Told in vignettes and through multiple viewpoints, Shine is the story of a young hustler who navigates streets, sex, and family, only to discover the light of the dark can be cruel…...
|Format Type||:||Kindle Edition|
|Number of Pages||:||406 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
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Why so often in literature—or in life for that matter—tragedy glows brightest? Is it that when our emotions are darkest their fires of despair burn most fierce? Is a sunny day dimmed by comparison to a raging thunderstorm? Consider the general perception of heaven as soft and pastel while hell is seen as an incendiary of blinding flamesShine, the nonlinear novella by Donnelle McGee, begs the questions. It’s title character, a young male hustler on the mean streets of some unnamed urban Gehenna, could not be more ironically named. His life is a hollow existence as he numbly services his male tricks, engages his girlfriend in the bare rudiments of a relationship, and passively concedes to the inextricable destruction of his family. A Fagin’s boy without a Fagin, Shine’s pathetic life is seen mostly in retrospect from police investigations, fatalistic poetry from his mother, and snatches of conversations, ramblings and notations artfully laid out by the author. Both evocative and provocative, this short work examines a near meaningless life as it struggles toward an exit.That we are kept fascinated by our fatalistic hero as he sinks into the lower depths of his non-existent existence is a tribute to Mr. McGee’s insightful street poetry style of writing that goes beyond simple story telling. As sad a character as Shine is, we are made to feel for him, and to hope for him. So I suppose his name is truly apropos. For there truly is a light beneath the bushel struggling to get out and be free.
The body is weak but wishes shine in McGee's poetic novellaDonnelle McGee’s Shine (Sibling Rivalry Press) is a story of sadness—the kind that comes when a family goes wrong. We know this from change, from little Bray climbing “them stairs / knee by knee / baby hands pulling him to / the top” to Shine (what Bray’s called on the street), making about four hundred dollars a night as a “streetwalker with the main stomp through on Drexel Strip.”And the quick flow of McGee’s chapters turning prose into poetry and back to prose, slows each time Shine’s momma Regina shares the truth about herself, her boys (Shine and his brother), and her men, both husband and lover. McGee weaves Regina’s poems of familial love and discovery during “the early days” amid a sex-filled, street smart narrative. But we realize through all the fragments that speak in different voices, that a family sharing good times—like making wishes on those passing hay trucks—doesn’t make growing up or growing older easy.And it is in these voices that McGee ends with an even greater grief as we watch all his characters die. Whether it is a real death or an emotional one, at some point they all succumb to the fact that the body is what’s weak, “fading,” gone: the latter a word that reverberates in McGee’s piece alongside the bright tragedy of its title character.
There is a passage about the main character's girlfriend's willingness to go too far out into the ocean, only to have the waves return her to him. The novella has this overall give and take, push and pull to it in a lyrical, poetic style that is raw, gritty, and, ultimately, tragic. Just like the girlfriend, Shelly, in the ocean, I found myself swept up in the swell of McGee's emotional narrative as he pointed out the flaw and endearment of each character before setting me adrift in a sea of despair, longing, and wondering. One of the shortest yet most powerful things I have read in a very long while.
Raw and powerfulSo much is packed into this book. Though a quick read, it touches a range of emotions and experiences. The struggle to find oneself, lost in the darkness of your own creation. Sad truths interwoven, showing the realities of one family's pain which can easily be our own pain. In fact, it is our own pain just wrapped in different circumstances. We've all been there -- searching for something better than what we had, longing to find some type of meaning to our otherwise seemingly meaningless existence, just looking in all the wrong places. Or possibly the right places for the lesson you needed to learn, but you just never learned it until it was too late.McGee's poetic style will pull you in, reminding you of your own struggles and how life is a never-ending search to find your own light amidst the darkness and despair that is bound to come your way at some point along your journey. Shine truly lives up to it's name, shining in the midst of affliction and through the fragments of a broken existence.
This debut novella, published in 2012 by Sibling Rivalry Press, is told in very short chapters and in several voices, including one that is just poems. It's about a bi hustler. Without indulging in a spoiler, I thought the fate that the hustler meets was a bit last-century, but I thought the book was extremely well written. I also liked that it dealt with characters that tend to be underrepresented in literature.
Narrative poem told in brief dialogues and poems from different narrators of life on the streets for a bisexual hustler and his family. Interesting format--life does not end well.