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Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday
In Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Dr Alfred Jones is a fisheries expert at the National Centre for Fisheries Excellence. His wife is distant, both emotionally and physically, and his work with salmon is about all he has. When a rich Yememi sheik offers money for help in populating Yemeni waters with salmon, Jones writes it off as a foolish scheme doomed to failure. But the Foreign Office and the Prime Minister's office are blinded by the attraction of money and political capital, and Jones is sent to Yemen to make it happen. He is aided in his efforts by the sheik's assistant, Harriet Chetwode-Talbot, who fills the gap in his life that his wife has left. Al-Qa'eda assassins, though, have other plans for the sheik. Paul Torday's debut novel is told is epistolary form from various sources and its mix of humor and satire has received positive reviews. The Telegraph says, "The intelligence, inventiveness and humanity of this novel in comparison to the usual run of literary fiction is as wild salmon to the farmed."