Salmon Fishing in the YemenPaperback Phoenix
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- Publisher: Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
- Format: Paperback | 352 pages
- Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 26mm | 240g
- Publication date: 1 August 2007
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0753821788
- ISBN 13: 9780753821787
- Sales rank: 4,100
This is the story of Dr Alfred Jones, a fisheries scientist - for whom diary-notable events include the acquisition of a new electric toothbrush and getting his article on caddis fly larvae published in 'Trout and Salmon' - who finds himself reluctantly involved in a project to bring salmon fishing to the Highlands of the Yemen - a project that will change his life, and the course of British political history for ever. With a wickedly wonderful cast of characters - including a visionary Sheikh, a weasely spin doctor, Fred's devilish wife and a few thousand transplanted salmon - SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN is a novel about hypocrisy and bureaucracy, dreams and deniability, and the transforming power of faith and love.
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Paul Torday burst on to the literary scene in 2007 with his first novel, SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN, an immediate international bestseller which has been translated into 28 languages and has been made into a film starring Ewan McGregor, Kristin Scott Thomas and Emily Blunt. His subsequent novels, THE IRRESISTIBLE INHERITANCE OF WILBERFORCE, THE GIRL ON THE LANDING, THE HOPELESS LIFE OF CHARLIE SUMMERS, MORE THAN YOU CAN SAY, THE LEGACY OF HARTLEPOOL HALL and LIGHT SHINING IN THE FOREST, were all published to great critical acclaim. He was married with two sons by a previous marriage, had two stepsons, and lived close to the River North Tyne. He died at home in December 2013.
By Marianne Vincent 23 Sep 2012
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is the first novel by British author, Paul Torday, and combines his love of salmon fishing with his literary talent. When fish scientist, Dr Alfred Jones is asked to advise on a project to set up a salmon fishing run for a sheikh in the highlands of the Yemen, he finds the idea laughable and dismisses the idea of any involvement. But his boss soon presents him with an ultimatum that has him reconsidering his position. When he meets Sheikh Muhammad's charming agent, Harriet Chetwode-Talbot, and later still, the Sheikh himself, he finds his scorn turning to interest and enthusiasm. Using a format of a collection of documents (emails, diary entries, memos, extracts of interviews, print media articles, extracts from the Hansard, letters, extracts from an unpublished autobiography, a TV script), Torday puts together a delightfully funny and moving tale that is also thought-provoking and even educational. The reader does not need to like or know about fishing or the Yemen to enjoy this novel. The bureaucracy will remind many readers of Yes, Prime Minister, with the same laugh-out-loud results. Much more than salmon or the Yemen, this book is about people and caring, about impossibility, about faith and hope and love. Winner of the 2007 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction, and no wonder! Entertaining and very enjoyable.
The political bite of Torday's novel is more savage than the 'feel good' film. The narrative is crisp and clever, its denouement explosive. THE OLDIE
Sort of like a lesser Monty Python episode, this debut novel features British bureaucrats and biz types who collaborate with a starry-eyed sheikh to spur peace and profits by introducing salmon fishing in the Mideast desert.Middle-aged milquetoast Dr. Alfred Jones shudders at "the irrational, the unpredictable, and the unknown." He's a perfect patsy, then, for Torday to play with. The author embroils the star flunky of the National Centre for Fisheries Excellence in one seriously whacky scheme. E-mailing his dour, domineering spouse, Mary, about the project, Fred initially dismisses it as "scientifically nonsensical." Political pressure, however, prompts his meeting with Sheikh Muhammad, who argues that the Arab-Israeli and Yemeni internecine conflicts just might evaporate if all warring parties embraced gentlemanly fishing. The beguiling billionaire wheedles Fred into submission; even more effectively, so does Harriet Chetwode-Talbot, dishy publicist for Fitzharris & Price, the posh consultants the Sheikh hired to strong-arm Parliament into realizing his impossible dream. Frosty financier Mary belittles Fred by reminding him that her salary's twice his and constantly exacerbating his abandonment issues. Plus, her charms recall those of a Dickensian schoolmarm. Can't blame Fred, then, for falling for Harriet, who might as well be a Bond Girl, and, even while romancing a cute upper-crust captain on tour in Iraq, not above leading Fred on. In short order, things get dizzyingly farcical, as al-Qaeda involvement is suspected, as the notoriously contentious English press assails the Prime Minister and as Fred loses his bearings and his heart. By the end, a House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee is threatening to bring down a government, and nasty fates have befallen Sheik and Captain.A giggle-inducing fish story. (Kirkus Reviews)