Tom has always known exactly the person he is going to be. A successful footballer. A man others look up to. Now, though, the bright future he imagined for himself is threatened.
The Premier League academy of his boyhood has let him go. At nineteen, Tom finds himself playing for a tiny club in a town he has never heard of. But as he navigates his isolation and his desperate need for recognition, a sudden and thrilling encounter offers him the promise of an escape, and Tom is forced to question whether he can reconcile his supressed desires with his dreams of success.
Leah, the captain’s wife, has almost forgotten the dreams she once held, for her career, her marriage. Moving again, as her husband is transferred from club to club, she is lost, disillusioned with where life has taken her.
A Natural delves into the heart of a professional football club: the pressure, the loneliness, the threat of scandal, the fragility of the body and the struggle, on and off the pitch, with conforming to the person that everybody else expects you to be.
Granta Best Young British Novelist and Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year
Mick Little used to be a shipbuilder on the Glasgow yards. But as they closed one after another down the river, the search for work took him and his beloved wife, Cathy, to Australia, and back again, struggling for a living, longing for home.
With devastating vision, Ross Raisin brings to life the story of an ordinary man caught in the outer reaches of modern existence, suffering the loss of a great love. Waterline paints a captivating portrait of the alienation of lives lived quietly all around us, and of one man s existence dissolved through grief, and the long journey home."
'There are rare novels that embed themselves in your sensibility so profoundly you can imagine conversations arising between characters that never occurred on the page . . . A work of grace: a human being rendered by a triumph of ventriloquism and empathy' Alan Warner, Guardian
'Spectacular' Time Out
'A poignant, shocking, wry, shaming, yet profoundly generous, and cunningly crafted classic ... If you're looking for the definitive novel for our times, this is the strongest candidate I've read for ages' Scotsman
'Raisin is a novelist of terrific ability and great verve' Philip Hensher, Sunday Telegraph
Granta Best Young British Novelist and Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year, Shortlisted for NINE literary awards
'Ross Raisin's story of how a disturbed but basically well-intentioned rural youngster turns into a malevolent sociopath is both chilling in its effect and convincing in its execution' J. M. Coetzee
'Utterly frightening and electrifying' Joshua Ferris
'Astonishing, funny, unsettling ... An unforgettable creation [whose] literary forebears include Huckleberry Finn, Holden Caulfield and Alex from A Clockwork Orange' The Times
'Remarkable, compelling, very funny and very disturbing . . . like no other character in contemporary fiction' Sunday Times
In God's Own Country, one of the most celebrated debut novels of recent years, Ross Raisin tells the story of solitary young farmer, Sam Marsdyke, and his extraordinary battle with the world.
Expelled from school and cut off from the town, mistrusted by his parents and avoided by city incomers, Marsdyke is a loner until he meets rebellious new neighbour Josephine. But what begins as a friendship and leads to thoughts of escape across the moors turns to something much, much darker with every step.
'Powerful, engrossing, extraordinary, sinister, comic. A masterful debut' Observer
Ross Raisin was born in 1979 in West Yorkshire. His first novel, God's Own Country, was published in 2008 and was shortlisted for nine literary awards, including the Guardian First Book Award and the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. In 2009 Ross Raisin was named the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year. In 2013 he was selected as one of Granta's Best of Young British writers. He lives in London.