Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday

About the Book

This is a political satire based around an idea to launch salmon fishing in the Yemen. 

What I Think 

The thing I really liked about this book was that it was written in various different ways, i.e. emails, memos, diary entries, etc. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but I think this made the book varied and interesting. 

I think it was quite an achievement to make a book about fishing, something I know nothing about, seem so compelling! Torday cleverly uses the subject of fishing as the main premise, but there are so many other factors that come into play: politics, working relationships, romantic relationships, fear of failure, which allows this narrative to constantly be moving forward. 

The film, directed by Lasse Hallström, is also worth watching. It has tried to keep the feel of the original, still using different methods of communication and correspondence. The acting is superb, with Kristen Scott Thomas stealing the show as the Prime Minister's strong-willed Press Secretary, Patricia Maxwell. Unfortunately, it has suffered slightly from the 'Hollywood syndrome' - if you read the book, then watch the film you'll know what I mean!

About the Author

Paul Torday (b. 1946) is a British writer who after having had a successful career as a businessman, turned to writing later in life. He published his first novel at the age of 59. This book, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, was inspired by his love of fly fishing and his interest in the Middle East. The book won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for comic writing in 2007 and was serialised on BBC Radio 4. It also won the Waverton Goodread Award in 2008. 


  1. Hey, I'm your newest follower from Book Blogs and I really love your blog. I had exactly the same feelings about this book and I'm glad somebody else liked the style since all I've heard is negative feedback. Anyways if you could have a look at my blog it would be much appreciated :)


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