Saturday, 29 August 2009

Salmon Fishing in The Yemen

This week I read Salmon Fishing in The Yemen by Paul Torday. Sprinkled with interesting facts about salmon, and fishing terms, the novel combines emails, newspaper reports, diary entries, and interviews to tell the story of why a government scientist is "put up" to see through an impossible project to introduce salmon fishing in the Yemen. The story gets behind the news to inform the reader about how government and diplomacy might work, and how the little man is easily walked over by those in the upper echilons. Peter Mandelsohn is easily parodied in the story as "Peter Maxwell", while Tony Blair finds his fiction self in "Jay Vent".

A Fraction of the Whole

The Australian based novel, A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize in 2008. At 710 pages, it is a mystery around the key character Martin Dean. Who is Eddie who follows him around, and why does he keep his distance from Martin? Why does Martin almost worship his errant Uncle who apparently died in a bush fire while escaping from prison? All is revealed in the end, as the story moves from Australia to France and Thailand, and back to Australia. Great read! Enjoy!

The White Tiger

When I picked up The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga earlier this year, I had no idea what the book was about, other than it won the Man Booker Prize 2008. It turned out to be a compelling read throughout. A rickshaw puller's son goes to the big city, becomes a taxi driver,learns the ways of other drivers, and there is a dark outcome. Along the way we get an insight into the poor and the rich side of India. A must read for anyone wanting to develop an understanding of the seedier side of India.

Salmon Fishing In The Yemen

This week I read Salmon Fishing in The Yemen by Paul Torday. The novel combines emails, newspaper reports, diary entries, and interviews to tell the story of why a government scientist is "put up" to see through an impossible project to introduce salmon fishing in the Yemen. The story gets behind the news to inform the reader about how government and diplomacy works, and how the little man is easily walked over by those in the upper echilons.