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A Natural By Ross Raisin,

  • Title: A Natural
  • Author: Ross Raisin
  • ISBN: 9781910702666
  • Page: 443
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 desperateTom 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.
    A Natural 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 academ

    One thought on “A Natural”

    1. This novel is all about football Wait, my bookish friends, come back It also examines weighty themes identity, masculinity, the journey from adolescence into adulthood Most importantly, it explores what can happen when the worlds of sport and sexuality collide.Tom Pearman is a 19 year old footballer who has just been released from his contract with an English Premier League club With no other options available, he signs a year long deal with Town, a League Two outfit This is a different planet f [...]

    2. This review contains references to a plot point which some may consider a spoiler However, it s so central to the book that there d have been no point in me writing any kind of review without mentioning it You have been warned Tom is a talented young footballer who has always seemed destined for stardom He s spent years training with a local Premier League club, with the implicit assumption they would ultimately sign him But that doesn t happen, and instead, Tom moves hundreds of miles away from [...]

    3. Let s get something out of the way I don t always like the rules I think all of us can agree that sometimes the rules are stupid I don t always play by the rules, but sometimes I do And sometimes I just dance around the issue discussing the rules instead of getting to the point I was raised in the States and so, we have a little sport we call soccer Growing up, I believed that s what its name was until, later in life, I learned that much of the rest of the world calls it football That makes sens [...]

    4. This story has been dubbed a slow burner, of emotional poignancy, about the ultimate taboo of a gay footballer But the world, which is supposed to be filled with raw emotion, sportsmanship, and tormented characters is actually a world filled with the dull, the paranoid, and the melodramatic I wanted to like Tom, the 19 year old, gay footballer, who has yet to come out to himself Raisin, however, never allows the reader to fully experience Tom s pain No sooner are we about to explore an emotion, [...]

    5. A Natural by Ross Raisin is a quietly literary novel about a 19 year old professional footballer who, upon being let go from a Premier League club in the north, is signed by a League Two club down south Shy and introverted, Tom Pearman finds it hard to adjust he s living in digs, his team are failing and he struggles to get along with the club s bullying manager as he succumbs to a succession of injuries But Tom has a much bigger problem he s gradually coming to realise that he might be gay, and [...]

    6. The story and especially the shy young guy who s at the centre of it are not holding my interest The writing is fine, but I am just not caring about anything that s happening so far I don t do well with dull, flat protagonists Abandoned at the 15% mark.

    7. Smart detail driven British novel about the intricacies and even the ambivalence of coming out told from the perspective of a mid level football player just coming into adulthood It must be hard to write about life s repetitive slog without the novel itself turning into a repetitive slog but Raisin manages to just pull it off with rich details like the cactus garden and watery hotel meals A story of modern manhood and sports Gentle and naturalist approach to masculine storytelling I am a romanti [...]

    8. For such potentially interesting and though provoking subjects masculinity and sexuality within football this book remains dull from first to last And not only dull it s also bland, the style flat and leaden, the characters and dialogue equally so It s all of the he says this then he does that then he does something else variety with no nuance or shading or attempt to get into the characters inner lives Many issues are touched on in the novel and that s certainly to its credit Identity, being ga [...]

    9. Een boek over voetbal, mijn eerste boek over voetbal En ik vond het nog leuk ook Al snap ik nog steeds niet wat buitenspel is

    10. A Natural is the story of a football dressing room It s a lower league dressing room specifically League 2, aka The Fourth Division This is the bottom rung of professional football below it is a land of semi professionals, tradies by day and footballers at the weekend The dressing room is populated by jaded old pros who have tried, and mostly failed, at higher league clubs young kids torn between ambition and hope on the one hand and the trapdoor to non league on the other and just occasionally, [...]

    11. Pretty darned good read Although I m a massive football fan, that s definitely not a prerequisite to enjoy this book Ross Raisin successfully builds a world where tension, excitement, and soul crushing angst can be felt by all even non sports fans There s something about football It gets in your blood You can feel it long after walking off the field for the last time I know I still do But this story is about so much than football It s about friends, rivalries, ambition, and working hard to not [...]

    12. I can t stop thinking about this book I don t like sports, much less reading about them, but somehow Ross Raisin imbues the soccer scenes in A Natural with such emotion and physicality that I couldn t help but devour them The relationship between Tom and Liam is so taut, fraught, and devastatingly real One of those books that I wanted to immediately read again as soon as I finished it.

    13. I m not a sports fan, but I am fascinated by the peculiar upbringings, priorities and lifestyles of professional sports people I enjoyed The Art of Fielding, in spite of knowing almost nothing about baseball And I enjoyed this book, although I ve never understood why anyone cares whether a ball goes over a white line or not.The characters in this novel care about that a lot For their own different reasons, their lives are all enmeshed into football Tom is the central character young, introvert, [...]

    14. An engrossing study of alienation and it s many forms how we become separated from who we think we are, from our team, from majority social moors, or from our families The structures of the chapters and paragraphs, and of some sentences are a little odd at times but it s still a great read, though I found the ending a little too open for my taste.

    15. Didn t expect to love the book as much as I did the blurb sells it way too short It s sad to think that the novel probably is not too pessimistic and I m wondering if the reviewers stating that it feels too dated have ever immersed themselves in the world of football At times it was hard to read about Tom s on going struggles and the blatant homophobia from the team, from some of the friends, and the often bleak atmosphere of the novel really only got broken once and not even then fully during T [...]

    16. I downloaded this book after reading gushing reviews in The Observer and The Guardian Jude Cook in The Guardian described it as an exceptional novel it presents a brave and subtle portrait of a soul in torment It s a winner William Skidelsky in The Observer, said it is is a gripping, mature, important novel It would be a travesty if it does not win prizes I hesitated at the hefty 9.99 tag then hesitated again, having read the Kindle sample and not having read much in that sample that was excepti [...]

    17. Finished reading A Natural Ross Raisin 16 July 2017ISBN 9781911214496Reviewers describe this as a gay footballer and coming of age novel Well, yes and no, in both cases, because to accept those descriptions at face value is to miss so much To light on football is unfortunate in another way you don t have to know about football at all Football clubs are often seen as the last bastion of real manhood but the setting could be any sporting club, or indeed many other organisations where homophobia is [...]

    18. Raisin writes in clear, elegant sentences, and the pace of this novel is perfect, sustaining the reader s engagement through a book that is psychological study than plot A coming out,and coming of age, novel, A Natural follows the fortunes of a young football player, Tom Pearman, struggling to create a place for himself on the squad of a small, inconsequential team floundering near the bottom of their league Simultaneously he is fighting his sexual attraction to men, embodied by the groundsman, [...]

    19. I was totally beguiled and surprised by this book On the surface, its an usual topic toxic masculinity in football and the impact that has on footballers and those in their orbit But it turned out to be a perfect context to explore individuals who are coming of age, trying to understand their natures and attempting to act in a way that honours these There is also a love story at its heart which feels true to lived experience and makes you feel EMOTIONS The writing has clarity and delicacy Raisin [...]

    20. The back cover of A Natural connects this story to Remains of the Day, and that really stuck with me These characters torture themselves because they can t get out of their own heads Set in the masculine, homophobic world of European football, the protagonist struggles not only with his sexuality but with an intense self hated He can t figure out a way to reconcile his professional and personal selves.This book is a very, very slow burn It took me weeks and weeks to get through the first half, w [...]

    21. A Natural details the brutish life of an aspiring professional soccer player Tom has been promoted after a promising start as a junior player, and finds life in the professional league to be much difficult than he ever expected The casual sexual brutality of the other players, life as a boarder, the complex politics of managers, trades, and injuries all take their emotional toll on a young player Tom s own unwanted sexual longings further complicate his story, and contribute to our mounting sen [...]

    22. Iow absolutely nothing about football with the exception that Beckham and Pele are important so this was a bit of a slog for me in parts That said, it can also be read as a coming out and love story between Tom and Liam The idea that sports stars still hide their homosexuality, whatever the sport, seems ridiculous in this day and age but that s what we ve In this novel, there s a sort of class issue at play as well because Liam is a groundskeeper This is well written and intriguing Thanks to Net [...]

    23. I just couldn t get into this story I love soccer and understand the American game I ve read books and watched movies that center around English football, but this one is apparently for a real fanatic The storyline about a player relegated to the lower divisions and trying to earn his way back to the premier league was just too much football and too little story for me I made it through only about 25% and finally gave up The writing is passable, but there s just too much narrative and the only a [...]

    24. All the reviews discussed Raisin s insider s view of football soccer Several pointed out his accurate portrayal of the tortured soul of a closeted athlete I was impressed with his representation of how prejudice is perpetuated in professional soccer, and can even fuel a team s revival The ones who could have or should have said, This will never do, remained silent and probably believe it was for the good of the team I hope Raisin writes a sequel where we encounter these same characters five year [...]

    25. This is a book about football European style kind of It s also a book about coming of age, masculinity, love, being gay, and family relationships The book is set amidst a struggling soccer team and the trials and tribulations of a young player as he tries to gain a starting spot with the club From there it branches in a dozen directions The character development of Tom the book s leading man is outstanding If you re not put off by football, this will be an interesting read.

    26. I will try review this book without giving away a major spoiler as it is not included in the synopsis but I have no idea why it is not as it is integral to the whole plot I wanted to read this book after listening to a podcast on it, and it s about football, so thought I was quids in If you have not interest in football, this is not for you BUT there is a massive human interest in this, so I will be recommending this to all my friends to read.

    27. A moving, unflinching look at toxic masculinity, the cult of football and the way dreams are brutally shattered as today s hero become yesterday s man with one injury, one bad season, a different manager Not always an easy read although immensely readable as Raisin holds a mirror up to the beautiful game to showcase the ugliness within Highly recommended.

    28. Being a person that loves sports stories I found this book to be very enjoyable Reminded me back when I played Sports in high school I recommend this book to anyone who wants to remember their days back in school when it comes to sports or any teenager that would relate to this book Definitely a solid 4 star read.

    29. I enjoyed being immersed in the world of English soccer, but I didn t love the book because I hate anticipating the dreaded inevitable.

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