Customer Reviews for

The Opposite of Fate: A Book of Musings

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 17 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2009

    Unique memoir

    I really enjoyed this book. It is totally unlike any memoir or autobiography I've read. There's a bit of everything--humor, drama, mystery, adventure.
    Her writing style is so engaging that by the end of the book I wanted to read more.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2004

    Insights on Writing

    In'The Opposite of Fate', Amy Tan muses on a variety of subjects, including the real facts of her life,the background of her novels,and also describes a wild trip she made with a rock band, 'The Rock Bottom Remainders', lip synching with other writers including Stephen King. But most interesting to me are her insights on writing. She draws on her status of an ousider caused by eleven moves during her childhood, saying, 'A sense of alienation is useful as an impetus for writing', as it sharpened her skills of observation. In her essays, she lists five writing tips, among them,' avoid cliches,and ' avoid generalizations. Specifics', she says, 'are the longhand versions of a story in which it takes 400 pages to answer a single question.' 'Never have characters either good or evil. Do not reduce people to such terms', she continues. 'Find your own voice', she urges. 'Your own experiences form your own personal truth, one that others might find true as well.' 'Show compassion', she says. 'Imagine living in another country or having another religion'. Finally, she advises ,'Ask the important questions. What is love? What is loss? What is hope? These questions lead to personal answers creating stories that interest others' Amy Tan's novels deal with mother and daughter relationships, but she is careful to observe that her stories are fiction, although the inspiration for them has come from life.She also insists that she is an American writer, not and 'Asian-American writer'. Her novels, she believes, appeal to people of many backgrounds, carried out by the fact that they have been translated into 30 languages. As for the 'Opposite of Fate', hope,' she says, 'has always allowed for all things. Hope 'has enabled her to escape the expectations and curses of the past.' Tan's musings fascinate the reader who hopes Tan will publish more of her writings soon.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2006

    So glad I read this..................

    Not a perfect memoir since it almost seems some of the chapters are in the wrong sequence. Having said that I'm fortunate to have - ironically - found this on the 'remainder table' and am now recommending it for my book club who might even pay full price for it. It is as sad as it is funny at times and always educational and informative. I think that's enough for any book. Thanks Ms. Tan

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2006

    Insightful, witty, funny, touching

    This is such a fast read, Tan's writing is so fluid, you can't even stop between chapters. All of the short 'musings', or stories are heartfelt and real and give such insight into the author. I love all her books, but I loved getting to know her and her wit all the more. This is a great read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2004

    Inspiring-- Couldn't Put It Down

    I have always been interested in writing, and after reading this book, I feel even more inspired to do so. In fact I read this book even before reading any of her other books. I enjoyed the Joy Luck Club probably more than I would have reading it before The Opposite Of Fate.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Tapestry Of Essays/Memoirs

    Amy Tan writes a bundle of essays and memoirs in this non-fiction collection. There is the question of Fate, the relationship between her and her mother, the process of writing, the marriage of an individual to the societal norms and ethnic expectations, the subject of death and the existence of ghosts/spirits. All of these writings are combined in such a way that they could be read independently, or better yet as a tapestry of people, places & events that shape this influential author's life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2004

    INTRIGUING AND HIGHLY LISTENABLE

    With lilting voice and understanding heart noted author Amy Tan reads her first work of non-fiction. Listening to her is very much like having a private audience with someone we have come to admire and respect. As one who was born into a family that believed in fate Ms. Tan now both challenges and accepts that destiny. She expounds on the meanings of our choices in life, the effects of accidents and the choices we make. As she reflects upon life in both this world and the next listeners will find themselves reexamining their own lives - perhaps making new choices or changing paths. There is much food for thought in this series of candid revelations from Ms. Tan. 'The Opposite of Fate' is an intriguing and highly listenable audio book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2004

    Amy Tan is wonderful

    This book was a book club selection and all the women in our group really enjoyed it. Amy Tan is, as always, funny and insightful...giving the reader something to think about on every page. Her real-life stories are so incredible that it is hard to believe they are not ficiton! She has had a very interesting life and also shares with the reader a glimpse into the lives of her family members and friends. Readers learn about the 'real' Amy Tan as opposed to the often false stories that sometimes circulate in books, schools and on the internet. Also, Tan offers enlightenment on where many of her ideas for writings came from. This book was well done and I am glad I had a chance to read these autobiographical accounts by one of my favorite writers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2003

    amy tan is awesome

    amy tan has a very great sense of humor that takes the reader in completely. opposite of fate, is an excellent window into the thoughts of amy tan. she has lived an exciting and her story is well told. also, she clarifies many misinformation found on the internet etc.

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    Posted January 26, 2010

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