Saving Fish from Drowning

Amy Tan, Author, Amy Tan, Read by , read by the author. Brilliance Audio $39.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-59737-731-7

When Amy Tan walks into a bookstore and reads from her work, the audience is enthralled by her very presence. But an audio recording is an art form and a performance, not an author appearance. Some authors excel as performers—for example, Simon Brett performs his Murder in the Museum with aplomb —but Tan is not gifted with an actor's range. Alone in a studio, Tan does not do justice to her own work. Words melt when Tan drops her voice at the end of sentences—and even in the middle. It sounds as if she is rocking back and forth in front of the microphone, or perhaps looking down and away from the mike to study the text. She is also unable to produce different voices for her characters. The narrator who finds Bibi Chen's writings (via a psychic) sounds exactly like Bibi herself. The comments of Bibi's ghost on the ill-fated trip of several of her friends in China and Myanmar are clearly meant to be humorous, but this, too, doesn't come across in Bibi's voice. As a writer, Tan has a well-deserved following. Hopefully, she will leave future recordings to someone who can give her novels the breadth they deserve. Simultaneous release with the Putnam hardcover (Reviews, Aug. 29). (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 03/06/2006
Release date: 10/01/2005
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Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-59737-730-0
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Paperback - 474 pages - 978-0-00-721616-1
Paperback - 496 pages
MP3 CD - 978-1-59737-733-1
Compact Disc - 5 pages - 978-1-59737-738-6
Compact Disc - 5 pages - 978-1-59737-737-9
MP3 CD - 978-1-59737-734-8
Compact Disc - 978-1-4418-3986-2
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 496 pages - 978-1-4406-0700-4
Open Ebook - 496 pages - 978-1-4406-0699-1
Hardcover - 474 pages - 978-0-399-15301-3
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Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4418-1302-2
Open Ebook - 496 pages - 978-1-4406-2760-6
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