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Dr. Alfred Jones is a fisheries scientist in Great Britain who is called upon to find a way to introduce salmon into the desert in Yemen. The Yemeni sheikh will spare no expense to see this happen. He says:
It would be a miracle of God if it happened. I know it... If God wills it, the summer rains will fill the wadis... and the salmon will run the river. And then my countrymen... all classes and manner of men--will stand side by side and fish for the salmon. And their natures, too, will be changed. They will feel the enchantment of this silver fish... and then when talk turns to what this tribe said or that tribe did... then someone will say, "Let us arise, and go fishing."
Such is the sheikh's vision. He tells Alfred: "Without faith, there is no hope. Without faith, there is no love." Alfred has no religious faith and has been mired in a loveless marriage for twenty years, so these words seem fantastic to him.
Alfred and Sheikh Muhammad connect immediately through their mutual love of fishing, despite Alfred's misgivings about the viability of the project. The Prime Minister's flack man tells Alfred that he must persevere and succeed because Great Britain needs some positive connection to the Middle East, something other than a failing, flailing war. These kinds of political alliances are always shaky at best, and when things start to go sideways, allies have a way of disappearing. Alfred soldiers on, with the help of the lovely Harriet, Sheikh Muhammad's land agent, and the project is readied for opening day, when the Sheikh and the Prime Minister will have a 20-minute photo op.
All of the faith and good will in the world cannot overcome the forces ranged against them, bringing tragedy to everyone involved. Despite all, Alfred's interior life is changed immeasurably. He says in the end: "I believe in it, because it is impossible." --Valerie Ryan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I saw the movie first and found out it was based on a novel so I decided to read it. The novel is quite good and quite different than the movie. I highly recommend both.Published 22 days ago by woodwind
Creative, original, inspiring, witty, funny, moving, gives great insights into complicated political and religious matters in a most original, witty and funny way.Published 24 days ago by Amazon Customer
A really great book. I enjoyed every minute of it. I also learned a lot about the middle east from it.Published 1 month ago by Marlene P. Ramsay
I saw the move first, which may have contributed to my negative review. The book is radically different. I loved the movie, but thought the book somewhat of a waste of time. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Luckydogguy
Dry British humor. It is the whole idea that is funny. There are not many laughs in the story itself.Published 1 month ago by rix vue
Very interesting and off-the-wall book. The story is written strictly through use of excerpts from reports, emails, journals, articles, and meeting minutes. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Diane L. Lybbert
Sharp-witted political satire about the limitations of human reason and objectives. Bereaves you of any hope that we can do better on our own. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Dr. Matthias John