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Salmon Fishing in the Yemen: Top Five Books with Equally Long and Annoying Titles

Posted on the 20 April 2012 by Periscope @periscopepost
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen: Top Five books with equally long and annoying titles

The culprit.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is hitting our cinema screens this week. But before it was a film, it was a book – by Paul Torday. And a bestselling book at that. It is part of a craze for books with long titles and usually featuring a “quirky” mentions of a place and / or an activity that you would not normally associate with that place. Let’s take a look at some of the worst offenders. Torday, incidentally, is also responsible for the blight of “THE ADJECTIVE NOUN OF NAME” novels, as in The Irresistible Inheritance of Wilberforce by the man himself. See also The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim by Jonathan Coe, who Should Know Better.

1. A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka. Arguably the one that started the trend, this can be forgiven because it’s actually quite good.

2. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. This one doesn’t really need a comment.

3. A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar by Suzanne Joinson. A new contender for the throne. Does it feature ladies? Yep. Does it feature cyclists? Hell yeah. Is it set in Kashgar? Er, hold on a second, just have to check… Oh. Yes. It does. This baby even features a quote from the King Himself, Paul Torday, on its blurb.

4. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender. This one doesn’t feature a place but deserves a mention because a) it doesn’t make any sense, and b) Well. Just look at it.

5. The Registrar’s Manual for Detecting Forced Marriages by Sophie Hardach. A tiny part of Periscope died just then. Lord help us all.

Let us know below if you’ve got any particular lemon cakes. Sorry, favourites. And tell us if you’ve got some good ones of your own…


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