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11 Reviews
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving, insightful and poignant
As a huge fan of Tan's novels I have always felt a certain affinity with this author, empathising with the joy and sadness in her novels and wondering how much truth lay just beneath the surface.
It was a real treat, therefore, to discover that she had decided to write a memoir: finally, we can read the real stories that informed and shaped the fiction; we can catch...
Published on 10 Nov 2003 by hug_the_cat

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit lazy
Having enjoyed Amy Tans fiction, I was looking forward to reading her accounts of all those real-life experiences that inspired her books. However, I found this book a bit of a let-down. Although there were some interesting stories buried in there, the overall construction was repetitive and clumsy, with some parts (the description of her time in a band springs to...
Published on 10 Aug 2011 by Rattikate


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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving, insightful and poignant, 10 Nov 2003
By 
This review is from: The Opposite of Fate (Hardcover)
As a huge fan of Tan's novels I have always felt a certain affinity with this author, empathising with the joy and sadness in her novels and wondering how much truth lay just beneath the surface.
It was a real treat, therefore, to discover that she had decided to write a memoir: finally, we can read the real stories that informed and shaped the fiction; we can catch a glimpse of the horror, pain, pleasure and excitement of a half-american, half-chinese upbringing; we can meet the mother, sisters, husband and friends of one of literature's most famous names; and best of all, we can lose ourselves in another wonderful book from our favorite author.
I almost never read non-fiction so be assured that this is as much of a treat as any of her novels. I shall be giving it to so many people this Christmas.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit lazy, 10 Aug 2011
This review is from: The Opposite of Fate (Paperback)
Having enjoyed Amy Tans fiction, I was looking forward to reading her accounts of all those real-life experiences that inspired her books. However, I found this book a bit of a let-down. Although there were some interesting stories buried in there, the overall construction was repetitive and clumsy, with some parts (the description of her time in a band springs to mind)very long-winded and dull. Amy Tan seems to have made the mistake of believing that, because people are interested in her life, any aspect of her life will be interesting to them. She is wrong. With a bit more effort and some ruthless editing this book could have been so much better. As it is, she is depending more on her reputation than on the quality of her writing.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Repetive and rambling, 3 Jan 2005
By 
K. Burman - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Opposite of Fate (Paperback)
First let me say, I'm a big fan of Amy Tan's fiction books. They are truly amazing and totally absorb you into her world I've read them all and so I was excited to find she had written a book about herself and her family. However I found the book deeply disappointing as it is a just collection of musings with no order or structure but a lot of repetition. While there are some interesting stories buried in amongst the ramblings I felt the book was just a money-spinner -taking previously written articles, interviews etc and just bunging them altogether without spending the time to make it coherent. Save your money until Amy chooses to take the time and effort to write a real autobiography. Im sure that would be well worth reading
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3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read, 29 Aug 2014
This review is from: The Opposite of Fate (Paperback)
I have just finished reading this book having never read any of Amy Tan's novels. Despite this I found the content interesting and it has made me want to read some of her books as this book refers to them regularly. I found her style easy to read and overall enjoyed it. I am off to purchase some of her other books now!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book, 24 Jan 2014
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Wonderful book, takes you into a different world, but a credible one. Paints pictures of China, both city and country side.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful insights, 25 July 2013
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I think I have read everything by Amy Tan. She writes exceptionally well, and gives terrific insight into Chinese life. This particular book that is all about her life and her family, is very interesting. Very funny at times, deeply moving at others.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Review for the opposite of fate, 12 Mar 2013
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Interesting to know a little more about Amy Tan. As a lover of her books I would recommend it to others who have read her books.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Collection of episodes from Amy Tans life...., 9 Jan 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: The Opposite of Fate (Paperback)
Unlike the other reviews, I would not say this is either Amy Tans 'best' or 'worst' book - it's different in that it is autobiographical (not fiction) and consists of much shorter pieces. When I picked this up, I didn't realise it wasn't fiction, and I am not a particular fan of short pieces of writing. HOWEVER - this is an amazing book that gives a wonderful insight into Amy Tans (extraordinary) life. Some of it is dramatic (getting caught in floods) and traumatic (her experience of a close friends murder). It also examines the experience of what it is to be writer, and her piece on reading her own 'Cliff notes' is very funny. Definitely worth a read....
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wanted to like it but couldn't get into it, 26 Oct 2007
By 
Janie U (Kings Cliffe, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Opposite of Fate (Paperback)
I have read a couple of Amy Tan's fiction books and enjoyed them immensely. I was, in fact, given this book by a cousin who noticed I was reading "Saving Fish from Drowning".
I liked the idea of a non-fiction book by an author who has obviously had an interesting life but found the language too rambling and too elaborate. The same style I think is perfect for fiction but I prefer non-fiction to be much more straightforward and not spen so much time talking around the story.
I'll read more of her novels but would avoid any other autobiographical works.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Youy need to read her novels first, 4 Oct 2007
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DubaiReader "MaryAnne" (Rowlands Castle, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Opposite of Fate (Paperback)
I read this book for a book group and I definitely feel that it looses a lot if you haven't read previous books written by this author.
It is interesting in parts, especially the story of her early life in the first few chapters; her Chinese heritage and her overbearing mother.
After that I struggled through with no great interest.
There are many references to her fiction, particularly The Joy Luck Club, which has now become a film in which she was very involved.
There is also a very tedious section on theories of writing and lectures she has given on the subject. At this stage I skipped 50 pages to the end of the book where she relates a mysterious illness that had haunted her for several years and which turned out to be Lyme's Disease.
I suspect that the onset of these debilitating problems explains why the author wrote this style of book - a memoir combined with previous essays and speeches. Unfortunately it did not grab me at all and I am not left feeling inspired to try her fiction.
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The Opposite of Fate
The Opposite of Fate by Amy Tan (Paperback - 5 July 2004)
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