D’you wanna hear a story? A story packed full of sex and violence. Perversion and persecution. Drama and death. But a story which has also got the makings of a magnificent love affair bubbling through its core. A wonderful story which of course, after chapters of blood, guts, gore and romance has still got a big fat happy ending? Fancy a story like that?
OK. Right. So, here we go…. Once upon a time, there was a salmon…
I’m not kidding. The story of Brennan & Isis, The Voyagers Who Must Come Home, written by Thor Sigfusson, illustrated by Brian Pilkington and published by the North Atlantic Salmon Fund is a tale of two fish who, against all odds fall in love and make beautiful babies….
Brennan is a salmon from a small-time neck of the woods. Much as he tries, Brennan just doesn’t fit in. Brennan soon realises he’ll always be an outsider amongst the oh-so spotty and precious stream trout, with their nit-picking provincial ways. So, he decides to do a runner. To get out. To seek his fortune in the big bad world.
And so the headstrong lad sets to sea, where he meets up with the blood-sucking scum of the earth. Seals and cod and cormorants and worse. Determined to make a name for himself he travels thousands of miles of oceans, to find himself. And then to hopefully hit pay-dirt. Find fame and fortune. Which he does. Before long, after fighting his way up the food chain, Brennan is living the Good Life. He’s getting high and growing fat on the best fish food money can buy. Bit fat Greenland prawns. Succulent North Atlantic capelin. The boy is shovelling them in like there is no tomorrow. And soon he’s packed on some mighty muscle. He’s grown big. And he’s king of the sea. Rock-on Brennan.
Yet, every king needs a queen. And sure enough, Brennan knows the only sort of girl he’s ever going to truly love is a girl from Back Home. The exotic creatures he’s swimming around with out in the furthest corners of the oceans, may be enough to turn a salmon’s head. But there’s no future with them. No way you’d want to spend the rest of your life and make salmon babies with these girls. Nope.
So, Brennan decides to swim home. To turn his back on the high life and find his own far off river. The place where one day, he like his dad and his dad before him, will hang his hat, and doff his slippers. On the treacherous return journey, once again Brennan has to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous ocean dwellers.
Disease and death and parasites are around every corner. He has to keep his wits about him. Just to stay alive. Still, he takes his eyes off the road for just long enough to notice Isis. And wow, who wouldn’t notice Isis! She’s the salmon’s answer to Julia Roberts, Britney Spears and Kylie Minogue, all wrapped up in one, tight-skinned, sensuous silver-sided package.
Together they make the final desperate stages of their journey back home. They have to dodge trawlers, haft-nets, poachers, kidnappers, pirates and salmon ladders. Then, comes the worst, most shuddering foe of all… the evil angler.
With their spoons and dry flies, wet flies, worms and lures, these hideous enemies set about trying to remove the salmon lovers from the sanctuary of their marital bed.
And just…just when Isis, beautiful Isis, is about to give herself, her entire sensual self, in one cosmically sensuous, orgasmic orgy of fish flesh to her lover Brennan….what awful disaster should befall them? She only goes and sinks her pouty little salmon lips into a passing Gary Dog fly and gets herself hoiked out onto the bank by a bloke in a dodgy waistcoat and cap with bits of fluff stuck on it.
By this time Brennanis about to shoot himself, his passion still unspent, the love of his life, dragged out in a landing net, and not another decent looking salmon-girl in sight……
Well, d’you know what happened next…..? D’you want to know? What Brennan did next is…. Nope, if you do, you’ve got to go and buy the book I’m afraid. It’s all in a good cause mind. The North Atlantic Salmon Fund to whom all the profits are awarded have bought off netting rights around the north Atlantic. And its founder Orri Vigfusson, has fought selflessly to stop the needless destruction of the gorgeous, not to mention tasty Atlantic salmon.
The book’s full of worthy illustrations and gentle prose. It’s aim in life is to be applauded. I just have to say, for my money, I’d have liked a bit more sex, romance and nail biting drama. Somehow I don’t expect Stephen Spielberg’s snapping up the film rights to Brennan & Isis. But hey, I could be wrong. Let’s face it, I usually am.