Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Bookcase: Paul torday

I'm just going to say to go read anything by this man. You'll probably know him best because he's the author of 'Salmon fishing in the Yemen'. That book is soon to come out as a film - something I'm excited and worried about in equal measure, since they seem to be billing it at as a romantic comedy, which I don't remember being the central theme of the book.
Anyway. Back to the books. I read 'Salmon Fishing...' a couple of years ago, it's one that I picked up from a charity shop on the basis of the name and cover (do you do that too?) and loved it. I need to reread it soon so I'm not going to refer to it too much as its hazy in my head now but I was left with an almost spiritual, uplifting feeling from the book, while it still had a healthy dose of dry humour.

Recently I noticed in my local waterstones that he had a new book out, so just after Christmas I treated myself to two more - 'the girl on the landing' and 'more than you can say'. The latter I think I read in 24 hours - these aren't complex taxing reads but they are very enjoyable and interesting.
I took two more on holiday with me, one a short story which is the only one I wouldn't search out to read again, but was interesting nonetheless, and 'The hopeless life of Charlie summers'.

One of the points I love most about these books is that the characters are often in some small way linked, yet you aren't reading a series. Someone who may be a small incidental character only appearing in one chapter of one book may be the main character in a later book. I've only just realised - from watching press clips about the 'salmon fishing...' film - that one of the characters from that reappears in a later book too. Yet unlike a series like 'the no1 ladies detective agency' (purely as an example-I have nothing in particular against that series) you aren't reading about the same characters in different situations over and over again. And each book covers different topics, for example gambling or mental illness, but at their heart, for me anyway, they are studies of the foibles, faults and traits of the human character. most of all they are fun, and very enjoyable to read. Im just waiting now for his newest to come out in paperback, as the cover designs seem to be following a theme which the hardback one isnt following!


  1. The only one of these I've read is Salmon Fishing, and I loved it.

    That's two more books on the 'to read' list then. :)

  2. I haven't read either... definitely have to check out salmon fishing on your recommendation. (The covers are gorgeous!)

  3. My folks went to see a preview of the film and they enjoyed it but it has been years since either of them read the books so I don't know how it measures up. They said it didn't come across as a romantic comedy.
    I might try some of his others.