Review The whale at the end of the world – John Ironmonger
On this first day of the new year I would like to introduce you to one of the best books ever written. The title ‘The whale at the end of the world’ suggests a bit of a depressive story. What do you mean, the end of the world? It’s not as bad as it sounds. On the contrary. What a well-written story.
The sleepy village St. Piran on the English coast is shocked by two events at the same day. First they find a huge whale seemingly lost in the big ocean. It swims dangerously close to the shore. Will it survive? Then upon further investigation some villagers find a naked man on the beach. It looks like he’s dead, but fortunately he still has some breath left. They pick him up and haul him over to the retired doctor of the village.
The man, Joe Haak, gets better and tells a little of his story, though not all. He is an investment banker who has invented a special computerprogram that can predict the future. His boss wants him to use the program for the business, though Joe is reluctant. It doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to, yet. And sure enough, the business crashes and loses billions of dollars.
Joe is held responsible and flees to the little village that nobody knows and where nobody can find him. There he makes lots of friends and falls in love. He wants to stay forever. Away from the big bad world that insists on surviving by the power of money. But what do you do when money becomes worthless? What if, say a pandemic breaks out all over the world?
This book was written well before we ever heard of Corona, except in the brand of beer. In this book a flu pandemic is on its way and destroys everything and everybody in its hunger for victims. Joe relies on his computerprogram and takes charge. In order to save his new home and its population of 308, he has a plan.
And what about the whale? The book comes with a hopeful message for mankind. Without any sentiment or sappy stories the author describes the best case scenario. And the only way we can survive. Only when we all work together and care for each other will we all make it. Not just a few, but everyone as long as we work together.
Not surprisingly this book has won several awards and has been an international bestseller. Translated in more then 13 languages, it seems that we all agree on this positive message. The author has written more literary novels and I can’t wait to read more. In any case, you really don’t want to miss out on this beauty.