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John Ironmonger was born and grew up in East Africa. He has a doctorate in zoology, and was once an expert on freshwater leeches. He is the author of THE GOOD ZOO GUIDE and the novels, THE NOTABLE BRAIN OF MAXIMILIAN PONDER, which was shortlisted for the 2012 Costa First Novel Prize and the Guardian's Not the Booker Prize, and THE COINCIDENCE AUTHORITY. He was part of a world record team for speed reading Shakespeare, and once drove across the Sahara in a GBP100 banger. He lives in rural Shropshire with his wife, Sue, and has two grown-up children. @jwironmonger http://notablebrain.blogspot.co.uk/
When a young man washes up, naked, on the sands of St Piran in Cornwall, he is quickly rescued by the villagers. From the retired village doctor and the schoolteacher, to the beachcomber and the owner of the local bar, the priest's wife and the romantic novelist, they take this lost soul into their midst. But what the villagers don't know is that Joe Haak has fled the City of London fearing a worldwide collapse of civilisation, a collapse forecast by Cassie, a computer program he designed. But is the end of the world really nigh? Can Joe convince the village to seal itself off from the outside world? And what of the whale that lurks in the bay? Intimate, funny and deeply moving, Not Forgetting the Whale is the story of a man on a journey to find a place he can call home.
If you were looking for the perfect escape, where would you go? This is the heartwarming story of one man who has given up hope and the village that gives it back to him. When a young man washes up, naked, on the sands of St Piran in Cornwall, he is quickly rescued by the villagers. From the retired village doctor and the beachcomber, to the priest's flirtatious wife and the romantic novelist, they take this lost soul into their midst. But what the villagers don't know is that Joe Haak is a city analyst who has fled London, fearing he may - inadvertently - have caused a global financial collapse. But is the end of the world really nigh? And what of the whale that lurks in the bay? Intimate, funny and heart-warming, Not Forgetting the Whale is a story about community, the best and worst in our nature, and the search for a place to call home. 'Fun, uplifting, charming' Financial Times 'A warm-hearted book crammed with ideas . . . very, very good' Emerald Street 'A tremendously enjoyable book' Independent on Sunday
Thomas Post is an expert on coincidences. He's an authority. People come to see him, to ask him if he can explain strange events that have befallen them, and he can always explain these things away. We poor humans, he would say, have a tendency to make patterns out of random shapes, or to construct meaning from the random behaviour of the universe. But one day Thomas gets a visit from Azalea Lewis, and his world will never be the same again. For Azalea's coincidences seem to go off the scale. The lives of Thomas and Azalea become entwined, their destinies entangled. And now, with Azalea apparently dead in a foreign land, Thomas must reassemble the pieces of her life in search for the patterns that drove it. And that means he must try to unravel the coincidences that so afflicted her.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA FIRST NOVEL AWARD 'Maximilian Ponder is lying face up, dead, on the dining table in his own front room. This is something you really should know, right from the start. 'Max would also have wanted you to know that this is a Henri II style, French, walnut extending dining table, standing on solid turned legs with fretwork decor to the middle, also with ebony and sandalwood inlay, designed by the French furniture maker Nicolas Rastin and probably dating from around 1900 ...' Maximilian Ponder shut himself away for thirty years in an attempt to record every memory he ever had. Now he lies dead, surrounded by his magnum opus - The Catalogue - an exhaustive set of notebooks and journals that he hopes will form the map of one human mind. But before his friend Adam Last can call the police and inform them of Max's death, one rather gruesome task remains in order for Max's project to be complete. Interspersed with sections from The Catalogue, Adam tells the story of the man he knew - a man whose life changed dramatically the day he buried a dead labrador and fought a duel with his father. What emerges is both the story of a friendship, and also of a lifelong obsession, a quest to understand the human mind, memory and what constitutes a life.