When Simon Murray's friends drag him to a party, his isn't expecting to have a good time, let alone speak up in defense of Australian football star DeWhen Simon Murray's friends drag him to a party, his isn't expecting to have a good time, let alone speak up in defense of Australian football star Declan Tyler. Or that the sport star himself should witnesses Simon's testimony.
Soon the two men begin a budding romance but with Declan shut away in the metaphorical locker room, there is plenty of strain on their relationship. Factor in jealous friends, awkward family dynamics, the press, prejudices, miscommunication, stubbornness and Simon's own insecurities, they have a lot of hurdles to overcome. Can their relationship survive?
I started reading a sample of Tigers and Devils late in the evening. I was soon hooked, with the full novel at hand, reading into the small hours of the morning.
The novel is narrated in first person by Simon Murray and is set primarily in Melbourne. His voice was the driving force for the story's compulsion. With a lesser protagonist and weaker character dynamics, the novel would have fallen flat. Luckily, these things were the strongest elements in Tigers and Devils.
Simon is a relatable character with a wonderful wit and sarcastic streak. He is also stubborn and insecure. Not to the point or irritability but where it seems he could almost step out of the pages as a realistically flawed individual.
The relationship between Simon and Declan is brilliantlywritten and the core of the storyline. Tigers and Devils could have easily focused primarily on their coming together, falling in love, sex life - which is frequently alluded to but never described - or Declan's coming out process, but instead it is far more genuine and doesn't feel overly dramatic or forced. Simon and Declan aren't falling in love on page three and instead the portrayal of their relationship seems organic.
The strongest character dynamic next to Simon and Declan is that of Simon and his friends, married couple Roger and Fran. Through the ribbing and fauz pas, fall outs and unanimity, their relationship was real and inviting as well as interesting.
I'm not much of a sports person and I know nothing about Aussie rules footy. It seems to be somewhat more akin to rugby than American football as I had initially presumed. Yes, I looked up the rules on YouTube so that I knew what to envision. It seems to make enough sense that I can understand there being a sensical interest in it. Not to point any fingers...cricket, netball, American handegg.
I'm not sure foreign readers would be thrown off by any Aussie slang or references but it seemed pretty straight forward to me. Of course, that might be because I know what things like "arvo" and "Supré" are but I have faith in the intuition and intellect of people who read books set beyond their own backyard.
I finished Tigers and Devils in under a day and would recommend it to someone looking for a book with a realistic focus on a relationship and excellent character dynamics. I fully intend to read the sequel, Tigerland.
The star quarterback of his high school, Bobby Framingham would appear to have his future set. Except Bobby has a secret - he's gay.
Excluding retireesThe star quarterback of his high school, Bobby Framingham would appear to have his future set. Except Bobby has a secret - he's gay.
Excluding retirees, there are no openly gay athletes in popular sports. Knowing this, can Bobby hope to have a successful career as a gay footballer?
The solution would seem to be to keep his mouth shut and play on...but omitting the truth feels like a lie and it's throwing Bobby off his game. Can Bobby step up to the play when he's forced out of the pocket?
I read this book in one stretch, turning the final page at 3am.
What makes 'Out of the Pocket' such a good read is the characters. Coming out stories are important but mishandled they can be tedious to read. Konigsberg didn't disappoint.
Bobby isn't ashamed of his sexuality but he is awkward and has his insecurities. He has a tendency to over-think things, making him relatable and sympathetic.
The characters in the book are not clean-cut in their actions or - just as importantly - their reactions. I liked that I never knew what people were going to say or how they might behave. It was true to life and the unexpectancy was refreshing.
If I had to pick a favourite character in the book - though they were all wonderfully developed - it's Carrie. She is such a hoot. I loved the dynamic between her and Bobby. She had an excellent sense of humour and the dialogue between them flowed nicely without lacking interest.
I won't lie and say that I pretend to understand American football or that this opened my eyes to the splendor of the game. From what I observe, the players run around in helmets and heavy padding, with the ball in their hands the whole time. Still, I liked the way Bobby processed his thoughts in ways that were parallel to the way he'd approach a game play. It was far more realistic and interesting to see a teenage boy hone his feelings through something he was so passionate about.
'Out of the Pocket' went from laugh-out-loud to chest tightening moments, without seeming disjointed or forced. A beautifully crafted novel.
In accordance with the FTC, I would like to disclose that I purchased this book. The opinions expressed are mine and no mone(From my blog: Quill Café)
In accordance with the FTC, I would like to disclose that I purchased this book. The opinions expressed are mine and no monetary compensation was offered to me by the author or publisher. I did not write this review while under the influence of the Imperius Curse, or the threat of either the Cruciatus Curse or Killing Curse.
I have never been much of a sports person, and I wouldn't consider myself someone who reads up on the history of one, but I was captivated by 'Quidditch Through the Ages.'
From the history of the broom, to the now-endangered species of bird that the Snitch is modeled on, and the prominent teams throughout the UK, Ireland and the rest of the world, I read this book in almost one sitting, aloud to my mother.
I now feel far more informed about the sport of Quidditch and quite intrigued. Perhaps I shall pay closer attention to the sport in future. Now that I know more of the history, I find it a lot more exciting. Whisp even included a brief history of the evolution of the game in my own country, New Zealand.
I think that while I am living in the USA, I will look into the game of Quodpot. It seems like something worth seeing at least once.
I would recommend reading Kennilworthy Whisp's 'Quidditch Through the Ages' and discovering its insights for yourself. I also implore you to check out the Comic Relief Website and to look into 'Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them' by Newt Scamander, which is another brilliant book that gives a greater insight into the magical world....more