Thursday, August 21, 2008

Book Review: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday

Salmon fishing in the Yemen, by Paul Torday, is an original story of the attempt to introduce fly fishing for salmon into the wadis of southern Yemen, which has catastrophic consequences. This story revolves around a British fisheries scientist and his efforts to find a way of succeeding with the visionary project of a Yemeni Sheikh, and also on how members of the British government hijack the scheme for a vote-winning photo opportunity.

This book is written in a very unusual style, being a collection of documents; diaries, police reports, memoirs, letters and e-mails which at first feel rather awkward, but as the book progresses, the reader becomes comfortable with what is a rather original style which makes a fairly average book into something that stands out from others. This construction of the novel means that many of the documents are very personal to the characters, and this means that the characters become quite developed, although the ending perhaps leaves one wanting a little more from some of the main protagonists.