When a giant sperm whale washes up on the local beach and tells Joe Gunner that death will follow him wherever he goes. Joe knows that the place he needs to go is back home. Having stormed out two years ago, it won't be easy, nor will returning to the river alongside the house where words ripple beneath the muddy black water washing up all sorts of memories and disturbing prophesies.Joe turns to his sister, Birdee, the only person who has ever listened. But she can't help him, she drowned two years earlier, even though he still talks to her as if she never went away. Then there's Tim Fysh. A local fisherman and longtime lover. But reviving their bond is not without trouble. He tells himself that the whale's prediction is wrong. But the river is relentless. By night it makes him piss the bed, by day it is there yipping from the bank, filling his head with rubbish, warning him to give Fysh up. Joe gets close to beating back the noise, but death still echoes. Then as the sea settles and Joe learns the truth about the river and finds that we all have the capability to hate, and that we can all make the choice not to. Ransom's fractured, distinctive prose highlights the beauty and brutality of his story, his extraordinarily vivid sense of place saturates the reader with the wet of the river, and the salty tang of the heaving sea.The Whale Tattoo is so utterly authentic, and so cruelly beautiful
Publisher: Muswell Press
Number of pages: 240
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm
'A bold, brilliant and beautiful debut' Suzanna Dunn. Raw, uncompromising, and authentic, a remarkable debut from an astonishingly gifted writer' Golnoosh Nour. 'An astounding debut by an important new voice in queer literature with a completely unique sense of language. Simply a triumph' 5 *****Love Reading, Thomas Schwentenwien. 'With assured narrative, a vivid sense of place and atmosphere, and flint-sharp dialogue, Jon Ransom has written a novel that is bleak and brutal, but never sentimental, and it is these characteristics which make The Whale Tattoo so utterly authentic - and so cruelly beautiful' Matt Bates. 'It's a fine work of queer literature'. Damian Barr's Literary Salon. 'The Whale Tattoo' is a stunning achievement - one of the most impressive and assured debuts I've ever read'. Matt Cain. This guy is an incredible new talent. A short book that punches well above its weight: explicit, brutal and moving'. Isabel Costello. 'The novel scratches an itch that few books can reach. It's Ransom's raw reflection on life, his recognition of the brutality that transforms moments of passing rapture into something dreamy that leaves the reader entranced'. Neil Czeszejko. The Most Anticipated Books of 2022, Delphic Reviews. 'Jon Ransom's debut novel, The Whale Tattoo, is filled with prose that picks you up in its wake and takes you on a journey. Complex, fraught and violent, The Whale Tattoo reads like an early Tracy Lett's play - a steaming mix of blue-collar rage and menace'. The Queer Review. 'Seldom, outside the realms of gay royalty like Alan Hollinghurst, have I read a novel about gay people so well written. I can't recall the last time I read a novel with such a sense of place. This is a story that lives on long after the last full stop. And deserves to be read'. Charles Coussens.