Portside

Portside Life on the dole in a dying town is defined by drinking when you can smoking to pass the time and if you re gay going down to the barracks at the old port to get some Iwan s got the cigarettes and

  • Title: Portside
  • Author: Elyan Smith
  • ISBN: 9781937551414
  • Page: 431
  • Format: ebook
  • Life on the dole in a dying town is defined by drinking when you can, smoking to pass the time, and, if you re gay, going down to the barracks at the old port to get some Iwan s got the cigarettes and the booze down pat, but he lacks experience, so he sticks to online porn and watching the lads portside.Everyone else seems to have learned how to get what they want, yet IwLife on the dole in a dying town is defined by drinking when you can, smoking to pass the time, and, if you re gay, going down to the barracks at the old port to get some Iwan s got the cigarettes and the booze down pat, but he lacks experience, so he sticks to online porn and watching the lads portside.Everyone else seems to have learned how to get what they want, yet Iwan can t get past everything that could go wrong He knows who he is, regardless of labels But no matter how often his best friend tells him to just go for it, he doesn t trust others to see past his mismatched body.Paying for what he s afraid to get for free may seem absurd, but it s better than just watching, and it s better than porn It may not change the world he lives in, but with luck, it will change him.

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      Posted by:Elyan Smith
      Published :2020-012-09T17:42:37+00:00

    About " Elyan Smith "

  • Elyan Smith

    Elyan Smith lives in the southwest of the UK He works in research and writes in his free time.

  • 378 Comments

  • No one can write grit like a Brit. I began realizing this truth when, as a teenager, I read Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and A Taste of Honey: A Play. And yet there's always an odd, determined buoyancy within the bleakness, like the optimism that ran throughout the movies Brief Encounter and The Full Monty, which are separated by 50 or 60 years.This little novella is no exception. Wonderful stuff. Since I hadn't read any reviews prior to beginning Portside, I was thrown off my stride (but i [...]


  • ~~~I don't know how I feel about this book and yet it earns an undeniable 5 stars. I'm left unsure, but not about the writing, or the characters, or the story. I'm not exactly unsettled either. Maybe the best way to describe what I'm left with is that I am so blown away by the writing that it's difficult to sort through my thoughtsE WRITING:Elyan Smith has written one of the tightest and most vivid books I've come across. The imagery created is almost a little, too real. This is life. This is re [...]


  • Impressive writing. This is fiction and NOT romance. This is not about a relationship. This is a slice of life from a young man living in an economically depressed town. What attracted me to buying this book is the impact this book has on its readers (as seen in the other reviews), combined with the fact that it is ONLY 29 pages. I thought, "WOW I have to experience this."Thanks, well done. I hope that the author and Riptide submit this to the Lambda Awards Committee.


  • Craft meets art in a perfect union. Brilliantly written, this story is short only in the number of pages. In every other respect it goes a long way and is so full -- of imagery, of emotions, of detail, of relevance that it might have burst its format at the seams were it not plotted to such a fine point. The setting is as bleak as they come, but amazingly the story, though utterly unsentimental, is not. A rare privilege to read.


  • This was such a rewarding read. The descriptions of the town, barracks, and characters are so well-drawn for such a short work. Highly recommended.


  • Elyan Smith is a very talented writer : I loved how he could subtly give images and sounds of this town and its atmosphere of general resignation. I loved Iwan.In Iwan's aimless wanderings with his friend Lyn, I recognized many young people, self made prisoners of the place they live in, their certainty that all options are closed and that there is no need to plot any future. I wanted to grab him, shake him and shout :"DREAM!!"Really, how sad is it that you're young and you don't have foolish dr [...]


  • This was an excellent short of a guy in a small portside town who is too scared to suck dick at the local haunt because he's in the wrong body and doesn't want someone getting the wrong idea. So instead he pays for a rentboy in London, spending a lot of money he doesn't really have for the safety and courage of anonymity.Iwan has a great voice, as does his friend Lyn. Half of the story is the setup of the two of them around town, Lyn encouraging him to just go do it down by the docks where the l [...]


  • This is a great little short. It's a glimpse of a young man trying to find his way in a pretty bleak world and it's very nicely written. The tone is quite lonely and a bit dark, but it's hopeful, and so richly drawn. Very well done.


  • Amazing read. I don't have anything else to add from all the other positive reviews other than I highly rec this book.


  • I have not read that much fiction with the transgendered protagonists, so I was very eager to read this story. It is beatifully written and I ached for the main character's struggle to get what he wants because of who he is and liked that he finally went for it and hope that he will get a chance to develop a relationship with the character he seems to have a feeling for. I thought the ending was just about right - enough uncertainty and hope mixed together. What annoyed me though are the setting [...]


  • I am kind of confused. I dont know if the main character is a female wanting to be a male or a hermaphrodite. I am usually very smart at figuring out subtexts but I might be in a strange mood and I missed something??? I guess I will have to reread the story to see if I can figure it out.The setting was very evocative and the writing style showed beautiful imagery but I couldnt understand why the main character didnt explore his/hers/?? issues. I would have had a lot more emotional connection to [...]


  • I felt like I could see the town, see it dying right in front of my eyes. And see the futility of the lives of the people who lived there. Despite that I wasn't ready to leave when the last page was "turned." Ms. Smith is an author that I'll look forward to.


  • What Lisa and Adara said. Portside is hauntingly concrete and spartan, yet vivid. Sorry, my words fail me on this one. The story gave me a hiccup in my heart.


  • Very well-written novella with a subtle (view spoiler)[(surprise???) trans* (hide spoiler)] narrator. The British setting and characters are vividly drawn, and I enjoyed this little glimpse into the gritty life that can be found Portside. It's not pleasant, but it feels very real. Recommended.



  • Really goodI could feel the gloom and hopelessness of the setting and characters very clearly. Good resolution. A well crafted short storyI'd like to read more from this author.


  • I was a bit surprised at how much I enjoyed this story, as I'd not read a transgendered book before. I did find it a bit confusing and uncomfortable at times, but I suppose that's rather the point - the confusion or opposition of body and mind images could only be that way. I think Elyan Smith wrote the dilemma very well, very convincingly, without being the least bit preachy or lecturing.Portside is a very atmospheric story, its setting similar to many documentaries on depressed and failing are [...]


  • Iwan doesn't have a whole lot to hope for in his future. He's unemployed in a dying town and has sexual needs he's too uncomfortable to pursue, even though Jonah at the docks has caught his eye. Afraid that Jonah might judge him by his body and not who he really is, he decides to pay for his first sexual experience in hopes it will give him the confidence to approach Jonah and ask for what he wants. Portside is grim reality on paper. The hopelessness and despair of living in a dying town is depi [...]


  • In some ways this is a very straight forward story while in others ways it's an intense yet slightly confusing look at a young man's journey to accepting his sexuality. Along the way you find an atmospheric story with descriptive scenery and realistic language that easily immerses you and adds an intriguing layer to this young man's journey.With the exception of Iwan, the small cast of characters are hard to feel connected to since they're not fully developed and we see them in a very peripheral [...]


  • I wonder if I was reading the wrong book or I was expecting something completely different from the blurb, as others seem to like what they got.I can´t say the writing is anything but good. But honestly there was no story here.A young man who watches way too much porn, doesn’t have a job still manages to get 120 GBP to pay for an escort, plus train and Hotel mind you, because he wants to blow someone and is too afraid of doing it to one of the guys, that usually do it for free, by the barrack [...]


  • Definitely not what I was expecting, but good nonetheless. It was much shorter than I thought it would be, but the premise intrigued me. A very fast read, Iwan is a complex character who is not who he seems to be. When his secret is revealed I did a double-take and was backtracking through my Kindle to see if I had read it right. The ending leaves off with him finally getting the courage to do what he had been wanting to since the beginning of the story. And I like the last bit about television, [...]


  • I didn't think I'd like reading a short story. I meanwhat can possibly be said in 30 pages? How can characters be built in that short amount of time? But, what the heck, I thought I would give it a try. Was I ever blown away? I ate this short story up and loved every single word. The characters were so colorfully written. I felt I was watching a British movie. I could see the dock, the house Iwan lived in, the hotel room, Thomas, Jonah, Lyn, justeverything. I wouldn't have thought I could read a [...]


  • Rating: 3.5 starsI was drawn to the well written and evocative descriptions of the story setting. Interesting premise on gender identity and sexual orientation. I actually find myself reading non-fic articles on transgender.Full Review: twlibreviews/2012/06/revie


  • Brilliant book. A very vivid description of a dying town. I could practically smell the salt in the air and hear the seagulls wheeling overhead. I'm slightly in awe of Elyan Smith's writing; every word is perfectly chosen. Smith is a beautiful writer, and I look forward to reading more of his work in the future.


  • First impressions: Dark and distant, but in a good way. And yes, I know that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, but it's going to take me a few days to figure out how to describe where this story took meTE: I read a digital ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley.



  • Quite a cheering and optimistic story, in spite of the rather grim setting. I definitely want to see more from this author.


  • 100% happy that I took a chance and read this wonderful short. MC is completely engaging and the world building was spot on. Besides how can I not like a man that drinks Strongbow ;)


  • Really atmospheric and well written short story about a trans man. It revolves around his first time with another man.


  • Hum wow. It's a very different book. Different from anything I've read so far that is. It's super hot. Very hard to describe. Just wow.


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