Possibly the only novelist of his generation to be born by the light of a paraffin lamp, Paul Hoffman spent much of his childhood on airfields all around the world watching his father – a pioneer of sports parachuting and European Champion – jumping out of aeroplanes. After a long battle with the English educational system which involved avoiding school whenever possible he was offered a place to read English at New College, Oxford when no other university would interview him. After graduating he worked in over twenty different jobs, including boardman in a betting shop, messenger boy to a City merchant bank and teacher. He was also senior film censor at the British Board of Film Classification.
His first novel, The Wisdom of Crocodiles took thirteen years to write. Among other things it predicted the re-emergence of international terrorism in the 21st Century and the precise nature of the collapse of the world financial system. Part of the novel was made into a film starring Jude Law and Timothy Spall. His second novel, The Golden Age of Censorship, a black comedy based on his experiences as a film censor, was published in 2007. As a screenwriter he has written or co-written three produced films and worked with, among others, Francis Ford Coppola.