Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is very sweet. It’s got a light hearted plot (UK fisheries scientist is hired by a billionaire sheik to introduce salmon fishing to the Yemen), sympathetic characters and an entirely undemanding set of thematic questions. Reading is is the equivalent to drinking a hot tea after a rainy day: soothing, heart warming and altogether unexciting.
I’d not recommend Salmon Fishing because it doesn’t offer you anything fresh – the characters are all familiar, their concerns pretty standard. Sure the plot is a bit quirky, but it’s a sort of quirk-for-the-sake-of-sweetness that reminds me of young women who wear quirky mittens (me) or people who cultivate quirky habits like only ever wearing odd socks (M.). I grant that the form – a series of diary entries, transcripts, letters, interviews – lends a certain novelty to the narrative form, but it’s nothing we haven’t read before and doesn’t offer enough to make it anything other than another sweet quirk.
And so there you go. A sweet read for this still-receptive-to-the-sentimental reader.