Aug 1, 2012
Salmon fishing in Yemen - Paul Torday
Salmon fishing in Yemen - Torday, Paul
Summary: A middle-aged scientist working at London's National Centre for Fisheries Excellence, Dr. Alfred Jones takes on the outlandish--and ill-fated--task of introducing the sport of salmon fishing into the Yemen River at the behest of a mysterious sheikh.
/*Starred Review*/ Almost exclusively through correspondence--memos, e-mails, diary excerpts, and the text of a government investigation--Torday has woven a charming novel about a bizarre plan to introduce salmon fishing into Yemen and bring the benefits of the sport to Yemenis. When first approached, Alfred Jones, a scientist at London's National Centre for Fisheries Excellence, dismisses the idea as ridiculous, but it catches the attention of the prime minister's spinmeister, and Alfred is compelled to consult with the author (and bankroller) of the plan, a fabulously wealthy Yemeni sheik. Dutifully, Smith begins to study the idea while realizing that his 20-year marriage to a shrewish, driven banker is devoid of love. And, while being tossed about by political agendas, he begins to believe that the impossible may be possible. That may sound trite, but Torday carries it off with a wacky plot, vivid characters, and a knowing sense of politics and bureaucracy. A remarkably assured first novel, this one is a pure delight. ((Reviewed March 1, 2007)) Copyright 2007 Booklist Reviews.