Reviews

  • "Supremely accomplished and moving… A masterful performance… This is a gripping, mature, important novel. It would be a travesty if it doesn’t win prizes."

    William Skidelsky, Observer
  • "A layered and subtle exploration of masculinity, fear and desire, A Natural is as good a novel as I’ve read in years. The poignancy of Ross Raisin’s characters are equalled only by the brilliance of his writing."

    John Boyne
  • "Admirable … genius … amazing… vertiginous."

    Claire Lowdon, Sunday Times
  • "A Natural is a brilliant, deft and moving coming of age novel about the nature of masculinity and sexuality set against the backdrop of sport. Sensitively and beautifully drawn, it confirms Ross Raisin as a superb writer."

    Carol Ann Duffy
  • "Most novels about football aren’t really about football… They tend to avoid describing the game itself, with its strange mixture of pelting energy and exquisite boredom. Instead they shunt it into the background or repackage it as a metaphor, allowing the simple whacking of a ball into the net to be used as a way of writing about far less tangible goals. Ross Raisin’s latest novel is refreshingly different. Following the fortunes of two lower-league footballers, it is a bold attempt to capture sport in the raw… pitch-perfect."

    Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, The Times