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 ?100 banger. He lives in rural Shropshire with his wife, Sue, and has two grown-up children.