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Saving Fish from Drowning Audiobook

Saving Fish from Drowning

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Publisher's Summary

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. 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?

Saving Fish from Drowning finds sly truth in the absurd: a reality TV show called Darwin's Fittest, a repressive regime known as SLORC, two cheroot-smoking twin children hailed as divinities, and a ragtag tribe hiding in the jungle - where the sprites of disaster known as Nats lurk, as do the specters of the fabled Younger White Brother and a British illusionist who was not who he was worshipped to be.

With her signature "idiosyncratic, sympathetic characters, haunting images, historical complexity, significant contemporary themes, and suspenseful mystery" (Los Angeles Times), Amy Tan spins a provocative and mesmerizing tale about the mind and the heart of the individual, the actions we choose, the moral questions we might ask ourselves, and above all, the deeply personal answers we seek when happy endings are seemingly impossible.

©2005 Amy Tan; (P)2005 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"A superbly executed, good-hearted farce that is part romance and part mystery....With Tan's many talents on display, it's her idiosyncratic wit and sly observations...that make this book pure pleasure." (San Francisco Chronicle)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.3 (389 )
5 star
 (82)
4 star
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Overall
3.5 (161 )
5 star
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3 star
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1 star
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Story
3.4 (158 )
5 star
 (41)
4 star
 (38)
3 star
 (42)
2 star
 (19)
1 star
 (18)
Performance
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  •  
    James A Maynard 07-08-10 Member Since 2017
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    "Horrible"

    Wasted almost four hours of my life, hoping this story would improve. By the time I finally gave up I was completely ambivalent regarding the fate of any of the characters. Don't waste your points.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gerald B. Johnson Calgary, Alberta Canada 06-19-10
    Gerald B. Johnson Calgary, Alberta Canada 06-19-10 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A struggle to get through"

    I almost gave up a couple of times, but my miserly ways got the best of me and I managed to finish it. The biggest problem with this book is the reader. I thought that having the author read her own work would be a plus instead of a minus, but it all comes down to competence. If you want a good audio book you need a skilled and experienced reader. A good reader brings life and believability to the story. They have to be able to create multiple personalities, both male and female, with different voices and different accents. Ms Tan unfortunately does not have this talent. She's especially bad at doing the male voices (no surprise). The story itself is also pretty bizarre and hard to get into. At the end of it all I found that I was glad I finished it, but it would have been so much better with a professional reader.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christy LaGrange, IN, USA 06-07-10
    Christy LaGrange, IN, USA 06-07-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
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    "Love it"

    If you like Amy Tan books you should get this one. I dont think the publishers summary was the best for this particular book. Though this book has a different flavor than most of Amy Tans other books it is still just as good. She is such a good story teller and I thought she was wonderfull narrating this book. It is a good one

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lily St. Augustine, FL, USA 08-18-09
    Lily St. Augustine, FL, USA 08-18-09 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "She had me BEFORE page one"

    Years ago I worked at Barnes & Noble and used to suggest to customers that they SHOULD choose books by the covers! I've rarely been disappointed in a book I chose because I loved the cover. This book has a GREAT cover, which is why I bought a copy when I found it on sale recently at B&N. I was fascinated by the introduction, then by the story, and the characters. I bought the audible version because it was just taking me too long to READ the book (my reading time is the 15 minutes before I fall asleep each night. It took me two weeks to get through Kafka's "The Metamorphosis"!) Also, I got a bit confused by the action once the group got "lost"; I needed to concentrate on it a bit more, I thought. Listening to it turned out to be a great way to finish it, and I'll be able to listen again in a couple of years and enjoy it all over again.

    Amy Tan excels at character development, and her stories are always interesting, well researched and plausible - I could easily believe they are non-fiction. And this book was, at times, REALLY funny! I laughed out loud several times - always at something Bibi said - she was a delightful character! I didn't love all the characters, which I prefer; all I need is ONE to root for, and at least one to dislike.

    Unlike some other reviewers, I really liked Amy Tan's narration. Some of the accents she used were not very good - but I forgave that immediately. After all, she is a WRITER, not an actor.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-16-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    166
    3
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    "The Importance of the Narrator"

    This audiobook makes you appreciate professional narrators. Ms. Tan's accent, though slight, drops some consonants, which makes it hard to follow. In addition, her voice level rises and falls in a way that a professional's would not do, and it's hard to follow her when her voice fades off.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis Washington, DC, United States 08-25-08
    Dennis Washington, DC, United States 08-25-08 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    276
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    50
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    "Wrap This Fish in Newspaper"

    Amy Tan is losing her ability to tell an interesting story. Her characters are flat and uninteresting. The plot strains credulity, but interestingly enough, the narrator who died at the start of the story, has the best lines and is the most compelling person in the novel.

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roslyn Walker 08-13-17 Member Since 2015
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    "The narration ruined this book for me."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The author narrated her own book. Unlike most other performances I've experienced with Audible, she sounded like she was purely reading with no emotional investment. All characters sounded alike.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Amy Tan? Why or why not?

    Perhaps with a different narrator I have read books by her in the past and enjoyed them, but this is the first I've listened to.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Randi 05-03-16
    Randi 05-03-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting read"

    Great story and telling of story. I would recommend this to be read by others.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jamieS 08-16-15
    jamieS 08-16-15 Member Since 2013
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    17
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    "Disappointed"

    I normally love Amy Tan books this one was not easy to get through.
    The audio was very poor at the beginning of this book but improves later on

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lazlo San Jose California 07-01-15
    Lazlo San Jose California 07-01-15
    ratings
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    1
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    Story
    "The Other side of the DaVinci Code"

    A posthumous narrator weaves a tale of art collector intrigue and trophy collecting from beyond the grave. A guided tour of Burma and other Khmer dynasty (sic?) locales that I can't remember are part of an art tour that goes wrong.

    While this book passes the both the Bechdel test and the readability index, I blanked during it a few times. What I tend to remember are insights about this previous mysterious social set, Chinese ladies of leisure. This is mostly satire as passages here and there describe a vapid, if charmingly snarky group and their gatherings.

    I found the sibilant mewling of the reader pretty grating, but appropriate to the gestalt of the woman in question. I preferred Tan's crisp, well-paced style when she covered sympathetic characters. It's been twenty years but I thought the "Kitchen God's Wife" was quite affecting from what I can recall.

    You definitely wouldn't want to read this book while frying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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