Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lunchtime read: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

The idea of the story being told through the diary pages of Dr Alfred Jones might have become a little one sided so the letters between Harriet and her fiancé in Iraq are used.

His letters are heavily censored and Torday actually prints the blacked out letters. I remember hearing someone talk about this approach on an interview on Radio 4 and I’m sure Torday said that it was used to make it seem more real – and to illustrate to the reader how difficult it is to communicate to a loved one in a war zone.

It is also a metaphor for the wider technique of keeping the reader in the loop but the main characters in the dark about what could happen next.

Although working out what happens next is made slightly more interesting by a flash forward with the prime minister’s spin doctor facing questions about the affair in scenes that are reminiscent of the sexed-up WMD dossier.

More tomorrow…

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