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The Whale Tattoo by Jon Ransom

The Whale Tattoo by Jon Ransom


Winner of the POLARI FIRST BOOK PRIZE 2023


Having stormed out two years ago, Joe knows that the place he needs to go is back home but it won't be easy.  Returning to the river alongside the house where words ripple beneath the muddy black water washing up all sorts of memories and disturbing prophesies.   Then there's Tim Fysh. a local fisherman and longtime lover.  Reviving their bond is not without trouble.

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.   



‘If you only read one debut novel this year make it this one. The Whale Tattoo is a book of visceral, magnetic raw pulsating beauty. A mesmeric, gritty tour de force. We haven’t read a novel this brilliant since Swimming in the Dark by Tomasz Jedrowski. This book is the reason that people love to read.’ Attitude Magazine


'The Whale Tattoo is a stunning achievement - one of the most 
impressive and assured debuts I've ever read.' - Matt Cain


'The Whale Tattoo is remarkable… A potent tale of grief, love and ultimately forgiveness, an urgent, roiling tale of gay love, suppressed traumas and lives cut short.’ The Spectator

'A bold, brilliant and beautiful debut.' - Suzanna Dunn

'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.. utterly authentic and cruelly 
beautiful.' - Matt Bates

  • Details

    Imprint: Muswell Press

    Publication Date: 3 Feburary 2023

    ISBN: 9781739879495

    Pages: 240

    Format: Paperback

Notice to European Customers

All European Customers: You may be required to pay a local import tax on or before delivery for parcels entering the EU. Please check your local import rules for purchases from the UK.


Germany and Republic of Ireland: Due to a high return rate of parcels, we are sadly no longer shipping to Germany and the Republic of Ireland. 

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