Four years after his debut novel Hyena, Shade45's Jude Angelini returns with a new autobiographical look into love, loss and addiction. Though it’s fair to compare his work to the likes of Bukowski and Hunter S. Thompson, Hummingbird accomplishes more than resting on the laurels of Jude’s predecessors. Angelini hits his stride in this sophomoric release: It’s an exploration in degeneracy, but there is charm in his crassness, with a unique voice and energy that makes the otherwise hard-to-read topics palatable. Hummingbird is off-color and often politically incorrect, but never cruel or dishonest. It’s refreshing in an age of trigger-warnings and safe spaces.
This is Angelini at peak creative power. The irony is, of course, that he achieves this power through the incredible vulnerability and honesty demonstrated throughout the book. The author bares his soul page-by-page for the world to view, almost daring the reader to judge him: You’ve thought these things too, but Angelini has the balls to express it. Chapters like "Come Clean" and "Last Words" are incredibly poignant, while others like "Loops" and "Blown" deliver laugh after laugh. Stripping himself of the “Rude Jude” title that earned him fame, the author claims his spot among the best gonzo writers out there with Hummingbird.
As Angeleni puts it:
“Why can’t you just be happy? Why not choose happy?
I’d say, ‘You think I chose this shit?’ I tell her, ‘It’s like I got a black stain on my heart and no matter how hard I scrub it, it’s still there. And no matter how happy I am, it’s gonna be there waiting for me when the joy goes away.’”
“We all got demons. This one is mine.”