Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen - Paul Torday I really didn't hate this novel or anywhere close. However, I had a few problems with it that meant I couldn't rate it any higher than I did.

1. The structure. While I love (love love LOVE) epistolary novels, a lot of the switches in medium really didn't work for me here. The excerpts from Peter Maxwell's biography, the newspapers, Hansard, and some of the police interview things are superfluous and don't work as well as the diary, email, and letter portions. I got really bored during some of the former kind of sections and found myself glazing over.

2. The way Harriet's character was portrayed with relation to Fred. It felt like her whole story, in particular her relationship with Robert, was structured in order to enable Fred's character development. Although I am glad they didn't end up together, I wasn't terribly happy about the way Harriet and Robert's story played out. Ultimately, I wanted to know more about Harriet and was more invested in her as a character than any of the others. She really suffers in this story and it feels a bit unfair that she is so sidelined to Fred and his marriage issues. The sex scene was icky and felt completely out of character - I would also have preferred if the author had maintained the repressed longing aspect rather than have had that scene in there.

3. The ending. Having two of the best characters in the novel die for no reason just... ugh. It was such a crap way to end the story. I mean, what for? Blugh.