John Boyne


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From internationally bestselling author John Boyne, an inescapably gritty story about one young man whose direction in life takes a vastly different turn than what he expected.

It’s the tabloid sensation of the year: two well-known footballers standing in the dock, charged with sexual assault, a series of vile text messages pointing towards their guilt.

As the trial unfolds, Evan Keogh reflects on the events that have led him to this moment. Since leaving his island home, his life has been a lie on many levels. He’s a talented footballer who wanted to be an artist. A gay man in a sport that rejects diversity. A defendant whose knowledge of what took place on that fateful night threatens more than just his freedom or career.

The jury will deliver a verdict but, before they do, Evan must judge for himself whether the man he has become is the man he wanted to be.

Author: John Boyne

Hardback  Published 23 April 2024  176 pages

Read and Recommended by Graeme:

"Book Two in John Boyne’s Element series of novellas will be embraced by his gay male readers. Evan Keogh was a minor character in the first book in the series Water, although readers were left with the sense that this young man was probably gay. Earth opens with Evan facing a court case as an accessory to rape, confounding initial expectations, until gradually the story unfolds. Evan leaves his isolated island home so that he can live more openly as a gay man and escape an unrequited attraction to his best friend. He has supreme talent as a soccer player, a prospect he ignores, as his dream is to paint and be an artist. He eventually makes his way to London and falls into sex work as a way to make money and paint. Some blunt words about his artistic talent and a dangerous entanglement with a powerful client, finally lead him to explore his destiny as a soccer player. It is on the team that he becomes entangled with the only other man he truly loved, soccer star Robbie Wolverton, who is straight - ‘but has his kinks’. This novella is brief but compelling. The court case and its outcome adds a tantalising tension and there are some other surprising but convincing twists to the narrative. The development of Robbie’s sexuality and his sex work also resounds as authentic. He is beautiful, and finds sex easily, yet is often blunt and dismissive with his admirers. Instead he falls again for the unattainable, another straight man, which leads to trouble and ultimately to court and a moral conundrum..."


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