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Publisher's Summary

From one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists, an exquisitely crafted coming-of-age novel set in the high-stakes world of English soccer - for fans of Nick Hornby and The Art of Fielding.

After his unceremonious release from a Premier League academy at 19, Tom feels his bright future slipping away. The only contract offer he receives is from a lower-level club. Away from home for the first time, Tom struggles on and off the field, anxious to avoid the cruel pranks and hazing rituals of his teammates. Then a taboo encounter upends what little stability he has, forcing Tom to reconcile his suppressed desires with his drive to succeed.

Meanwhile, the team's popular captain, Chris, is in denial about the state of his marriage. His wife, Leah, has almost forgotten the dreams she once held for her career, as her husband is transferred from club to club.

A Natural delves into the heart of a professional soccer club: the pressure, the loneliness, the threat of scandal, the fragility of the body, and the struggle of conforming to the person everybody else expects you to be.

©2017 Ross Raisin (P)2017 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

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Very Poor Narration

Because the NY Time Book Review gave this novel a positive review, I'm giving it 3 Stars, but I couldn't get even half way through due to the unlistenable narration. There was little effort to differentiate characters voices and the reader's flat, repetitive style of reading made it impossible for me to keep track of the storyline. I have resorted to reading the Kindle version.