Monday, 9 July 2012

Saving Fish from Drowning - #11

I wish this novel lived up to it's name. Instead of Saving Fish from Drowning as it claimed, this story slowly suffocated. Amy Tan let it flip flop all over the place in front of you, and then, when you thought it couldn't possibly still be alive, it would spring up and kinda flop over again.

The story is apparently about a woman called Bibi (which is a ridiculous name... no offence to any one reading called Bibi, you can't help your parents). She's dead. That's not a spoiler, it happens on page one. She's self obsessed, incredibly learned and cultured. And she's haunting her friends who are going on a holiday she organised. She sucks at haunting though as she just kinda follows them around like annoying small animal. But one you don't notice.

So you follow her friends around, after you get through 50 pages about her funeral. Which you don't care about as you don't like her. And her friends are awful, stereotypical travelling Americans. They are the people that walk into your hotel breakfast and you shudder with embarrassment as you feel terrible for being white as people may think you're from the same country, or worse, family.

I'm sorry. It's true. American's have the stereotype of being obnoxious, loud and ignorant while travelling. With the Brit's, they look down their nose at *everything*. Australians have the stereotype of being constantly drunk and obnoxious. You learn to work with it, and prove you are the exception.

Anyways. These are people you do not want to be around. All of them. Dead fish people or alive people. So after 100 pages, they got abandoned. And I hate myself a little for it. But after 100 pages, you had a good shot, and I couldn't see it getting better.

Also, I should have been warned when I found out that Amy Tan made up some stupid story about the book coming out of automatic writings she stumbled across in some Psychic Museum. So this was a "real story" told to a "real psychic". While my personal bullshit meter was going into overdrive, I then learnt that she made up this story to get more interest in the book. If you have to make up some story about automatic writings and psychics to sell your book, that should scream that it's not worth reading. Next time, I listen to that meter.

The problem is now, I don't know what to do with my journey. I think I have to find another South East Asian story, as I already felt my SE Asian pickings were rather slim. And for that, I am, just frankly, annoyed. Ruining my list *mumble mumble mumble*.

Next: To Romania, and let's hope it does better with The Appointment


  1. Some of what I have on hand for SE Asia (in case it helps):

    Seven Years in Tibet
    From the Land of Green Ghosts

    1. Came back from holidays to From the Land of Green Ghosts sitting in my mailbox as it was on special the other day when you and Gaeta recommended it. It has been added to the pile...