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SHY by Max Porter
Shy is a troubled kid. His thoughts fire in all directions; friends, family, music, drugs. Girls. The time he sliced open another kid’s cheek with a broken bottle. Now, at the Last Chance reformatory school, he tries to keep to himself, within himself. Just him and his backpack. Doesn’t help there’s a camera crew getting up in his face, documenting the imminent closure of the one place that might save him. Seems like it all might go to shit. Welcome back to the 90s.
With his fourth book, Max Porter doubles down on all that makes him one of the most exciting writers at work today: blazing originality, brash playfulness with narrative and structural convention, a deep sense of compassion, and a generosity that rewards readers for submitting to his considerable demands. Not that I expected less. With its manic stream of consciousness, its interior cacophony, Shy will suck you in, make you hope against hope for this broken kid, make you despair, have you shaking your fist at a system you already know failed. It is a brick thrown through the glass of your reading comfort.
Shy by Max Porter
Faber & Faber, 2023