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Amazon Price: £3.99 (as of December 14, 2017 8:27 pm – Details). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Also available on amazon.com for £3.99 (as of October 30, 2017 9:55 am – Details). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

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 for ever.

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.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2239 KB
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson (18 Sept. 2008)
  • Sold by:  Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002U3CCBK
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray: Enabled
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

Customer Reviews

"Without faith there is no hope …"

 on 11 March 2017
By Ralph Blumenau
Dr Andrew Jones, a scientist working at the Fisheries section of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural affairs, is told that an important and wealthy sheikh in the Yemen wants to introduce salmon fishing into the Wadi Aleyn there (which really exists), and that the Prime Minister is very keen to help him in order to strengthen British influence in that part of the world.

My husband really enjoyed the first part of this book and the humourous …

 on 17 October 2016
By Amazon Customer
My husband really enjoyed the first part of this book and the humourous parts, but felt that the author lost his way with the romantic storyline.

A wonderful writer – sadly missed!

 on 25 October 2017
By lightyco
An interesting book about the life cycle of Salmon. Brilliant insight into government/political motivations of people. Ultimately far better than the film. A good read.

Four Stars

 on 9 November 2017
By Chris
Great book. Easy read.

Five Stars

 on 8 November 2017
By S reid

A cross-between Dairy of a Nobody and Yes Minister, interspersed with lyrical description of the Yemen & the behaviour of salmon

One person found this helpful.
 on 31 October 2016
By S. Robinson
A cross-between Dairy of a Nobody and Yes Minister, interspersed with beautiful lyrical description of the Yemen and the behaviour of salmon, I found this novel highly readable. The book was often funny but didn’t make me laugh out aloud; it was a dry, elegant wit, hidden below the pedantries and manipulation of the characters. Fred Jones, fisheries scientist, starts off being stiff and formal and taking himself too seriously, then later, as the vision of the mystical sheikh takes hold of him, he opens out, gains emotional intelligence and a sense of full passionate engagement with the apparently impossible project. I found that transformation very interesting. The style of the novel, told in emails, letters, diary entries, interview records and news reports, was intriguing, and I enjoyed readng them, though when I came to the sections about Peter Maxwell the government spin doctor I was getting rather bored. There are often comical touches at the end of these passages, but I found myself being dragged under by his very mediocrity and small-mindedness I loved the philosophy of the sheikh and the strength of his belief in the seemingly impossible, and the way in which his belief is infectious. He is a man who looks away from the difficulties and “counts on the invisible presence of God”, and the “impossible” project is realised. My biggest problem with the book was the ending; although the sheikh’s faith is fulfilled, so many characters either die or lose out, I wondered what the author was trying to say through this. I discovered through reading interviews that Paul Torday claimed he was writing about the folly of of the west interfering in the Middle East. However it is as always, in the heart and mind of the reader that a book finds its true meaning.

Superbly satirical

One person found this helpful.
 on 26 June 2016
By Astral Surfer
I bought the Audible version; one of the best narration so I’ve listened to, with excellent character voices by John Sessions and a guest spot from Andrew Marr.

Funny, satirical and warm

 on 19 April 2012
By Roman Clodia
This is a wonderful novel which is funny, satirical, warm and moving by turn. There’s a quirky and charming sense of Britishness about it, not least in the mad idea of bringing salmon to the Yemen desert. But beneath the comedy and the satire there’s a sense of humanity at the centre of the story that makes it feel more weighty and serious than it might appear on the surface.


14 people found this helpful.
 on 11 August 2007
By The Big Beachcomber
I loved this book, which I read in a single day in between digging spuds and plaiting onions. This would be the perfect read to devour while lying on a hot beach somewhere, well, hot; or lying in a hammock in an English summer idyll while bees hum and warm wind blows across the sweet grass. Critics will be able to find faults if they wish, but I am a glass half-full man personally. I have also spent much time in the Middle East and happily recognised the authoritative tone of another well-travelled author who has soaked up the atmosphere like a sponge, and then gently squeezed it out — spices, smells, heat and dust alike — over his manuscript. Each page made me want to turn to the next, and if that is not the definition of a really gripping book I am a bit of a loss to think up another. The story, told (as noted below) in various communications’ media reads like a film script: I could actually see the events unfold, which I liked enormously. The absence of graphic sex scenes was a welcome relief and complemented the deliberately cool, calm — almost serene — tone of the storytelling. The whole idea of transplanting salmon to Yemen and to persuade them to swim up a wadi is absolutely barking, and therefore a brilliant plot device, as the author’s grasp of engineering detail is put to good use; so much so the whole incredible concept becomes a credible outcome. And when this is linked to the Sheikh’s philosophical view that fishermen tend to be gentle and peaceable, and therefore introducing his people to this concept has got to better than settling arguments with an AK-47 or RPG-7 (which are weapons of choice of some of the tribes) then the whole Alice in Wonderland fable folds neatly around itself. The characters are well-drawn and credible; satire nicely mirroring life in the thinly disguised personae of Blair and Campbell and their Machiavellian relationship, along with the spineless civil servants of the NCFE (why are they called ‘civil’?) The contemporary sub-plots add depth and interest, but do not threaten to swamp the main theme. This story has its own logic and pace and tells itself beautifully. Dr Jones is a quiet hero suffering quietly from losing love, a lost love and seeking some sort of personal redemption. The saintly patience of Sheikh Muhammad is incarnated in Dr Jones’ ultimately successful efforts to make dreams come true, despite all the naysayers and the various cynical attempts to make political capital out of the Sheikh’s vision. As the Omanis say (where my family and I lived extremely happily for three years): Patience is the key to Paradise.
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