Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

7 / 10
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This is the story of Dr Alfred Jones, a fisheries scientist - for whom diary - notable events include the acquisition of a new electric toothbrush and getting his article on caddis fly larvae published in 'Trout and Salmon' - who finds himself reluctantly involved in a project to bring salmon fishing to the Highlands of the Yemen - a project that will change his life, and the course of British political history forever.

With a wickedly wonderful cast of characters - including a visionary Sheikh, a weasely spin doctor, Fred's devilish wife and a few thousand transplanted salmon - Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is a novel about hypocrisy and bureaucracy, dreams and deniability, and the transforming power of faith and love.

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7 / 10
This is the story of an investigation into the Salmon Fishing Project in the Yemen. Written as the transcripts of interviews of the main characters involved its format is unusual.

But for anyone who has even a brief acquaintance with the public sector this book is a must read. It tells of top people in government both politicians, spin doctors and senior civil servants and their need for publicity as well as impressing their bosses and minding their backs.

It follows a scientists determination to achieve the impossible and his failing marriage. The style of writing meanders a little from reports to storytelling, but I soon got used to this.

As the story unfolds you almost believe that the initially bizarre proposition in the title deserves will be a great success. Well worth the time to find out if it is.
A very funny book. I enjoyed it.
posted by David Shepherd on 4/7/2008 21:47