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Max Porter

Shy by Max Porter

May 2023, no. 453

In his preamble to a playlist for Faber Radio, Max Porter writes: ‘So much injustice but so much beauty, life is short and strange and I better run upstairs and tell these noisy little shits [my children] how much I love them.’ The quote would be an apt epigraph for Porter’s splendid new novel, Shy. The story of a troubled teen (Shy) who lives in a special education facility housed in a ‘shite old mansion … in the middle of bumblefuck nowhere’, Shy is a concise and compassionate piece of writing, one that reveals, within the ‘brambly and wild’ existence of a group of psychologically damaged boys, moments of spine-tingling transcendence. 

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