Waterline

Waterline

by Ross Raisin
     
 

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From Ross Raisin, the highly acclaimed author of Out Backward—a debut novel Colm Tóibín called “compelling, disturbing and often very funny”—comes the moving and story of an ex-shipyard worker’s journey of grief and reclamation in the wake of his wife’s death. Lyrical and resonant, with echoes of PaulSee more details below

Overview

From Ross Raisin, the highly acclaimed author of Out Backward—a debut novel Colm Tóibín called “compelling, disturbing and often very funny”—comes the moving and story of an ex-shipyard worker’s journey of grief and reclamation in the wake of his wife’s death. Lyrical and resonant, with echoes of Paul Harding’s Tinkers and Anne Enright’s The Gathering, Raisin’s blue collar story of a man’s fractured search for a new beginning is a powerfully voiced, penetratingly personal narrative of alienation and, ultimately, redemption.

“Ross Raisin confirms himself as an exciting talent, a unique, gifted, and generous voice, a young writer with a vision broad far beyond his years.” —David Vann, Financial Times

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Raisin’s (Out Backward) second novel is a powerful depiction of the dislocating effects of grief. Glasgow shipyard worker Mick Little is unmoored when his beloved wife, Cathy, dies of cancer. Blamed by his son for her death, Mick withdraws and slides into despondency and drink. Unable to bear the pitying stares of his friends or the memories of home, he moves to London, but finds few opportunities and little to distract him from his sorrows and submits to a dissolution scarcely imaginable. Raisin’s novel, written in a sometimes inscrutable brogue, does not unfold easily. The Beckettian repetition of mourning, numbness, and self-destruction mimics Mick’s disorientation and growing dysfunction. But the persistent reader will find his tragic fall and ultimate salvation genuinely moving. Mick is finely rendered as a man alienated by his love and guilt; his downward spiral feels painfully real. Raisin is as likely to linger on a moment of idleness as on Mick’s inchoate fury, capturing the cadences of depression and rage. The novel argues for patience and empathy in the face of self-inflicted ruin, even as Mick and his family struggle to find it for themselves. Agent: Rogers, Coleridge & White. (Feb.)
Esquire (UK)
“Waterline announces Raisin as a profound thinker as well as a distinctive voice.”
Maureen Corrigan
“A standout….Evocative…. strong echoes of George Orwell’s classic, Down and Out in Paris and London.”
David Vann
“Heartbreaking…. Waterline is a great read, and Mick’s story is one you won’t forget. With this second novel, Ross Raisin confirms himself as an exciting talent, a unique, gifted, and generous voice, a young writer with a vision broad far beyond his years.”
Andrew Holgate
“What impresses about Raisin is the all-encompassing nature of his imaginative empathy, and the way in which he makes the reader complicit in his character’s fate . . . Electric.”
Catherine Taylor
“Raisin is shaping up to be one of our most extraordinary writers.”
Peter Carty
“The vernacular is only one aspect of the vitality and inventiveness of Raisin’s writing…. A writer of outstanding talent and it will be fascinating to see what he comes up with next.”
Stephanie Cross
“Ross Raisin’s debut, God’s Own Country, was deservedly acclaimed, and Waterline is similarly impressive, with Raisin again making vivid, compelling use of the vernacular…. It remains to the last supremely empathic, and Raisin’s powers of observation intense.”
Time Out New York for Out Backward
“The first thing you’ll notice about Raisin’s debut novel, Out Backward, is its Yorkshire-farmer dialogue. The second thing you’ll notice is that its teen narrator is a spying, sneaky sociopath…. if you stick around, you’ll get a concentrated dose of evil.”
The Independentfor Out Backward
"A first novel…with panache…. Engaging. Raisin’s achievement in creating and sustaining such a richly distinctive narrative voice is considerable."
The Guardianfor Out Backward
"It is a joy to read for the dialect alone, a linguistic feast…. Sam’s is such a fantastically vivid voice that it’s not surprising reality pales in comparison—that’s part of his problem. It’s also what makes God’s Own Country such an absorbing read, and Raisin a young writer to watch."
Daily Mail for Out Backward
“In Sam Marsdyke, Raisin has created a truly memorable and distinctive voice. It’s a very impressive debut.”
Rachel Nolan
“Affecting...”
Dafna Izenberg
“Raisin works magic with bleak and disturbing material….In Raisin’s hands the story is magnetic….Without ever hitting a preachy note, here is a book that makes homelessness human, sometimes even funny.”
Michael Hingston
“An indelible portrait of a man in grief….adds up to a portrait of grief that as haunting as it is elegant - and yet it somehow manages to crackle with energy at the same time.”
Julia Keller
“Superb….Spectacularly moving and accomplished.”
J. M. Coetzee for Out Backward
“Ross Raisin’s story of how a disturbed but basically well-intentioned rural youngster turns into a malevolent sociopath is both chilling in its effect and convincing in its execution.”
Washington Post Book World for Out Backward
Out Backward more [than A Clockwork Orange] convincingly registers the internal logic of unredeemable delinquency, a dangerous subjectivity that perverts compassion and sees everything as an extension of itself.”
Joshua Ferris for Out Backward
“Utterly frightening and electrifying.”
Financial Times for Out Backward
“A few pages with Sam Marsdyke are unforgettable. Rare are the writers who can create such a funny yet terrifying narrator; the comparison is the murderous Francie Brady in Patrick McCabe’s classic The Butcher Boy…. Deeply unsettling, yet far from a grim read…well worth a visit.”
Toronto Star for Out Backward
“The bony grip exerted by debut London novelist Ross Raisin’s Out Backward is muscled by voice…. [The book] reads like a long ballad sung by a lonesome madman.”
St. Louis Post Dispatch for Out Backward
“[Out Backward] will grab you….Sam has a lot to say about the class system, apparently still the bane of Britain…. The ending of ‘Out Backward’ leaves open the possibility of a sequel. And the possibility seems curiously pleasing.”
Brooklyn Rail for Out Backward
“This is a near-perfectly executed book, seamlessly constructed.”
Sunday Times (London) for Out Backward
“Remarkable.”
The Sunday Times (London) for Out Backward
“Compelling…. An entirely original voice…Marsdyke, who blends colloquialism with flights of verbal fancy, is like no other character in contemporary fiction…. He is both very funny and very disturbing.”
The Observer for Out Backward
“It’s Marsdyke’s voice that is Raisin’s most extraordinary and original achievement, a fabulously onomatopoeic patois woven from the language of the Yorkshire farmyard; a stream of consciousness that slides between the comic and the sinister…. Raisin is one to watch; controlled, mature and compelling, this is a masterful debut.”
Bookseller for Out Backward
“Spend just a few pages in the company of Sam Marsdyke…and it’s an unforgettable experience. Rare are the writers who have created such a funny yet terrifying narrator; the instant comparison is Francie Bradie in Patrick McCabe’s classic The Butcher Boy.”
The Independent for Out Backward
“A first novel…with panache…. Engaging. Raisin’s achievement in creating and sustaining such a richly distinctive narrative voice is considerable.”
The Sunday Telegraph for Out Backward
“Excellent…. Sam is endowed with a richly lyrical narrative voice and an extravagant vocabulary…. He is also extremely entertaining company…. A wonderfully unique novel - a comic commentary on rural decline and a deeply unsettling character study.”
The Guardian for Out Backward
“It is a joy to read for the dialect alone, a linguistic feast…. Sam’s is such a fantastically vivid voice that it’s not surprising reality pales in comparison—that’s part of his problem. It’s also what makes God’s Own Country such an absorbing read, and Raisin a young writer to watch.”
The Spectator for Out Backward
“A very strong debut.”
Telegraph for Out Backward
“The hero of Ross Raisin’s God’s Own Country told his tale of town versus country in an impressively angry, highly individual voice.”
Kirkus Reviews
A working-class Glaswegian widower starts to drown under the weight of his own sorrow. In his second novel, Raisin (Out Backward, 2008) explores work, family and grief. While this book is a less showy, more introspective bit of fiction, it showcases the author's immense talent for occupying characters both through their inner lives and the ways in which they are perceived by those around them. A steadfastly Scottish novel, it opens on a funeral. Former shipbuilder Mick Little is suffering through the worst hard time. After years dragging his family around Australia before returning to Glasgow, he's lost his job as a minicab driver and his wife has just died. Worse, she died from the results of asbestos that Mick carried home on his clothes for decades. His son Robbie, in from Australia, tries to support his Da, but Mick's estranged son Craig can't hide his anger for his father's culpability. The in-laws, in from the Highlands, have taken over all arrangements, leaving Mick with no role in the tragedy of his life. "So this is grief, well," Raisin writes from inside his broken vessel. "Sat at the kitchen table with all your joys and your miseries sleeping and snoring about you and you sat there wondering what to do for your breakfast." This distinctly northern vernacular may be off-putting for readers, but, like with Irvine Welsh or James Kelman, the journey is worth the navigation. When he can't stand it anymore, Mick boards a bus bound for London, taking the meager savings earned from selling off the gold and trinkets left in his home. It's painful to watch as Raisin's beleaguered everyman slouches inevitably towards homelessness. But the author carries off his poignant meditation on the plight of the modern working man with an incisive absence of melodrama and an austere dignity. A compassionate portrait of a man on the verge filled with disquieting tension.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062103970
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/07/2012
Series:
P.S. Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
1,472,034
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

What People are saying about this

Dafna Izenberg
“Raisin works magic with bleak and disturbing material….In Raisin’s hands the story is magnetic….Without ever hitting a preachy note, here is a book that makes homelessness human, sometimes even funny.”
David Vann
“Heartbreaking…. Waterline is a great read, and Mick’s story is one you won’t forget. With this second novel, Ross Raisin confirms himself as an exciting talent, a unique, gifted, and generous voice, a young writer with a vision broad far beyond his years.”
Andrew Holgate
“What impresses about Raisin is the all-encompassing nature of his imaginative empathy, and the way in which he makes the reader complicit in his character’s fate . . . Electric.”
Stephanie Cross
“Ross Raisin’s debut, God’s Own Country, was deservedly acclaimed, and Waterline is similarly impressive, with Raisin again making vivid, compelling use of the vernacular…. It remains to the last supremely empathic, and Raisin’s powers of observation intense.”
Peter Carty
“The vernacular is only one aspect of the vitality and inventiveness of Raisin’s writing…. A writer of outstanding talent and it will be fascinating to see what he comes up with next.”
Rachel Nolan
“Affecting...”
Catherine Taylor
“Raisin is shaping up to be one of our most extraordinary writers.”
Michael Hingston
“An indelible portrait of a man in grief….adds up to a portrait of grief that as haunting as it is elegant - and yet it somehow manages to crackle with energy at the same time.”
Maureen Corrigan
“A standout….Evocative…. strong echoes of George Orwell’s classic, Down and Out in Paris and London.”
Julia Keller
“Superb….Spectacularly moving and accomplished.”

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