Very Like a Whale

Ferdinand Mount
Date Published
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Pheasant-shooting on the Wiltshire downs; East-West conflict in a Berlin night club; infighting in city boardrooms; and sexual skirmishing in the Kensington outback, on the fringes of Winkhill golf club and in a smart Basque resort are some of the elements of this novel. The story concerns the Whale family: Hervey, a less than brilliant Tory Minister; his father, an amiable retired Brigadier; his vague wife Cynthia, and their son George, a young man working in a merchant bank. The Whales are solid, passive and prone to daydreams but their respectable façade threatens to crumble when external forces infiltrate their family unit.

Very Like a Whale, Ferdinand Mount’s first novel, displays quiet wit and elegance as he explores the underlying theme of power in personal relations.


Ferdinand Mount was born in 1939 and won scholarships to Eton, Christ Church, Oxford and Vienna University. Novelist, The Sunday Times columnist and Conservative Party politician, Mount was head of the policy unit in 10 Downing Street in 1982-83, during the time when Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister, and wrote the 1983 Tory general election manifesto. For 11 years (1991-2002)…

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