The "Yes Minister" comparisons are justified (and there is some brilliant, hilarious political and bureaucratic satire here), but at its heart, this is the story of a hen-pecked, slightly pompous, middle-aged scientist who finds himself caught up in what seems like an impossible project, and of how this project changes his life. In the process, he becomes an unlikely and rather loveable hero, discovers true love for himself, finds himself both a pawn and then a victim of political spin, leaves his brilliantly horrible wife, and learns to believe in the impossible. And he takes the listener with him in the process.
©2007 Paul Torday; (P)2007 Orion Publishing Group Ltd.
A wonderful light read - hilarious and melancholy in turns, and filled with observant political lampoon. Buy the unabridged version - its too good to settle for a pruned version
What a great fantasy this is -- converting sand into salmon runs and the characters are both remarkable yet credible. Top listen.
Absolutely.Different voices make it easy to listen to and believable
Fred-he has discovered the joys of friendship and the pursuit of a passion
Accents and an added dimension of each character
Yes...but not the time
I like the way they read all the e-mail addresses...it made one feel as if I were at the computer reading the e-mails
Self-discovering, politics and fish
The way it is told, by emails, notes, excerpts from the congress, from Al Qaeda communications, from diaries. All the remarks about fishery are understandable for those who don't know anything about it. The way that the main character isn't the center of the history is also great
No, I haven't, but the narrators does an excellent performance
It's really great. There plot and the narration are very well made
Live in Sydney, Australia. South African heritage. Love audio books. Constant company on my non-stop business travels.
The premise does echo the craziness of government policy in all countries. Paul Torday's 'Salmon Fishing' is a romp... he really plays with some interesting ideas. The book is a bit of a tapestry though - with some thematic elements not quite fitting. The humour can be a tad obvious - not evident in Torday's earlier 'Irresistible Inheritance' (which is a great read). The narrative strides along and is an enjoyable journey into insanity and inanity that shapes so much of the geopolitical economic landscape today.
Paul Torday’s book is an absolute must! If you enjoyed the movie “Wag the dog” and the UK TV series “Yes Minister / Yes Prime Minister” you’ll love this. It’s low-key British humour at its absolute best, narrated in deadpan manner by an excellent cast.
I listen to books while doing housework. The more interesting the book, the more housework gets done!
It is a sad fact that I like happy endings, and this book does not have one. It is beautifully written, and engrossing, but for the characters and myself the adventure ends up being at best, a waste of time. At worst, the characters lose everything in their chase of this foolhardy dream, and not through anything they have done themselves.
It's more a comment on British bureaucracy and the blame others, take no responsibility attitude that seems to pervade British politics and the workplace, with no concern for the impact on otherwise innocent lives.
The writing format of letters, emails and diaries is very effective, although the diaries are possibly a little more literary and descriptive than one would expect from scientists. However, the highly improbable plot becomes very believable as a result of the delivery mechanism.
If you like happy endings, skip this one. If you like a good yarn, then don't miss it.
What an absolutely superb book! Thoroughly entertaining right from the very start. You get so involved with the characters that you are simply willing the salmon project on, right to the very end. With extracts from letters from everyone including, government and terrorists it builds to an ending where you just die to know what happens.
I agree a good listen. Sad, topical but uplifting. Probably enjoyed most by those disappointed with government and politicians, but wish they were not. You will laugh and you will cry.
An easy read, a little romantic at times but unexpectedly more enjoyable than the twee title led me to expect. the stories of the Yemen kept me interested as did hte project itself, the love interest was a little obvious though the many speakers in the story made it very entertaining. Mary was particularly entertaining. easy holiday read
"Hooked me in!"
This works really well as a narrated story (perhaps better than reading it might have been). Hearing the different characters through email correspondence, diaries, interviews etc, works really well. It's funny, sad and at times tragic, but still leaves you feeling uplifted. l was hooked after the first couple of chapters. Warmly recommended.
"Engaging from one end to the other!"
What a fantastic find! Fiction that is so real, so convincing, that it is only the name given to the Prime Minister that reminds one. Beautifully read by several different people for the various characters, a sad and riveting tale unfolds, the outcome hidden to the very very end. Well worth it, one of my better downloads.
"An unusual topic which turns out to be a winner"
I cannot remember how I came to purchase this book but I am very pleased that I did so.
Outstanding narration and characterisations which bring the characters to life.
Without doubt the best book that I have 'read' for some time.
What more can I say.
"Great satire & wonderfully read"
The story starts and ends with wonderful political satire. Some of the characters feel very close to real figures - though whether I imagine the same ones as anyone else is open to question. This is then blended with a lovely tale of discovery & hope.
All is then read by a superb cast who really bring the characters to life. It's coming out as a film but I can't see how it can come anywhere close to this audio version.
"A bit depressing"
I made a mistake in choosing this. I was feeling a bit down and looking for something light and frothy, and then was misled by the press reviews that described it as a 'feel good comedy'. Personally, I just found the pompous characters pompous, the Peter Mandelson type character unconvincing and the religious sheikh deeply irritating. There's a lot of middle eastern politics and some personal tragedy. I think I particularly disliked it because it was so different from what I was expecting. It might work better if approached with different expectations.
"A real justification for the Audible experience"
I normally alternate reading a book with listening to a book. Often my choice of method is arbitrary and pure chance. In this case I am so pleased that I heard the book first or I would not have caught the variety of tone between the sections of this novel. I would have missed the irony and satire of the bureaucratic communications and the contrast between the exchanges of the individuals. The choice of different readers in this production contributes to the enjoyment of the subtlety of the writing.
"Not bad for a quick humorous interlude"
I'm not really a novel person, or a satire person, but Torday manages to keep the thing going, just this side of fantasy. I'm never sure with satire whether we are meant to be laughing at everything, as that gives you the strange feeling of falling off a flat world - if you ridicule everything, you eventually lose your footing. The Sheik is a subject of ridicule isn't he? I mean he can't possibly be meant as a hero??? Peter Mandelson/Maxwell is beyond satire - in fact my impression is that parts of this are lifted direct from PM's autobiography 'The Third Man'.
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