Curbside pickup and returns now available at 26 locations. View updated hours of operations here.

A Natural: A Novel
(Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read)

Book Cover
Average Rating
Author:
Published:
Random House Publishing Group 2017
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description
From dreams of soccer glory to the realities of the minor leagues, the high-stakes world of English football comes to life in this vivid coming-of-age novel for fans of Nick Hornby and The Art of Fielding. After his unceremonious release from a Premier League academy at nineteen, Tom feels his bright future slipping away. The only contract offer he receives is from a lower-level club. Away from home for the first time, Tom struggles on and off the field, anxious to avoid the cruel pranks and hazing rituals of his teammates. Then a taboo encounter upends what little stability he has, forcing Tom to reconcile his suppressed desires with his drive to succeed. Meanwhile, the team's popular captain, Chris, is in denial about the state of his marriage. His wife, Leah, has almost forgotten the dreams she once held for her career. As her husband is transferred from club to club, and raising their first child practically on her own, she is lost, disillusioned with where life has taken her. A Natural delves into the heart of a professional soccer club: the pressure, the loneliness, the threat of scandal, the fragility of the body, and the struggle of conforming to the person everybody else expects you to be.Praise for A Natural"This is a bold novel. [Raisin has a] deep and unwavering empathy for others, and an ability to find flashes of beauty in life's unforgiving ugliness. His language might be spare, but his turn of phrase is strikingly elegant. . . . The way is lit by his keen perceptions; the novel suggests the frustrations that arise when lived experience fails to align with what was imagined, and analyzes the gap between spectatorship and participation. . . . If Raisin has chosen to focus on that which stifles rather than frees us, he has done so to demonstrate precisely why we need all the things that society and circumstance suppress. . . . The confidence and skill with which he pursues his vision is not just persuasive, it's powerful."The New York Times Book Review "Raisin's transporting and acutely observed novel speaks to us all. First-rate."Booklist (starred review) "An intimate picture of life in the lower reaches of professional British football . . . a bold theme . . . is rendered with restraint and sympathy. . . . [A Natural] is a sensitive treatment of very different kinds of solitude and pain."Kirkus Reviews
Also in This Series
Formats
Adobe EPUB eBook
Works on all eReaders (except Kindles), desktop computers and mobile devices with reading apps installed.
Kindle Book
Works on Kindles and devices with a Kindle app installed.
Need Help?
If you are having problem transferring a title to your device, please fill out this support form or visit the library so we can help you to use our eBooks and eAudio Books.
More Like This
Other Editions and Formats
More Copies In LINK+
Loading LINK+ Copies...
More Details
Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
10/17/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780525508786
ASIN:
B06XFMTQ2R
Reviews from GoodReads
Loading GoodReads Reviews.
Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Ross Raisin. (2017). A Natural: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Ross Raisin. 2017. A Natural: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Ross Raisin, A Natural: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Ross Raisin. A Natural: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group, 2017. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
Copy Details
LibraryOwnedAvailable
Shared Digital Collection11
Staff View
Grouped Work ID:
3dc9d6b2-b2eb-c72f-2b60-90e69514d356
Go To Grouped Work
Needs Update?:
No
Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 17:05:32
Date Updated:
Dec 06, 2020 02:44:15
Last Metadata Check:
Feb 28, 2021 08:41:38
Last Metadata Change:
Nov 23, 2020 18:33:55
Last Availability Check:
Feb 28, 2021 08:41:43
Last Availability Change:
Jul 05, 2019 19:33:04
Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
Mar 03, 2021 02:27:12

OverDrive Product Record

images
    • cover:
        • href: https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-100/0111-1/{C65D914F-1F5F-489E-B8C8-F83E8B88283C}Img100.jpg
        • type: image/jpeg
    • thumbnail:
        • href: https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-200/0111-1/{C65D914F-1F5F-489E-B8C8-F83E8B88283C}Img200.jpg
        • type: image/jpeg
    • cover150Wide:
        • href: https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-150/0111-1/C65/D91/4F/{C65D914F-1F5F-489E-B8C8-F83E8B88283C}Img150.jpg
        • type: image/jpeg
    • cover300Wide:
        • href: https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-400/0111-1/C65/D91/4F/{C65D914F-1F5F-489E-B8C8-F83E8B88283C}Img400.jpg
        • type: image/jpeg
formats
      • identifiers:
            • type: ISBN
            • value: 9780525508786
            • type: PublisherCatalogNumber
            • value: 561518
      • name: Adobe EPUB eBook
      • id: ebook-epub-adobe
      • identifiers:
            • type: ASIN
            • value: B06XFMTQ2R
            • type: PublisherCatalogNumber
            • value: 561518
      • name: Kindle Book
      • id: ebook-kindle
      • identifiers:
            • type: ISBN
            • value: 9780525508786
            • type: PublisherCatalogNumber
            • value: 561518
      • name: OverDrive Read
      • id: ebook-overdrive
mediaType
eBook
primaryCreator
    • role: Author
    • name: Ross Raisin
title
A Natural
dateAdded
2017-11-03T15:05:00-04:00
contentDetails
      • href: https://link.overdrive.com/?websiteID=141&titleID=3249048
      • type: text/html
      • account:
          • name: Sacramento Public Library (CA)
          • id: 1151
sortTitle
Natural A Novel
crossRefId
3249048
subtitle
A Novel
id
c65d914f-1f5f-489e-b8c8-f83e8b88283c
starRating
3.6

OverDrive MetaData

isPublicDomain
False
formats
      • fileName: NaturalANovel9780525508786
      • partCount: 0
      • fileSize: 7454021
      • identifiers:
            • type: ISBN
            • value: 9780525508786
            • type: PublisherCatalogNumber
            • value: 561518
      • rights:
            • type: Copying
            • value: 0
            • type: Printing
            • value: 0
            • type: Lending
            • value: 0
            • type: ReadAloud
            • value: 0
            • type: ExpirationRights
            • value: 0
      • name: Adobe EPUB eBook
      • id: ebook-epub-adobe
      • onSaleDate: 10/17/2017
      • samples:
            • source: From the book
            • formatType: ebook-overdrive
            • url: https://samples.overdrive.com/?crid=c65d914f-1f5f-489e-b8c8-f83e8b88283c&.epub-sample.overdrive.com
      • fileName: NaturalANovel9780525508786
      • partCount: 0
      • fileSize: 0
      • identifiers:
            • type: ASIN
            • value: B06XFMTQ2R
            • type: PublisherCatalogNumber
            • value: 561518
      • name: Kindle Book
      • id: ebook-kindle
      • onSaleDate: 10/17/2017
      • samples:
            • source: From the book
            • formatType: ebook-overdrive
            • url: https://samples.overdrive.com/?crid=c65d914f-1f5f-489e-b8c8-f83e8b88283c&.epub-sample.overdrive.com
      • fileName: NaturalANovel9780525508786
      • partCount: 0
      • fileSize: 7454021
      • identifiers:
            • type: ISBN
            • value: 9780525508786
            • type: PublisherCatalogNumber
            • value: 561518
      • name: OverDrive Read
      • id: ebook-overdrive
      • onSaleDate: 10/17/2017
      • samples:
            • source: From the book
            • formatType: ebook-overdrive
            • url: https://samples.overdrive.com/?crid=c65d914f-1f5f-489e-b8c8-f83e8b88283c&.epub-sample.overdrive.com
keywords
      • value: family
      • value: relationships
      • value: Biography
      • value: Friendship
      • value: literary fiction
      • value: loneliness
      • value: family life
      • value: contemporary fiction
      • value: soccer
      • value: marriage
      • value: love
      • value: Coming of age
      • value: Memoirs
      • value: Gay
      • value: LGBTQ
      • value: Pressure
      • value: sports
      • value: biographies
      • value: gay fiction
      • value: masculinity
      • value: scandal
      • value: LGBT
      • value: blue collar
      • value: memoir
      • value: World Cup
      • value: sports fiction
      • value: coming of age novel
      • value: contemporary literary fiction
      • value: soccer books
      • value: contemporary british fiction
      • value: sports books
      • value: sports theme
      • value: professional soccer
      • value: english soccer
      • value: working-class life
      • value: competitive soccer
      • value: contemporary masculinity
      • value: soccer player
creators
      • role: Author
      • fileAs: Raisin, Ross
      • bioText: Ross Raisin was born 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. In 2009 Ross Raisin was named the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award. In 2013 he was selected as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists. He lives in London.
      • name: Ross Raisin
imprint
Random House
publishDate
2017-10-17T00:00:00-04:00
isOwnedByCollections
True
title
A Natural
fullDescription
From dreams of soccer glory to the realities of the minor leagues, the high-stakes world of English football comes to life in this vivid coming-of-age novel for fans of Nick Hornby and The Art of Fielding.
After his unceremonious release from a Premier League academy at nineteen, Tom feels his bright future slipping away. The only contract offer he receives is from a lower-level club. Away from home for the first time, Tom struggles on and off the field, anxious to avoid the cruel pranks and hazing rituals of his teammates. Then a taboo encounter upends what little stability he has, forcing Tom to reconcile his suppressed desires with his drive to succeed.
Meanwhile, the team's popular captain, Chris, is in denial about the state of his marriage. His wife, Leah, has almost forgotten the dreams she once held for her career. As her husband is transferred from club to club, and raising their first child practically on her own, she is lost, disillusioned with where life has taken her.
A Natural delves into the heart of a professional soccer club: the pressure, the loneliness, the threat of scandal, the fragility of the body, and the struggle of conforming to the person everybody else expects you to be.
Praise for A Natural
"This is a bold novel. [Raisin has a] deep and unwavering empathy for others, and an ability to find flashes of beauty in life's unforgiving ugliness. His language might be spare, but his turn of phrase is strikingly elegant. . . . The way is lit by his keen perceptions; the novel suggests the frustrations that arise when lived experience fails to align with what was imagined, and analyzes the gap between spectatorship and participation. . . . If Raisin has chosen to focus on that which stifles rather than frees us, he has done so to demonstrate precisely why we need all the things that society and circumstance suppress. . . . The confidence and skill with which he pursues his vision is not just persuasive, it's powerful."The New York Times Book Review

"Raisin's transporting and acutely observed novel speaks to us all. First-rate."Booklist (starred review)

"An intimate picture of life in the lower reaches of professional British football . . . a bold theme . . . is rendered with restraint and sympathy. . . . [A Natural] is a sensitive treatment of very different kinds of solitude and pain."Kirkus Reviews
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        August 28, 2017
        This slow-building novel examines the unique pressures and trappings of the hypermasculine world of professional English soccer. After being cut from the national youth team, 19-year-old Tom reluctantly signs with Town, a middling squad floundering at the bottom of its division. There, Tom still fights for playing time alongside Easter, the team’s underperforming captain, who has a bad habit of reading message boards after losses. Most of the narrative bounces back and forth between Tom and Easter’s wife, Leah, a young mother painfully alone in her marriage. The author skillfully interweaves both characters’ feelings of isolation, setting up a number of strong reveals with impressive restraint and control. Once Easter goes down with a devastating leg injury, the disintegration of his and Leah’s marriage dovetails with Tom’s burgeoning relationship. The resolution of both stories is suitably heartbreaking, but the implications resolve themselves too quickly in a rushed ending that feels out of place in a novel whose power resides in authorial deliberateness. Nevertheless, this is a worthwhile sports novel with winning characters.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        August 15, 2017
        A closeted gay soccer player and an injured teammate's estranged wife offer an intimate picture of life in the lower reaches of professional British football.Raisin (Waterline, 2011, etc.), whose first novel, God's Own Country (2008), was shortlisted for several prizes, has twice inhabited the fictional world of the outsider and does so again with this third novel. Nineteen-year-old Tom Pearman showed promise as a Premier League junior but isn't promoted and must settle for a fourth-division team named Town. (Be not bemused, Yank reader: Raisin keeps the sport's arcana to a minimum.) Tom has a "quiet, solitary way" and remains largely apart from the other players, but he soon is drawn to the groundskeeper, Liam. Elsewhere, team captain Chris Easter sees his season collapse under a terrible leg injury that sends him moping to his home's spare room, physically and emotionally distant from his wife, Leah, and young son. Leah was already feeling isolated as a football spouse, finding it difficult to socialize with other team couples. The focus is largely on Tom and Liam's affair, which is rendered with restraint and sympathy; it's a bold theme, since not a single active British footballer has come out so far. For a while, though, it is Leah's story that seems to engage Raisin more, with its telling domestic details and an isolation for which there is no prospect of the numbing distraction in the next match. Yet neither of these parallel narratives generates much spark until a link between them and a leak to an internet fan forum stirs devastating fears in Tom and reveals the mindless prejudice and cruelty of his fellow players and fans. This is a sensitive treatment of very different kinds of solitude and pain.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from September 15, 2017
        Serious novels about gay athletes could be more rare than professionals who have come out at the peak of their careers. Here, Raisin (Waterline, 2012) introduces Tom Pearman, a talented 19-year-old English soccer player who's recently signed with a lower-division team and is grappling with his attraction to the groundskeeper, Liam Davey. Liam is friends with Leah, an unhappy young mother and wife to veteran player Chris Easter, soon injured and wrestling with demons of his own. As Tom tries to prove himself professionally, and the team rebounds from a terrible season to a strong one, Raisin depicts their world with astonishing clarity, from callow Tom's inexperience at life, to boardinghouse and team dynamics, to the agonizing slowness with which Tom and Liam recognize and own their attraction to each otheror not. Leah's and Chris' roles in the story unfold in a surprising way. The book is utterly contemporaryplayers scan online forums for gossip and cocoon themselves with electronics during long bus ridesyet the stifling pressure of the men to hide their relationship, and the locker-room and fan hazing, suggest the mid-twentieth century. (Leave it to sports to turn back the clock on social issues.) While many references and assumptions will be more familiar to British than American readers and soccer fans, Raisin's transporting and acutely observed novel speaks to us all. First-rate.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        September 15, 2017

        Tom Pearman, a 19-year-old British soccer player, gets demoted from the Premier League to lower-level competition similar to American baseball's minor leagues. Tom has plenty of time for introspection as the cartoonish coach rarely allows him onto the pitch, but we know our protagonist has natural skills. Raisin (Out Backward) writes at length about Tom's frustration with soccer, his coming-of-age feelings about sex, and the loneliness he experiences in his life outside of sports. Mirroring Tom's malaise is team captain Chris Easter, who struggles balancing his soccer responsibilities with family life, which includes a young wife and toddler son. Tom and Chris both begin to doubt their physical skills while dealing with maddening love trysts that compound their despair. Unfortunately, this novel is cluttered with excessive descriptions that bog down the story's flow. VERDICT Despite hinting at a sports tale, the focus of Raisin's story becomes his characters' inability to bring into line their love of soccer and other emotional relationships. For readers of contemporary British fiction. [See Prepub Alert, 4/10/17.]--Rollie Welch, Lehigh Acres, FL

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        May 1, 2017

        An ambitious young soccer player is stuck in a small club after being dumped by the Premier League academy, and the team captain's wife is pretty disillusioned, too. From a Granta Best of Young British Writers, whose debut, God's Own Country, was short-listed for nine literary awards.

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

popularity
151
links
    • self:
        • href: https://api.overdrive.com/v1/collections/v1L1BWwAAAA2I/products/c65d914f-1f5f-489e-b8c8-f83e8b88283c/metadata
        • type: application/vnd.overdrive.api+json
id
c65d914f-1f5f-489e-b8c8-f83e8b88283c
starRating
3.6
images
    • cover:
        • href: https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-100/0111-1/{C65D914F-1F5F-489E-B8C8-F83E8B88283C}Img100.jpg
        • type: image/jpeg
    • thumbnail:
        • href: https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-200/0111-1/{C65D914F-1F5F-489E-B8C8-F83E8B88283C}Img200.jpg
        • type: image/jpeg
    • cover150Wide:
        • href: https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-150/0111-1/C65/D91/4F/{C65D914F-1F5F-489E-B8C8-F83E8B88283C}Img150.jpg
        • type: image/jpeg
    • cover300Wide:
        • href: https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-400/0111-1/C65/D91/4F/{C65D914F-1F5F-489E-B8C8-F83E8B88283C}Img400.jpg
        • type: image/jpeg
isPublicPerformanceAllowed
False
languages
      • code: en
      • name: English
subjects
      • value: Fiction
      • value: Literature
publishDateText
10/17/2017
mediaType
eBook
shortDescription
An exquisitely crafted coming-of-age novel set in the high-stakes world of English soccer—for readers of Nick Hornby and The Art of Fielding.
From one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists comes an exquisitely crafted coming-of-age story set in the high-stakes world of English soccer.
After his unceremonious release from a Premier League academy at nineteen, Tom feels his bright future slipping away. The only contract offer he receives is from a lower-level club. Away from home for the first time, Tom struggles on and off the field, anxious to avoid the cruel pranks and hazing rituals of his teammates. Then a taboo encounter upends what little stability he has, forcing Tom to reconcile his suppressed desires with his drive to succeed.
Meanwhile, the team's popular captain, Chris, is in denial about the state of his marriage. His wife, Leah, has almost forgotten the dreams she once held for her career. As her husband is transferred from...
sortTitle
Natural A Novel
crossRefId
3249048
subtitle
A Novel
publisher
Random House Publishing Group