirit world. Making the best of it, the 11 friends who aren't hung over depart their Myanmar resort on Christmas morning to boat across a misty lake — and vanish. The tourists find themselves trapped in jungle-covered mountains, held by a refugee tribe that believes Rupert, the group's surly teenager, is the reincarnation of their god Younger White Brother, come to save them from the unstable, militaristic Myanmar government. Tan's travelers, who range from a neurotic hypochondriac to the debonair, self-involved host of a show called The Fido Files, fight and flirt among themselves. While ensemble casting precludes the intimacy that characterizes Tan's mother-daughter stories, the book branches out with a broad plot and dynamic digressions. It's based on a true story, and Tan seems to be having fun with it, indulging in the wry, witty voice of Bibi while still exploring her signature questions of fate, connection, identity and family." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[Tan's] most politically astute and shrewdly satirical tale to date..."
"Review" by , "An extremely funny novel with serious undercurrents."
"Review" by , "The author's research ultimately smothers her story and characters. A pity, because this vividly imagined tale might very well have been her best yet."
"Review" by , "[A] strange and fascinating trip..."
"Review" by , "This is the perfect winter book....Rich with mystery and culture, this is a novel that will put you under its spell — under Tan's spell — and entertain you through a blizzard, a post-holiday escape, or just a long night of R and R."
"Review" by , "The novel...lacks the tender, intergenerational wisdom and delicate East-West insights of Tan's earlier work....Tan is a prodigious talent, but Saving Fish From Drowning needs its own search and rescue team."
"Review" by , "Tan's new book poses many of her familiar questions, but in unfamiliar ways."
"Review" by , "[A]ll Tan's trademark strengths — her lush language, her memorable characters, her wide-ranging curiosity about people and history — quickly come to the fore."
"Review" by , "Saving Fish from Drowning is a new sort of adventure for Tan, an assured step in a thrilling new direction....[A] grand comic novel...sharp and droll..."
"Review" by , "A hilarious yet politically charged tale....[A] rollicking, adventure-filled story."
"Synopsis" by , On an ill-fated art expedition into Burma, 11 Americans leave their Floating Island Resort for a Christmas-morning tour — and disappear. Through twists of fate, they encounter a tribe awaiting the return of a leader and the mythical book of wisdom that will protect them from the ravages of the Myanmar military regime.
spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.