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The Salmon: The Extraordinary Story of the King of Fish Hardcover – 10 Oct 2013

4.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: William Collins (10 Oct. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007487649
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007487646
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 175,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘Mr Wigan is a skilled researcher and evocative writer’ Wall Street Journal

‘The Salmon is less a scholarly tome and more of a call to arms on behalf of the salmon.’ Chicago Tribune

‘If you think you have read it all before, let me assure you that you haven't. The Salmon is quite the best book I've read on the subject, skilfully told with wit and a wry turn of phrase […] This is a fishing book, scientific analysis, tragedy, love story, history and story of hope rolled into one.’ Classic Angling

‘Although there are occasional passages about the passionate experience of angling, this is no mere sport fisherman’s celebration – it is a forensic, and often caustic, analysis of the historical interaction between humans and 'the silver wanderer’ Country Life

‘It's an absolute must read for anyone even remotely interested in the conservation of wild Atlantic salmon’ Atlantic Salmon Journal

‘Extremely well-informed’ Literary Review

‘Michael Wigan gives us passionate advocacy on behalf of the wild Atlantic salmon. Above all he recognises the salmon as environmental indicator – “the hydrographer’s fish” – as well as cultural icon and economic driver.’ Tony Andrews, director of the Atlantic Salmon Trust

‘The life cycle of the salmon comes alive in Wigan’s passionate book … a highly readable account of the king of fish.’ Shooting Times

About the Author

Michael Wigan is a father of five, journalist and writer, living with his wife in the north Scottish Highlands. One-time film critic, art critic and travel writer, he has reported and commented on countryside and field sports issues in assorted newspapers and magazines for 35 years, which has allowed him to cover his favourite interests: fly-fishing, deer stalking, oil paintings and literature. His previous books include The Last of the Hunter Gatherers: Fisheries Crisis at Sea (1998) and Grimersta: The Story of A Great Fishery (2000). He is presently the manager of the fishery board on Sutherland’s River Helmsdale.


Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A wonderful piece of work that elegantly and at times tragically frames the plight of the Atlantic Salmon. The villain of the piece, inevitably, human development and it's underpinning of greed, self-interest, and ignorance.
Written by an angler, there lurks never too far from the surface, an obvious passion for his sporting quarry, but this book does not allow itself the luxury of digression into whimsical fishing anecdotes, rather it is ruthlessly focused on its central purpose - the chronicling of the inexorable drive to extinction of an iconic species.
The research is wide-ranging and lays bare the crass political case for exploitation in all its facets.
Ultimately though, the book sheds an optimistic light on how this magnificent creature can be protected and ultimately thrive.
A call to arms for all who value the legacy we bequeath to future generations.
Ian Muir
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I romped through this book, finishing last night, and it is quite excellent and absolutely fascinating. When I picked it up last week, having been languishing in the 'to read pile' of potentially worthy books, I little thought that I would manage to read it in four or five days of intermittent reading time, but it was so good that I found myself reading for an hour at a time before being forced to go and do something I should have been at 40 minutes before!
The breadth of information and depth of knowledge the author shows for his subject, its overall water environment and our human effects on it is put across in a completely uncondescending way with a warmth and vitality which keeps you turning the pages eager to read more.
This deserves to be widely read by all people with an interest in our environment, the creatures in it and our effect on it, and even better who like a good read!
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Format: Hardcover
Every salmon fly fisher has a duty to buy this book to fully understand the king of fish. The author’s knowledge of salmon is awesome and he follows the lifecycle in fascinating detail and the effect the salmon has had economically and culturally down the ages to mankind. Importantly this book is an up to date record of the current threats that are drastically reducing salmon runs and what each and every salmon angler must be aware of to effectively join the fight for its preservation for years to come. I’ve been a keen salmon fisher for over forty years and thought I knew most there was to know about salmon and the threats to it; that is until I read this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An extensive account of the life of the salmion although a number of errors and surprisngly few references to other authors' and scientists' work and a complete omission of reference to well-known salmon experts. A lot on salmon farming and a little biased at times.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a remarkable book. First, it is hard to produce something stimulating, even jazzy, on a subject like fish; and second, the author, while no scientist himself, has enough practical knowledge in his field to be able to say to the boffins, Yes, and so you assert, but what actually works is this. The result is a work that will be immensely readable to all except the many members of past and present Scottish governments who have, until recently, failed to lift a finger to ameliorate, let alone prevent, the ecological nightmare that is salmon fish-farming on the west coast of Scotland. How harmless, how pastoral do those small rectangles of buoys look to the tourist dawdling beside the sea lochs of Argyll! Little can he know what lies beneath - but he should, and this is where he should go to learn everything there is about salmon cages, burial pits, Dead Zones and the chances of survival of that most noble and enigmatic of our migratory fish, the wild Atlantic salmon. In fact the author could have cut back on his diatribes here in favour of more space in other areas. Climate risk (which affects river temperatures); political risk should Scotland, which is essentially a socialist country, vote for independence next year; and the place of netting and underwater turbines (as in the Pentland Firth) in any inshore marine policy, these are subjects on which I would have liked more of the author's pugnacity. I personally would be surprised if wild salmon is still on the menu in fifty years time but if it is it may well owe a debt to this feisty book, which deserves all the popularity it gets. My only criticism is that the entries for the bibliography have been compiled arsy-versy. But this isn't a book people will buy for its reading list.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Book Review `The Salmon'
By
Michael Wigan
If you buy yourself one book to read this Christmas or you want to give (or indeed receive) let it be The Salmon by Michael Wigan. Read it for its beautiful writing its wealth of factual knowledge, the obvious passion of the author for his subject not to mention the in-depth discussion and explanation of everything that currently afflicts the game fisher's greatest prize. This is an homage to the salmon no doubt and anglers and the general reader will enjoy it for that. But it's also much more than this it examines current economic and developmental imperatives as well as environmental issues that threaten one of our most iconic creatures. It beautifully recalls the `culture' of the salmon for native Americans and its 10,000 year history in these islands and northern Europe. It also explains the impact that industrialisation over recent centuries has had on the salmon's range and the various attempts at restoration. It is the most current publication that I know of that tackles head on the threat to salmon survival posed by salmon farming off our coasts.
This book is much more than this feeble review can say - buy it and enjoy it.
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