Ross Raisin - absolutely LOVE both his books...want the world to read them too!(10 Posts)
I picked up 'God's Own Country' by Ross Raisin in one of those 3 for 2 book offers to take on holiday back in early July and LOVED it! Had never heard of him before and had no clue what the book was about. Loved the darkness of the book and the brilliant colloquial narrative and the fact that the main character is actually very amusing at times despite ultimately being a bit of an anti-hero thanks to his descent into some very disturbing behaviour. And basicaly I just couldn't put it down. Then when I looked up what else he'd written and discoverd the only other book hadn't been published yet, was due for publication in late July, I couldn't wait to get it. Have now read it and 'Waterline' is also fantastic, I have to say I think I still prefer 'God's Own Country' though. But just wanted to share! Anyone else read them?
I'm not sure what genre I'd describe it as! The storyline of God's Own Country is about a teenage boy, Sam Marsdyke, who lives a very isolated rural life as an only child with his parents on a farm on the edge of the Yorkshire moors. Because it is narrated by Sam (in brilliant Yorkshire dialect which really brings him to life), it isn't obvious at first, but gradually it becomes obvious that he has mental health issues and is a bit of an outcast, left school early and has no friends at all apart from his dog, he's ridiculed by others when he goes into public places and although it is never explicitly said (as it's Sam's narrative) we have to assume that he looks a bit odd ad certainly acts odd. His parents seem to show him no affection and he really lives in his own world. The next door farm is bought by a wealthy city-family which is exactly what the locals (including Sam) hate, but they have a teenage daughter and she becomes the object of Sam's obsessive interest. What starts off as a bit of a distant interest becomes a very dark relationship which descends into him abducting her. I feel like I'm giving too much of the storyline way!! But it's the writing of the book, the close attention to local and colloquial detail, the characterisation of Sam and just the brilliant description of his detachment from reality as he descends into such disturbing behaviour that made it my favourite book for years!!
Well you've whetted my appetite. Sounds briliant and the sort of book i love ,will look out for it ,thanks
I'm quite curious about Waterline, less so about his first one, and hope to read it at some point, though I might try the library rather than buying.
I've had my name down for Waterline at the library for ages, so hopefully I'll get it soon.
Glad I've whetted your appetite for God's Own Country ggirl! elkiedee and AgentProvocateur, Waterline is brilliant too. Like God's Own Country it has a main character who is on the margins of society, but this time he is a previously respectable, working, married man (Mick Little) who through the book descends into alcoholism and homelessness and it is conveyed as a really natural, gradual descent which makes you think that in real life it would be so easy for quite ordinary events in someone's life (redundancy and the death of a spouse in Mick Little's case) to change the course of things so dramatically. Like God's Own Country, Waterline is also written in the dialect of its setting (Glasgow) which helps bring it to life and it is clear from the vivid details (for example about the homeless shelters Mick Little stays at and how they operate) that Ross Raisin must have really researched his subject. I love his books and hope he cracks on with the next soon!!!
Hey Jellybelly, sounds good, will keep an eye out for Gods Own Country and Waterline, to add to my growing pile for the winter! thanks for the review and recommendations
Jellybelly, I've now finished Waterline, and I enjoyed it very much. My only teeny-tiny quibble would be that some of his Glaswegian was slightly wrong, both in terms of spelling it and the actual words used and sentence construction, and I found it irritating.
Any non-native Glasgwegians wouldn't notice, I'm sure.
I'll look out for God's Own Country too. I'd like to read that.
(I find it a bit depressing that he's published two great books and he's about 10 years younger than me!)
Oooh AgentProvocateur I'm glad you enjoyed it! I must admit that as a Londoner I certainly didn't notice anything amiss with the Glaswegian dialect! If you enjoyed Waterline then you'll love God's Own Country! I've just lent it to my neighbour and hope she reads it quickly as I want to re-read it!
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