The Gallopers

Jon Ransom

From the author of The Whale Tattoo, Winner of the Polari First Book Prize 2023

Eli is nineteen years old and lives alongside a cursed field with his strange aunt Dreama. Six months before, his mother disappeared during the North Sea flood. Unsure of his place in the world and of the man he is becoming, Eli is ready to run. Shane Wright is a man with plenty to hide. Caught in a complicated relationship with Eli, Shane is desperate to maintain the double life that he has created for himself. Then Jimmy Smart appears. Jimmy Smart, the mysterious showman who turns the gallopers at the fair. Under his watchful gaze, Eli discovers a world he knows nothing about with rules he cannot understand. Three men bound together in a blistering story that spans 30 years, from 1953 into the 1980s and the AIDS epidemic, The Gallopers is a visceral and mesmerising novel of deceit, desire and unspeakable loss.

Media Reviews

‘Ransom has written a hypnotic and even more mysterious second novel…This is a lust-drenched, ache-filled gay love triangle of sorts that gnarls into a sly emotional thriller. The Gallopers is a whispered howl of a novel’ – Guardian. Picked by the Guardian as one of the biggest novels to look out for in 2024.

‘Ransom is a master of foreboding’ – Bookseller

‘The Gallopers reads very much like Tennessee Williams.;..Ransom’s writing matches sensitivity with winning boldness and stands out for its emotional honesty’ – TLS

Tremendous character and flavour…bristles with originality’ – Financial Times

‘It’s a book packed with explosive secrets and deception, but it’s the hard-to-express emotions and the longing for love that lends this poignant tale its momentum’ – Daily Mail

‘I am prepping to direct a feature film adaptation of The Whale Tattoo, a novel that just won the Polari Prize. It’s a beautiful, gritty book that I think will make an equally beautiful and gritty film’ – Paul Brittney

‘I loved Jon Ransom’s debut novel The Whale Tattoo but The Gallopers is even better. Again, his characters are gay men from the lower classes, his setting is rural and his sex is hot, but there are also some surprises. This is an excellent and vital addition to the queer canon’ – Matt Cain

‘Gritty and unsettling, Jon Ransom has crafted a story of discovery and loss, the circularity of life and the shockwaves which ripple out from the centre of tragedy’ – Irish News
‘The Gallopers explores the social stigma of forbidden love and the ramifications for those who wish to express that love, even when the stakes are at their highest’ – Breaking News Ireland

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