Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

3.5 (10,952 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Dr. Alfred Jones is a henpecked, slightly pompous middle-aged scientist at the National Centre for Fisheries Excellence in London when he is approached by a mysterious sheikh about an outlandish plan to introduce the sport of salmon fishing into the Yemen. Dr. Jones refuses, but the project, however scientifically absurd, catches the eye of British politicians, who pressure him to work on it. His diaries of the Yemen Salmon Project, from beginning to glorious, tragic end, form the narrative backbone of this novel; interspersed throughout are government memos, e-mails, letters, and interview transcripts that deftly capture the absurdity of bureaucratic dysfunction.With a wickedly wonderful cast of characters--including a weasel-like spin doctor, a missing soldier and his intrepid fiancee, and Dr. Jones's own devilish wife--Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is the whimsical story of an unlikely hero who discovers true love, finds himself first a pawn and then a victim of political spin, and learns to believe in the impossible.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 333 pages
  • 139.7 x 213.36 x 33.02mm | 498.95g
  • HOUGHTON MIFFLIN
  • United States
  • English
  • Us.
  • 0151012768
  • 9780151012763
  • 725,002

Back cover copy

An extraordinary and enchanting tale of unexpected heroism and late-blooming love; of fly-fishing and political spinning and of the triumph of hope in a cynical world.

'A wonderful novel - a cry for humanity in our target driven, spin-riddled world.' Marina Lewycka, author of "A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian"
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Flap copy

Dr Alfred Jones has many reasons to be content with his life. His latest paper 'Effects of Increased Water Acidity on the Caddis Fly Larva' looks set to cause a stir on the pages of "Trout & Salmon," his job as a fisheries scientist is satisfactory, and he and his wife, Mary, have just celebrated their twentieth wedding anniversary - for which she gave him a replacement electric toothbrush.
So why does he feel as though something is missing?
When he is asked to become involved in a project to create a salmon river in the Highlands of the Yemen, Fred rejects the idea as absurd. But the proposal catches the eye of several senior British politicians, who feel it might distract the media's attention from the less welcome stories coming out of the Middle East. It's not long before the wheels of government start spinning, and the publicity-savvy Prime Minister is talking about the project on television. Fred finds himself forced to set aside his research and instead figure out how to fly ten thousand salmon to a desert country ... and persuade them to swim there.
The project is the brainchild of a Yemeni sheikh: a devout and wealthy man, whose love of salmon fishing and whose fervent, unwavering conviction that the impossible can be made possible, eventually, and astonishingly, inspires Fred, overpowering all his rational objections - and infuriating his wife.
When Fred meets Harriet Chetwode-Talbot, the sheikh's elegant and beautiful land agent, the cracks that have begun to form in his carefully managed existence grow even wider, and as they both embark on an extraordinary journey of faith - and fishing - the diffident Dr Jones will discover a sense of belief, and a capacity for love, and for heroism, that surprises himself, and all who know him.
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Review quote

"Bizarre doesn't begin to describe the deliciously sly, ironic humour that drives much of the novel and the deftness of Torday's parodies of political spin and hypocrisy."
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Rating details

10,952 ratings
3.5 out of 5 stars
5 14% (1,540)
4 38% (4,150)
3 35% (3,870)
2 10% (1,101)
1 3% (291)
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