Not Forgetting the Whale, by John Ironmonger

Publisher: W & N | Publication date: 12th February 2015 | Edition: Hardback (own copy)

Firstly, a taster of the sort of comment you will enjoy between the pages…

…they went to bed perfectly healthy and woke up dead…

Not Forgetting the Whale cover

Not Forgetting the Whale – gorgeous artwork, excellent writing.

Not Forgetting the Whale is the third John Ironmonger book I have read. As the bar had already been set high with the others (The Coincidence Authority & The Notable Brain of Maximillian Ponder) each deserving 5 stars, this had a lot to live up to.

From the moment I started reading I knew this would not disappoint. There’s a real talent to capturing the elements of human nature to perfection and creating what I can only describe as a modern day fable of sorts, and this writer has oodles of it.

In this story Joe Haak is an analyst in the city. He developed a computer program that could ‘predict’ the effects of global events on the stock market. However, when the machine predicted other events that could affect human civilisation as we know it, with a little help from a whale the analyst finds himself in the Cornish village of St Piran (or rather the villagers discover Joe washed up on the beach in just his birthday suit, much to their surprise!).

In their own unique ways, the villagers welcome this odd visitor from the city until he slowly becomes part of their close-knit community.

After a global pandemic breaks out, various trials come along to test St Piran’s resolve and Joe has to face the reality of the machine’s prediction – will people rally together, or will everyone have to fend for themselves? More importantly, how will Joe fair in these trying times and can he fulfil a promise he made years earlier?

The whale on the cover of this enchanting book makes significant appearances throughout the story, alongside John Ironmonger’s unique humour and dialogue that once again weaves its magical thread throughout.

This is a wonderful book that I’d recommend to anyone who enjoys a heart-warming tale, where you can discover the often hidden traits of ordinary people without anyone wagging a finger in your face from the moral high-ground.

I LOVE this writer’s work.

Rating: Superb.  5/5

You can follow the author on Twitter @jwironmonger


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