Short Take: Ride Around Shining – Chris Leslie-Hynan

Just listened to a great review by Maureen Corrigan on Fresh Air about this. Ride Around Shining is the story of a young white chauffeur’s envy and manipulation of his wealthy employer, a black Portland Trailblazers’ star.  Corrigan noted the intentional and meaningful ways this novel follows the plot of The Great Gatsby and also saw some echoes of Patricia Highsmith’s Ripley novels and Othello. (Othello jumped out at me, too.) I love the term she uses for the integration of these kinds of references: “literary sampling.”

Corrigan’s overall verdict?

[I]n its calmer, more assured moments, Ride Around Shining lays claim to being an interesting novel on its own terms, offering some fresh takes on those big American topics of race, class, manhood and meritocracy….[It] is an often provocative read: It wouldn’t be my first-round draft pick, but it’s got game.”

Race, sports and celebrity married to timeless the themes of envy, desire and over-reaching…. No shabby ambition for this debut.

Ride Around Shining (9780062285072) by Chris Leslie-Hynan. $25.99 hardcover. 8/5/14 on sale.

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