Written as a "report into the circumstances surrounding the decision to introduce salmon into the Yemen", this is a novel that is made up of e-mails, letters, diary extracts, records of the prime minister's Question Time, interviews, and chapters from the memoirs of a fantastically weaselly Peter Mandelson-type figure.
The "Yes Minister" comparisons are justified (and there is some brilliant, hilarious political and bureaucratic satire here), but at its heart, this is the story of a hen-pecked, slightly pompous, middle-aged scientist who finds himself caught up in what seems like an impossible project, and of how this project changes his life. In the process, he becomes an unlikely and rather loveable hero, discovers true love for himself, finds himself both a pawn and then a victim of political spin, leaves his brilliantly horrible wife, and learns to believe in the impossible. And he takes the listener with him in the process.
©2007 Paul Torday; (P)2007 Orion Publishing Group Ltd.
"An entertaining and successful debut... it is warmly recommended to anyone searching for feel good comedy with surprising bite." (The Sunday Times)
"The intelligence, inventiveness and humanity of this novel in comparison to the usual run of literary fiction is as wild salmon to the farmed."(Daily Telegraph)
"[It] succeeds in an ambitious project: making a book about fishing readable, even touching. Fish may not be your bag, but it is the capacity for commitment and belief that makes for good reading."(New Statesman)
"Entertaining storytelling with great characters and laugh-out-loud plot."(Woman and Home)
"A wickedly comic first novel about the power of money and the miracle of faith."(Saga)
"A lovely musing on how risking it all - however much it may be perceived as foolish or ridiculous, can bring hope and faith and love to the most bleak of outlooks..." (Scotland on Sunday)
What an absolutely superb book! Thoroughly entertaining right from the very start. You get so involved with the characters that you are simply willing the salmon project on, right to the very end. With extracts from letters from everyone including, government and terrorists it builds to an ending where you just die to know what happens.
I agree a good listen. Sad, topical but uplifting. Probably enjoyed most by those disappointed with government and politicians, but wish they were not. You will laugh and you will cry.
"Engaging from one end to the other!"
What a fantastic find! Fiction that is so real, so convincing, that it is only the name given to the Prime Minister that reminds one. Beautifully read by several different people for the various characters, a sad and riveting tale unfolds, the outcome hidden to the very very end. Well worth it, one of my better downloads.
An easy read, a little romantic at times but unexpectedly more enjoyable than the twee title led me to expect. the stories of the Yemen kept me interested as did hte project itself, the love interest was a little obvious though the many speakers in the story made it very entertaining. Mary was particularly entertaining. easy holiday read
"A bit depressing"
I made a mistake in choosing this. I was feeling a bit down and looking for something light and frothy, and then was misled by the press reviews that described it as a 'feel good comedy'. Personally, I just found the pompous characters pompous, the Peter Mandelson type character unconvincing and the religious sheikh deeply irritating. There's a lot of middle eastern politics and some personal tragedy. I think I particularly disliked it because it was so different from what I was expecting. It might work better if approached with different expectations.
"An unusual topic which turns out to be a winner"
I cannot remember how I came to purchase this book but I am very pleased that I did so.
Outstanding narration and characterisations which bring the characters to life.
Without doubt the best book that I have 'read' for some time.
What more can I say.
"Hooked me in!"
This works really well as a narrated story (perhaps better than reading it might have been). Hearing the different characters through email correspondence, diaries, interviews etc, works really well. It's funny, sad and at times tragic, but still leaves you feeling uplifted. l was hooked after the first couple of chapters. Warmly recommended.
"Great satire & wonderfully read"
The story starts and ends with wonderful political satire. Some of the characters feel very close to real figures - though whether I imagine the same ones as anyone else is open to question. This is then blended with a lovely tale of discovery & hope.
All is then read by a superb cast who really bring the characters to life. It's coming out as a film but I can't see how it can come anywhere close to this audio version.
The story of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is so exciting for many reasons, one of which is for those who know Yemen. aslo, the narrators are very proffessional and I should say they added another dimention to the story. I enjoyed it so much.
"A real justification for the Audible experience"
I normally alternate reading a book with listening to a book. Often my choice of method is arbitrary and pure chance. In this case I am so pleased that I heard the book first or I would not have caught the variety of tone between the sections of this novel. I would have missed the irony and satire of the bureaucratic communications and the contrast between the exchanges of the individuals. The choice of different readers in this production contributes to the enjoyment of the subtlety of the writing.
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