Author Paul Torday makes his debut with this clever absurdist novel. Fisheries scientist Dr. Alfred Jones is approached by an extravagantly wealthy sheik with a novel plan. To foster goodwill, the sheik would like to introduce salmon fishing to Yemen - the same Yemen that is largely a desert - and politicians think it's a great idea.
Written as a "report into the circumstances surrounding the decision to introduce salmon into the Yemen", this is a novel that is made up of e-mails, letters, diary extracts, records of the prime minister's Question Time, interviews, and chapters from the memoirs of a fantastically weasely Peter Mandelson-type figure.
Late one summer evening, Wilberforce - rich, young, work-obsessed and self-contained - makes an unexpected detour on the way home from the software company he owns and unwittingly takes the first step on a journey that will change his life. His uncharacteristically impulsive act leads him to the door of Caerlyon Hall, the domain of Francis Black, a place where wine, hospitality, and affection flow freely.
Brought up in Switzerland, the only son of well-to-do parents, Charles Fryerne is somewhat unprepared for the world he meets when he goes up to Oxford University in the early 1980s. There he meets a fascinating social set, including a stellar young playwright, a student dubbed 'the future leader of the Conservative party' and a mercurial figure with ambitions to become the youngest prime minister since Pitt. When they leave university, the characters go their separate ways.
A late-night gambling session ends in a bet for Richard Gaunt: can he walk to Oxford by lunchtime the next day? Gaunt sets off, and as morning breaks and the dreaming spires near, his evening's winnings look set to double. But when men in a Jeep reverse into him, scooping him off the roadside, Gaunt enters a yet stranger world. Taken to a country house, he is kept hostage by a man with impeccable manners, Mr Khan.
"Not a comedy!"
From the best-selling author of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen comes a story of inheritance, a great country house, and a way of life that is disappearing...Ed Hartlepool has been living in self-imposed exile for five years, but with a settlement regarding his inheritance looming, he must return to his ancestral seat, Hartlepool Hall.
Hector Chetwode-Talbot, Eck to his friends, has left the army and is slightly at a loss as to what to do next, when he is approached by an old army pal, Bilbo Mountwilliam. Bilbo runs an investment fund company and business is booming. Bilbo persuades Eck to join the company as a 'greeter' for moneyed clients. All Eck has to do is supply the contacts with entertainment and large G&Ts and then the fund managers will do the rest.
From the best-selling author of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, a ghost story, a psychological thriller and a tale of love rediscovered. Elizabeth has been married to Michael for ten years. She has adjusted to a fairly monotonous routine with her wealthy, decent but boring husband. Part of this routine involves occasional visits to Beinn Caorrun, the dank and gloomy house in a Scottish glen that Michael inherited. There are memories there that Michael will not share with her. But then Michael begins to change. It starts when he thinks he sees, in a picture, the figure of a girl on a landing.
Norman Stokoe has just been appointed Children's Czar by the new government. He sells his flat and moves up north to take up the position. However before his first salary cheque has even hit his bank account, new priorities are set for the government department for which he works. The Children's Czar network is put on hold but it is too late to reverse the decision to employ Norman. So he is given a P.A. and a spacious office in a new business park on the banks of the Tyne. He settles down in his new leather chair behind his new desk, to wait for the green light to begin his mission.
"The Public Service vs The Individual"