Magazine article The Spectator

'A Natural', by Ross Raisin - Review

Magazine article The Spectator

'A Natural', by Ross Raisin - Review

Article excerpt

Nowadays, most of us living in the liberal West agree that there can never be anything morally wrong with love between consenting adults. This is good for society but bad for novelists. The tale of the grand passion that runs foul of societal mores is a staple of literature. What is Madame Bovary if Emma can slam divorce papers on Charles's desk after her first few sexts with Rodolphe? Writers who want to do the love versus society theme have to get creative.

Ross Raisin has hit on the sterling idea of heading for the world of professional football. Not a single one of Britain's 5,000 full-time players is openly gay -- though statistically about 500 of them must be. Tom, the hero of Raisin's new novel, is one of them. Dropped from his Premiership youth programme, he's signed to an unpromising club -- 'Town' -- that has just clawed its way out of the Conference but looks like it's going to spend the next season tailspinning back to where it came from.

At Town, taciturn Tom conceives an obsessive passion for the club's hunky groundsman, Liam. Both men are aware that if their love is ever discovered it will destroy their careers. …

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