BOOK REVIEW – Not Forgetting The Whale by John Ironmonger

Following on from the success of his previous novel ‘The Coincidence Authority‘ (which was one of the Waterstones Bookclub titles), John Ironmonger is back with is incredible new work of fiction ‘Not Forgetting The Whale‘.

I was lucky enough to meet John when he kindly came in to our store to sign copies of ‘The Coincidence Authority‘ last month, when I received an advanced copy of this book which is not due out until February 2015.

Not Forgetting The Whale‘ follows the trials and tribulations of Joe Haak. After being washed up naked on a beach in Cornwall, Joe is rescued by the local villagers. From the beachcomber to the local bar-keep, they all accept Joe and take him in as their own.

However, the villagers aren’t quite expecting whats on the cards for them…Joe is on the run, running away from a worldwide collapse that has been predicted by a piece of software that we created! Are we really to think that the world is coming to an end? Is Joe the savior of the ultimate demise that he has, in part, helped to create?

I started reading it the day that I got it and I feel like I didn’t stop until I’d finished it, impeccably written with moving prose, complete with a strangely immersive setting ‘Not Forgetting The Whale‘ is not a book that I’ll be forgetting any time soon. The characters all have their place in the story and they all provide different aspects to the this very readable tale. Joe is a loner that is accepted into a community that he is now responsible for. Can he call this place is home? Are these people his friends?

And now for my usual ‘Its somewhere between…’, this one is somewhere between ‘Moby Dick’ and ‘Gulliver’s Travels’, a strange yet exciting story that is a real delight to read.

Luckily I was able to bag a proof copy of this book from John himself, along with our friendly rep from Orion (Jon Small). My edition is now complete with John’s intricate ‘Ambigram’, a signature that reads the same upside down as it does the correct way round. The book isn’t due for publication until February 2015 but I was very grateful to be able to read an advanced printing of this brilliant book.

Pre-order at Waterstones.com
Due out 12/02/15
ISBN: 9780297872030

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