maxMax is the story of a young boy trying to overcome the pain he feels following the suicide of his best mate Lou.

A fictional story, Max is nevertheless thoroughly researched. It’s the product of direct experience and academic research. Michael has taught western suburbs youth for the past 27 years. He knows many who have had it tough. Max is also a terrific literary work. Michael received an MA from Victoria University for a preliminary version of Max.

Michael says. “Today I am interested in urgent social issues like male youth suicide. About the situation of adolescent males, young men… The novel seems to be running on a line started for me 30 years ago. Now, as then, I’m fascinated by the intangibles.”

Max Study Guide


Hyde demonstrates a natural propensity to emphasise with his market, well aware as never before suicide is part of the teenage experience. Download full review.
John Williams

Hyde’s novel is a passionate and fast-moving story, told in tight, fresh, flying prose. Download full review.
Stephen Matthews, Australian Book Review

Immediately readable, lyrical and allusive, the novel is free of any didacticism as Max works through and around his feelings to a still place where Lou is present and welcome. Download full review.
Pam Macintyre, Australian Review of Books

Hyde records his inner dialogues with rare honesty and wry humour. Download full review.
Jenny Pausacker, The Australian

Max is a confronting novel that delicately maps the myriad, yet tenuous personal connections which can redeem or condemn young men in our society. Download full review.
Alex Radovanovic, Viewpoint

1491027075_goodreads Read more reviews on Goodreads


I’d been reading reports of suicides especially by young men. I’d had a few friends suicide and my sons also had a friend who also had gone down that terrible path. Then I received a phone call from a mother of one of my students. She told me that her daughter had tried to commit suicide a number of times and had just done it again. She asked if I could go visit her in hospital. I went that night with one of my sons. The girl was one of my favourite students who could write like an angel and a devil. We had a good talk and after I told her she must ring me when she was heading for a bad time again. On the way home I wondered what I’d do if one of my kids suicided and then looked at my son and wondered what he’d do, how he would react if one of his friends tried to kill themselves. I knew that he and his older brother had a friend who was a fabulous graffiti artist. By the time I got home I had the idea for MAX.

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