Saving Fish From Drowning

Saving Fish From Drowning

Book - 2006
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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?
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, 2006, c2005
Edition: Ballantine Books paperback ed
ISBN: 9780345464019
034546401X
Characteristics: xv, 496 p. ; 21 cm
Call Number: TAN, A

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rogebc_0
Mar 17, 2018

Amy Tan is a good story teller, but this book left me a bit disappointed. There is a flatness to the book that detracts from the characters and story - why did she tell this story and what is its purpose? The fate of the Karen tribe people is tucked into the happy ending for the Americans and you can ignore it as a reader just like the Americans ignore it as they return to their busy and self-satisfied lives. The people are caricatures and their humanity is somehow lost in spite of the story keeping one's attention.

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Eil_1
Aug 08, 2016

An interesting book, narrated through writings recorded by Karen Lundegaard's of Bibi Chen. What I liked the least were the in-depth descriptions of the 12 tourists; what was most enjoyable was the trials and tribulations of these individuals of their time in China and with the Karen in Burma.
Those who wish a deeper knowledge of the violence and genocide on the part of the military in Burma (Myanmar), you might read the autobiography of Zoya Phan entitled "Little Daughter".

WVMLStaffPicks Jan 24, 2015

Unlikely circumstances lead to the disappearance of a group of Americans during their cultural tour of Burma. The group are led to the jungle where they get an insider view of the ideals and sacrifices that many Burmese are making in their determination to overthrow the represssive military regime that currently has a stranglehold on the country. Amy Tan brilliantly juxtaposes deadly serious subjects such as genocide, social responsibility and human rights with hilarious situations and lightweight characters whose actions often verge on slapstick. None of the characters escape Tan's ironic take on life, neither the Americans nor the Burmese. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and admire an author who can make me laugh out loud, but has left me with many issues to revisit.

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mythoughts
Dec 29, 2014

Best Amy Tan book I've read. I loved it.

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ehuang0811
Jul 11, 2014

Loved Amy tan writing, however this book failed to lived up to its charm. Slow moving and non engaging plots

p
Pisinga
Aug 01, 2011

Very interesting book. Humor, sarcasm, details, knowledge, drama.
You read it very fast

t
thaidpeople
Sep 14, 2009

This book did not receive the attention it deserved. Amy Tan is better known for her earlier books, but she is still writing wonderfully. This novel will take you on a trip into Burma, and along the way you will gain a new perspective on what is happening when we North Americans venture into Asia. Great settings, and great observations of life and travel. The weakness of the novel is the last chapter...the story is really over, but Tan just can't let it go yet.

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ehuang8
Jun 22, 2014

ehuang8 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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EPLPicks_Teen Apr 07, 2010

Twelve American tourists join an art expedition that begins in China and continues into the jungles of Burma. The original tour leader dies just before the trip, but in spirit form she follows the group's misadventures.

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bellamorte18
Jun 12, 2016

“I read to escape to a more interesting world, not to be locked up in a sweltering prison and find myself vicariously standing among people who are tortured beyond the limits of sanity.”

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