Shiny, shiny, right there behind me…

The Shiny GuysThe Shiny Guys by Doug MacLeod
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

To echo some other reviewers of this novel – wow. This was not what I was expecting at all. Doug Macleod has penned a very sophisticated and involving story indeed. I was totally captured by the story of Colin Lapsley and the “shiny guys”.
The setting is a psychiatric hospital in 1985 and Colin is seeing things no-one else sees (shiny guys) on the periphery of his vision. His parents have hospitalised him following a family tragedy and little by little we learn about how Colin came to be where he is. Colin’s friend, Mango, has his own set of problems that mainly centre on him randomly hugging people and not letting go. It doesn’t bother Colin. Eventually Mango calms down and lets go. Then Anthea shows up. Reserved and focused on shooting 100 netball goals a day, she is drawn into Colin and Mango’s circle.
Colin is an eloquent and clever narrator and at times you start to wonder if the shiny guys are real – he certainly believes they are.
Bit by bit we learn more and more of Colin’s story, and those of Mango and Anthea. My heart cried a little bit at each revelation, as I further understood how these things had come to be.
I won’t post spoilers, as is my policy, but as I read the last pages over breakfast this morning and then reached the end, there was slamming of the book on the table and lots of “WHAT? Seriously? Aaargh!” from me. I will be interested in hearing comments about that ending from others. I loved and hated that ending simultaneously.
I can’t wait to see where Doug Macleod goes from here, because The Shiny Guys is brilliant.
Recommended for ages 14 and up.

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2 thoughts on “Shiny, shiny, right there behind me…

  1. Miffy F says:

    Reblogged this on Miffy reviews… and commented:
    This book was one of my picks for Honour Book OR 2013. I loved its unusual premise. I loved the writing. And I loved the resolution – which I didn’t pick at all!

  2. Sue O says:

    Thanks for the re-blog, Mif! I picked this for an honour too! Can’t believe Ink Bridge got one and this didn’t!

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