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Salmon by Mark Kurlansky

Review: 3 / 5

Salmon by Mark Kurlansky was fine. I learned a lot about salmon, how interconnected global fisheries are, and how even renewable energy can have a terrible impact on the environment (turns out damming rivers makes it hard for salmon to use those rivers!). The read itself was not great, with some very long sections that were not interesting and other sections that felt like they ended too soon. I often found myself putting the book down and forgetting about it, despite remaining interested in the premise and wanting to learn more.

The author also has a frustrating habit of ending paragraphs without giving us enough information to understand what the reference is and if it is important — (made up example) “Steve Smith, the earliest salmon fisher on the Snake river would go bankrupt in 1850 before starting a career in politics”. Throughout the book, these passages appear. Am I supposed to know this person, will we come back to them later, should I stop reading to go learn about them? It happens often enough that it felt like an intentional choice to pepper them throughout the book.


Title: Salmon
Author: Mark Kurlansky
Published: 2020
ISBN: 9781938340864
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