The Notable Brain of Maximilian Ponder
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The Notable Brain of Maximilian Ponder

3.8 (416 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

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.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 128 x 194 x 28mm | 299.37g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • WEIDENFELD & NICOLSON
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • UK ed.
  • 1780220839
  • 9781780220833
  • 53,244

About John Ironmonger

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. Follow him on Twitter @jwironmonger or visit his website http://notablebrain.blogspot.co.uk.show more

Review quote

Written with gusto - a daring, quirky tale. * GOOD BOOK GUIDE * An original and quirky debut * BIG ISSUE IN THE NORTH *show more

Back cover copy

On his twenty-first birthday, Maximilian Ponder shut himself away from the world to embark on his greatest project: an attempt to record every memory in his brain. It should have taken three years. But three long decades pass. Now Max lies dead, surrounded by his magnum opus - The Catalogue - a library of notebooks and journals that he hoped would form the map of a single human mind. And before his friend Adam can call the police and inform them of Max's death, one rather gruesome task remains . . . Now 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 how we construct the story of our lives.show more

Rating details

416 ratings
3.8 out of 5 stars
5 25% (104)
4 42% (176)
3 24% (100)
2 6% (24)
1 3% (12)
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