top of page
  • Writer's pictureBelle Kenyon

Climate Action Takes Centre Stage In Gripping New Novel From Bestselling Author John Ironmonger

Fly on the Wall Press has acquired World English rights to a powerful and propulsive new novel from internationally bestselling author John Ironmonger. The Wager and the Bear, grapples with the human impacts of climate change through an intensely personal, decades-spanning feud between a politician and an idealist, played out against the backdrop of impending environmental catastrophe.

Rights were sold by Mark Stanton at The North Literary Agency. Ironmonger is also the author of the international bestseller The Whale at the End of the World - which has sold 300,000 copies in Germany, and over ½ million worldwide. The novel was hailed as “a gentle and uplifting tale of warding off apocalypse in a remote corner of Cornwall” (Financial Times). Ironmonger’s debut, The Notable Brain of Maximilian Ponder, was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award.

Of the urgent need for more climate-focused fiction, Ironmonger says: "Climate change is the biggest story of our time, yet very few novelists are ready to grapple with this...What we don’t have are real world stories that could help us to imagine the kind of earth we are creating. And that is a shame, because imagination is what we need, now more than ever."

Set between a sleepy Cornish village and a doomed Arctic iceberg, The Wager and the Bear interweaves the lives of headstrong young idealist Tom and ambitious politician Monty, whose angry spat in a local pub sparks a simmering rivalry that follows them across decades. As past and present entangle the two men in a web neither can escape, they find themselves face-to-face on a drifting glacier with only a starving polar bear for company.

Propulsive, heart-stopping and tragic, the novel explores how actions taken in anger can ripple through history, as well as the enduring power of love and the human stories at the heart of the climate crisis.


About the Author:

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 (shortlisted for the 2012 Costa First Novel Prize and the Guardian‘s Not the Booker Prize), The Coincidence Authority and The Whale at the End of the World (an international bestseller). He has also been part of a world record team for speed reading Shakespeare, has driven across the Sahara in a £100 banger, and once met Jared Diamond in a forest in the middle of Sumatra.

Contact for features:

Fly on the Wall Press

Managing Director

34 views0 comments


Couldn’t Load Comments
It looks like there was a technical problem. Try reconnecting or refreshing the page.
bottom of page