4 out of 4 stars
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Midnite’s Journey: One Man’s Improbable Voyage Through America’s Reality is an inspiring fiction based on true facts written by Dana L. Silkiss.
Midnite is a young, passionate and talented up and coming musician from New York who comes to Florida to check out some friends and play music. He meets a beautiful waitress in Daytona Beach and finds a gorgeous summer cottage for temporary accommodation. However, his luck seems to change when he witnesses three cops beating a black man and he comes over to interfere, because shortly after that, Midnite finds himself, together with two other men, beaten, blindfolded and being transported in a labor camp in Georgia.
Except for the Prologue and Chapter I which are told in the first person perspective of Midnite, the rest of the book is told in third person point of view. It has a steady pacing and is told in chronological order with occasional flash backs for back stories. Though the main themes of the book are racism and prejudice, the story highlights love, friendship, passion, honor and integrity along with corruption, cruelty and abuse. The author successfully depicts both good and evil by portraying the miserable lives of the inmates in the labor camp under inhumane conditions as well as the effort of Midnite and his friends to ensure that justice is served. Moreover, the book depicts success in its most glorious forms, fame and fortune.
The author creates both endearing and despicable characters. Though Midnite is the natural choice for a favorite, I find private detective O’Rourke, FBI agent Petrus and Sensei Aikio just as likable.
However, I find the narrative too detailed. Aside from making the account sound unnatural, the excessive and too elaborate details make the story longer than it should be. Moreover, Midnite seems too ideal even for a main protagonist. He is simply too kind, too smart and too talented. Though some readers, myself included, may find him to be the perfect main character, others may find it difficult to relate to him. Furthermore, I find the back stories on Midnite’s family in New York too short and insubstantial. Finally, though the conflict in the story was basically resolved, I prefer a more conclusive ending.
Besides the issues I mentioned above, however, I genuinely enjoyed reading the book. It is inspiring and encouraging. It is also very informative, though admittedly the information is, somehow, outrageous. I love how the author presents Midnite’s unwavering determination in everything he does. Similarly, I love how Midnite takes care of everyone he loves. The author did a good job of emphasizing how beautiful friendship can be and how little acts of kindness can make a difference in a person’s life.
I, therefore, rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It is informative, inspiring, encouraging and at some points, even suspenseful. I recommend it to readers who enjoy books about music, friendship and rising above adversity. Some scenes, however, may not be suitable for young readers and some information based on true facts may seem surprising and overwhelming.
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