Ross Raisin Out Backward

ISBN 13: 9780061448751

Out Backward

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Sam Marsdyke is a lonely young man, dogged by an incident in his past and forced to work his family farm instead of attending school in his Yorkshire village. He methodically fills his life with daily routines and adheres to strict boundaries that keep him at a remove from the townspeople. But one day he spies Josephine, his new neighbor from London. From that moment on, Sam's carefully constructed protections begin to crumble—and what starts off as a harmless friendship between an isolated loner and a defiant teenage girl takes a most disturbing turn.

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About the Author:

Ross Raisin is the author of Out Backward, winner of the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, a Betty Trask Award, and other honors. He lives in London.

From School Library Journal:

Adult/High School—Prior to the opening of this story, teenager Sam Marsdyke was dogged by accusations of rape, forcing him to leave school and work on his family's farm in Yorkshire, England. When a new family with a 15-year-old daughter moves in next door, Sam's father orders his son to keep his distance. But Sam's obsession with the forbidden drives him to stalk Jo, and the two eventually meet. A friendship develops, and it doesn't take long for the attraction to turn physical. They run away together, and all goes well until Jo decides she wants to return home to her family. Sam's tenuous hold on reality slips as events careen out of his control. While the story often points toward Sam and his psychopathic tendencies, Raisin plays with the lines of power in the relationship by suggesting that Jo knew all about the rumors of Sam's past and sought him out. This echo of themes from Nabokov's Lolita questions who really is the victim. The story is plotted more along the lines of a literary novel than a thriller, and the focus rests on the deep examination of the characters and what drives them. Because it is written in Yorkshire dialect, which recalls the visceral lyricism of Irvine Welsh, some readers might be put off by the prose, but those able to soak into it will find a rewarding—if somewhat disturbing—tale of fear, obsession, and sexuality.—Matthew L. Moffett, Pohick Regional Library, Burke, VA
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ISBN 10:  1554680220 ISBN 13:  9781554680221
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers, 2008
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