Posted 20 hours ago

The Whale Tattoo

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And for a long while the world will stretch out ahead, a road running towards all the reckless mistakes you’re meant to make.

The prose is dreamlike — or, rather, nightmarish — drifting between the present and memories with an undulating, unpredictable flow. Having stormed out of home two years ago, Joe knows he has to go back, even though it won’t be easy. And yes, there’s quite a lot of sex, which feels entirely appropriate for these lads, at their age, in this setting - again furthering the essence of the protagonist’s voice. And when his eyes forget their colour and he is more still than any stone you’ve ever held in the palm of your hand, suddenly you’ll see what it means to be a father. It is disjointed, fragmented, concise, yet filled with keenly discernible as well as contradictory images and phrases.Despite this, it is worth persisting, and I suspect, it's a book that needs to be read more than once. Within the first few pages, both Joe’s discomfort and his torturous affection for Fysh are defined with remarkable efficiency, creating a hook that sinks far too deep to ignore. From one of the most acclaimed debut novelists of 2022 author of The Whale Tattoo, winner of the Polari Prize First Book award 2023, Jon's new book The Gallopers is a visceral and mesmerising novel. Ransom conjures up gorgeously evocative images for his hostile locations and finds love and energy there,” he added.

There were clever turns and links I wasn't expecting, and a cast of characters I grew attached attached to. With numerous scenes of graphic sex this is a very descriptive novel, where the inky black water and sky really come alive in the writing. Through vivid dreamscapes and backstories, Joe's story emerges as one of love, lust, and loss, and a personal journey that ultimately leads to the path of acceptance and redemption. This almost biblical event has affected both the area and Eli greatly, and he's still trying to pick up the pieces of his life.Jon Ransom's debut novel pulls no punches in a story which at its core is about loss and how people [fail to] deal with it. Short phrases that I think were attempting to evoke some form of deep intellectual thinking, but in fact, just perturbed me.

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