Monday, 28 September 2015

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Image sourced from here
My Dad read a lot. But he read things you could learn stuff from (gardening, wildlife, natural history, woodworking, diy, history, military, politics, etc books) or biographies/autobiographies of sportsmen or military persons. So much so that when he passed away and my Mum came with us to his flat, she remarked that copy of The Bourne Identity was the first novel she had ever seen in his possession. And she had been married to the man for 15 years at one time.

So that being said, the only novel my Dad ever recommended to me to read was this one. From what I can piece together, I think he had borrowed it from the library as he thought it actually was a book about fishing in the Yemen. It wasn't, and isn't, but Dad being Dad, seeing it was in his house for a month, he'd give it a go. And apparently he loved it.

I can honestly see why. It's the British kind of absurd he loved. It pays the crap out of those ridiculous people in London doing ridiculous things that his kind of Northerner doesn't get, and really, I only do as I live in the bureaucratic capital of another country. It's Yes Minister, but with fish and the Middle East. It is bloody funny.

It's a tongue in cheek look at the most boring man in British history who has been commissioned against his will through his civil service job to see if salmon fishing in the Yemen is possible. The book then follows him and his colleagues through the project and it's misadventures, and how it changes them.

It's also a rather insightful look into the political machine and British foreign policy regarding the Middle East in the 2000s. I'm glad Dad told me to read it actually. What I like about this book is very similar to what I loved about Dad honestly. Something so ridiculous and outrageous, in him the crazy Yorkshireman with the outrageous stories and the cheeky smile, but if you push further there was actually an incredibly nuanced understanding of foreign and military policy hiding within, both in the book and Dad. But Dad also had great information about growing tomatoes ;)

No comments:

Post a Comment