Tan's detailed prose style is strong and her structure is irresistible; her early-book teasers about the traveling party's fate guarantee readers will go along for the bumpy ride just to find out what happened to them, and every mistake they make along the way provokes another anticipatory flinch.
But hundreds of pages of comparisons between the Americans' arrogant presumptions and the real truth become monotonous, the large cast of thinly characterized stereotypes blur together, and Bibi's beyond-the-grave harping just gets in the way. Saving Fish is intermittently a wickedly wry satire, brimming with insight about how cultures and individuals fail to connect, sometimes with harsh consequences.waihindmaxli.tk
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It's also an impressive narrative step up from Tan's previous gorgeous but increasingly samey domestic-exotic dramas, and it's impressively cynical and misanthropic, more like a Chuck Palahniuk novel than like The Joy Luck Club. But all the ambition it adds to Tan's normal strengths would come through clearer with a few subtractions: say, of half the unnecessary characters, a third of the repetitive length, and most of the gimmicks and veils.
The A. Tasha Robinson.
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Saving Fish from Drowning by Amy Tan
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