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Shuggie Bain: A Novel por Douglas Stuart
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Shuggie Bain: A Novel (original 2020; edição 2020)

por Douglas Stuart (Autor)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
9916815,770 (4.3)170
"Shuggie Bain is the unforgettable story of young Hugh "Shuggie" Bain, a sweet and lonely boy who spends his 1980s childhood in public housing in Glasgow, Scotland. Thatcher's war on heavy industry has put husbands and sons out of work, and the city's notorious drugs epidemic is waiting in the wings. Shuggie's mother Agnes walks a wayward path: she is Shuggie's guiding light but a burden for his artistic brother and practical sister. She dreams of a house with its own front door while she flicks through the pages of the Freemans catalogue, ordering a little happiness on credit, anything to brighten up her grey life. Married to a "whoremaster" of a husband, Agnes keeps her pride by looking good-her beehive, make-up, and pearly-white false teeth offer a glamourous image of a Glaswegian Elizabeth Taylor. But under the surface, Agnes finds increasing solace in drink, and she drains away the lion's share of each week's benefits-all the family has to live on-on cans of extra-strong lager hidden in handbags and poured into tea mugs. Agnes's older children find their own ways to get a safe distance from their mother, abandoning Shuggie to look after her as she swings between alcoholic binges and sobriety. He is meanwhile doing all he can to somehow become the normal boy he desperately longs to be, but everyone has realized that Shuggie is "no right," and now Agnes's addiction has the power to eclipse everyone close to her-even and especially her beloved Shuggie. A heartbreaking novel of addiction, sexuality, and love, Shuggie Bain is an epic portrayal of a working-class family that is rarely seen in fiction"--… (mais)
Membro:sipthereader
Título:Shuggie Bain: A Novel
Autores:Douglas Stuart (Autor)
Informação:Grove Press (2020), 448 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:*****
Etiquetas:ebook, novel, scotland

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Shuggie Bain por Douglas Stuart (2020)

Adicionado recentemente porRennie80, JoeB2021, biblioteca privada, urcinc, Alirob
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    Angela's Ashes por Frank McCourt (Utilizador anónimo)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 65 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
A powerfully evocative story of a young lad, Shuggie Bain, growing up with Agnes, his alcoholic mother. It is an unsettling read, one that I could only manage in small chunks as I found it quite despairing. This poor lad, raised by a woman who could not look after herself, but he loved her through it all.

Agnes is proud and aspires to a better life for herself and her family. Unfortunately her husband Shug is a philanderer and eventually leaves her with three children after they have moved out of her parents flat into an old Pit town where there is little but misery. Agnes is driven to drowning her sorrows and her children watch her descent. His sister Catherine escapes into marriage and another country to evade her mother. Leek stays for as long as he is able, until Agnes finally kicks him out for trying to intervene and save her from herself. Finally she kicks Shuggie out when he is fifteen, after some horribly lonely and pathetic years of shouldering adult responsibilities, doing all he can to look after his mother.

Although it made me feel despair I also found it heart warming, his love for his mother and all he does for her makes him a very endearing character. It is also very depressing because of the hardship and pain these people suffer in a world that has forsaken and discarded them. It is a sad and shameful indictment of Thatcherism, one that has left a huge scar on this country. ( )
  Matacabras | Jul 25, 2021 |
WOW!!! This is a masterfully told story, in parts autobiography of a young boy, Hugh 'Shuggie' Bain, growing up in 80s Glasgow with his older sister, brother and mother, who is fighting her demons with the bottle. Eventually Shuggie's siblings leave, or are kicked out and pursue their own lives, leaving 11 year old Shuggie at home with his mum. The writing is brilliant, the desription of life at times disheartening and at others hopeful. You are taken from tears to laughter on a journey that doesn't let up. A pity that I can only give 5 stars. ( )
  Steven1958 | Jul 24, 2021 |
Over een alcoholverslaafde vrouw en haar zoon in Glasgow ( )
  huizenga | Jul 20, 2021 |
In retrospect, I really wish I’d read this with a side of wine. Or possibly antidepressants. What a bleak story! Well told, but bleak as all heck. My first bit of advice: save this for a time in your life when you are feeling emotionally resilient and able to handle all the despair.

Why bleak? Because the people in this novel are trapped in cycles of poverty, abuse, and exhaustion over which they have almost no control, thanks to psychological factors (cruelty and despair are ingrained in them from the earliest age), social factors (attempts to escape are all-too-often thwarted jealous peers), economic factors (rent controls ensure that they always end up in economically depressed areas, no matter how many times they move), and a religion (Catholicism) that makes it impossible to escape brutal marriages or leverage any control over unending pregnancies that merely escalate the poverty, abuse, and exhaustion noted above.

This novel focuses specifically on the plight of Agnes, lucky enough to be born with beauty and some aspiration, and her unusually empathetic and gentle son Hugh. (The fact that Hugh is gay doesn’t really impact the story, except to underscore the extent to which he is unsuited for survival in this blighted dystopia.) We pray that Agnes’s beauty will be enough to attract a man able to lift her from her predestined misery and that, once given an opportunity, her aspiration will be strong enough to sustain her. We pray that Hugh will survive the brutish conditions of his childhood before all the gentleness is crushed out of him. But, honestly, what are the chances of these things happening in a culture that doesn’t even blink at fathers raping their daughters, at husbands beating their wives to death, at parents starving their children in order to spend their weekly food allowance on booze, or at cuckolded husbands casually murdering babes that aren’t theirs?

Forget that this is set in 1980s Glasgow – subtract the Catholicism and you’re left with a morality play that is both timeless and universal. According to the blurb, this is supposed to be a “heartbreaking story of addiction, sexuality, and love.” I would argue that this is a heartbreaking story about what happens when you strip any race, class or caste of humans of opportunity and dignity. Sex may provide some temporary diversion, and alcohol/drugs some temporary forgetfulness, but the only hope of escape is selfless love, and what are the chances of that happening? Stuart keeps stringing us along, making us hope that least one of the relationships in this novel will save our blighted protagonists ... but you might want to keep those antidepressants at the ready just in case. ( )
  Dorritt | Jul 16, 2021 |
Let me be entirely clear here, this is an amazing piece of fiction that creates completely real characters and moves them through a vivd and memorable landscape. I was ENGROSSED in the story and the people. Shuggie is someone you like from moment one and his story is touching and moving. However… I think my empathy center in my brain is suffering from some breakdown because Agnes, Shuggie’s mom, is really who the book ends up being about and, well, um, she really made me angry. I know she has a disease and watching Shuggie try desperately, heroically, to help her shows the strength of HIS character, but spending time with someone like Agnes who wallows in her disease and is toxic to EVERY SINGLE PERSON she touches caused me to want to reach in to the book, shake Shuggie, and tell him to listen to his brother Leek. I understood when “Leek frowned at Shuggie, like he was angry at his hope, disappointed that Shuggie was stupid enough to still believe.” That belief, that hope, is what drives Shuggie and again it is all to his credit. Because Agnes is not alone in being someone who revels in being as cruel as possible. Shuggie feels that pain, “The boy was heartbroken to watch them take joy in her misery.” The milieu of characters in this book who need to hurt other people to try and feel good just got to me. I have lots of empathy and sympathy for those who try to treat others with kindness, like Shuggie, but I’ve run out of the ability to treat those who come up with hateful nicknames and figure out the one thing they can use to really make someone feel bad, and then use it. Shuggie does know it, “Agnes couldn’t look at Shuggie for shame, and he wouldn’t look at her for a deep sense of his own stupidity” but the goodness in his soul won’t let him walk away. So yes, I ended up at 4 stars here. That is on me. This is a five star book about a 10 star person, but I’m not at the right place to give it the reaction it deserves. Maybe once we are farther out from the 2016-2020 nightmare in this country it will come back. ( )
  MarkMad | Jul 14, 2021 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 65 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Shuggie Bain is set in this world of men run aground after the closure of mines, women sunk under the weight of drink, families living week to week on public assistance and disability benefits. It speaks in a Scottish English whose rhythms, even whose vocabulary, can be alien for American readers: misty with smirr and dusty with stour, its bruisers glaikit in their foolishness, gallus in their pride.... At its center is Agnes Bain, an imperious former beauty in a now-ratty mink whose disintegration Stuart observes lovingly but unsparingly. Shuggie is her youngest, her ward, her protector, and her target. He bobs in her beery wake, no more able to save her than his baby doll, Daphne.... Stuart’s project as a writer is in part about clearing space for tenderness among men, space for love.
adicionada por Lemeritus | editarVulture, Matthew Schneier (Nov 10, 2020)
 
It is in many ways a harsh, bleak novel, for that decade was a harsh and bleak time in Glasgow, when the shipyards, engineering works and the coalfields on the city’s fringe were closing, and so many of the working-class were no longer working but living on benefits.... There is poverty, squalor and degradation here, much foul language and causal, sometimes brutal sex. What redeems the novel and makes it remarkable is that its central theme is love – a caring, responsible love.... The relationship between Agnes and Shuggie is beautifully, tenderly and understandingly done. Stuart doesn’t sentimentalise it and he hides nothing of the horrors of galloping alcoholism, but there is a gallantry about Agnes which commands respect and admiration, however reluctantly.
adicionada por Lemeritus | editarThe Scotsman, Allan Massie (Aug 21, 2020)
 
It is, then, a testament to Douglas Stuart’s talent that all this literary history—along with the tough portraits of Glaswegian working-class life from William McIlvanney, James Kelman, Alasdair Gray, and Agnes Owens—can be felt in Shuggie Bain without either overshadowing or unbalancing the novel ... Stuart’s [has a] Grassic Gibbon–like ability to combine love and horror, and to give equal weight to both. Not only is Shuggie Bain dedicated to his mother, but in the acknowledgments he writes that 'I owe everything to the memories of my mother and her struggle'; he’s clearly determined to give all the contradictory aspects of that struggle their full due ... Stuart’s capacity for allowing wild contradictions to convincingly coexist is also on display in the individual vignettes that comprise the novel, blending the tragic with the funny, the unsparing with the tender, the compassionate with the excruciating ... Otherwise, the author is too generous—and, it would seem, too fond of his mother—for the central focus to lie anywhere but in the fierce, warm-hearted portrait of Agnes in all her maddening glory. As a result, this overwhelmingly vivid novel is not just an accomplished debut. It also feels like a moving act of filial reverence.
adicionada por Lemeritus | editarThe New York Review, James Walton (Aug 20, 2020)
 
... his novel is resolutely, wonderfully Scottish at heart ... such a delight. Rarely does a debut novel establish its world with such sure-footedness, and Stuart’s prose is lithe, lyrical and full of revelatory descriptive insights. This is a memorable book about family, violence and sexuality ... Agnes is drawn with extraordinary sympathy: she simply leaps from the page as she juggles motherhood, a violent and philandering husband and her own demons, drink foremost among them. She is troubled, lovable, vulnerable and resilient ... This is a deeply political novel, one about the impact of Thatcherism on Glaswegian society ... It is brilliant on the shame of poverty and the small, necessary dignities that keep people going. It is heartbreakingly good on childhood and Shuggie’s growing sense of his otherness, of not being the same as the other boys on the estate ... Douglas Stuart has written a first novel of rare and lasting beauty.
adicionada por Lemeritus | editarThe Guardian (UK), Alex Preston (Aug 9, 2020)
 
With his exquisitely detailed debut novel, Douglas Stuart has given Glasgow something of what James Joyce gave to Dublin. Every city needs a book like Shuggie Bain, one where the powers of description are so strong you can almost smell the chip-fat and pub-smoke steaming from its pages, and hear the particular, localized slang ringing in your ears.... Agnes...is the real heroine of this story, so evocative and striking that she may be one of those characters you never forget. Stuart writes about Shuggie, a lonely, loving boy struggling with his sexuality, with skill. But the depiction pales in comparison to the sheer, knock-out force of what he managed to create with Agnes ... Shuggie Bain is full of people doing and saying awful things to one another all the time, but nobody really seems truly awful. Maybe this is what makes the novel so powerful and sad—it turns over the ugly side of humanity to find the softness and the beauty underneath.
adicionada por Lemeritus | editarJacobin, Eliza Gearty (Mar 16, 2020)
 

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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Stuart, Douglasautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Coulson, JezArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
King, AngusNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Pickersgill, MartynAuthor photographautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Wilson, StuartDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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"Shuggie Bain is the unforgettable story of young Hugh "Shuggie" Bain, a sweet and lonely boy who spends his 1980s childhood in public housing in Glasgow, Scotland. Thatcher's war on heavy industry has put husbands and sons out of work, and the city's notorious drugs epidemic is waiting in the wings. Shuggie's mother Agnes walks a wayward path: she is Shuggie's guiding light but a burden for his artistic brother and practical sister. She dreams of a house with its own front door while she flicks through the pages of the Freemans catalogue, ordering a little happiness on credit, anything to brighten up her grey life. Married to a "whoremaster" of a husband, Agnes keeps her pride by looking good-her beehive, make-up, and pearly-white false teeth offer a glamourous image of a Glaswegian Elizabeth Taylor. But under the surface, Agnes finds increasing solace in drink, and she drains away the lion's share of each week's benefits-all the family has to live on-on cans of extra-strong lager hidden in handbags and poured into tea mugs. Agnes's older children find their own ways to get a safe distance from their mother, abandoning Shuggie to look after her as she swings between alcoholic binges and sobriety. He is meanwhile doing all he can to somehow become the normal boy he desperately longs to be, but everyone has realized that Shuggie is "no right," and now Agnes's addiction has the power to eclipse everyone close to her-even and especially her beloved Shuggie. A heartbreaking novel of addiction, sexuality, and love, Shuggie Bain is an epic portrayal of a working-class family that is rarely seen in fiction"--

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