THE WAGER AND THE BEAR
Fiction Literary & General
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 translated into 13 languages).
Estonian, French, Latvian, Lithuanian, Serbian, Spanish
Rights sold: German
The village of St Piran, on the very toe of Cornwall, is a sleepy little place. Not much happens there. Until one evening, an angry young man and an arrogant politician have a very public disagreement in a harbourside inn. The consequences of their argument, and the deadly wager they strike, will cascade down the decades.
Tom Horsmith is an idealist. Young, driven, and smart, his bar-room humiliation of Monty Causley could have destroyed the career of a lesser politician. But every effort either man makes to put the past behind them draws them deeper into a web of circumstances neither can escape, leading them both a long way from St Piran, onto a colossal iceberg drifting south away from Greenland, where their only companion is a very hungry bear. A heart-stopping tale of ambition, friendship, love, and disaster. And a bear.