Vicky's Reviews > Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday
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Aug 04, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: book-club, recent
Read in April, 2011 — I own a copy

An interesting and amusing book. A lot more about Salmon fishing in the Yemen than I expected :)

A very amusing look at politics and the difference between the West and Moslem world in current times. A bit like a modern-day 'Yes Minister' in the political sections, and it is certainly more sympathetic to the faith of the East than the lack of religion in the West, which is nice.

The characters were interesting and varied - I enjoyed disliking Peter - the key political caricature, as well as Fred's boss David. Harriet would have been one-dimentional if it weren't for her Fiancee deployed in Iraq. The Sheik was of course fascinating, with his views of fishing and faith, and the contagiousness of his beliefs. Fred and Mary were also very amusing. In some ways very familiar, but in other ways completely over the top.

The writing style was OK - a mixture of Newspaper articles, dairy entries, letters, emails, interview transcripts etc. It made things interesting and allowed for some great political satire. That said, there were times when it made the writing unbelievable - like in some of the sections that are supposed to be fairly confronting interviews, and the person goes on about the scenery - it just didn't fit. If the author wanted to be descriptive about that event in the story, he should have chosen a different medium, like a diary entry or letter.

The ending was a surprise, but not in a bad way - I expected something dramatic to happen, but perhaps not quite so dramatic. The best part was Fred's response to it all - cracked me up. What we all wanted to know in the end though, was: ""What happened to the Salmon?""
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