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Shuggie Bain: A Novel af Douglas Stuart
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Shuggie Bain: A Novel (original 2020; udgave 2020)

af Douglas Stuart (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1,2078012,448 (4.29)209
"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"--… (mere)
Medlem:cjyap1
Titel:Shuggie Bain: A Novel
Forfattere:Douglas Stuart (Forfatter)
Info:Grove Press (2020), 448 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:****
Nøgleord:Ingen

Work Information

Shuggie Bain af Douglas Stuart (2020)

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» Se også 209 omtaler

Engelsk (72)  Hollandsk (3)  Svensk (2)  Norsk (1)  Spansk (1)  Alle sprog (79)
Viser 1-5 af 79 (næste | vis alle)
Een werkelijk schitterend boek! Het is een ontzettend liefdevol, verdrietig en tragisch verhaal dat Shuggie vertelt overvIjn jeugd. Glasgow, vlak na het sluiten van de mijnen, werkloosheid en armoede alom.
Shuggie is de jongste van het gezin, moeder Agnes is alcoholiste maar verzorgt zichzelf heel goed, zodat ze er altijd goed en mooi uitziet. Catherine en Leek zijn haar twee oudste kinderen, Shuggie heeft een andere vader en is de jongste en echt ook een stuk jonger. Hij vertelt het verhaal. De armoede gaat al generaties maar door, Catherine trouwt heel jong en emigreert naar Zuid-Afrika, ze wil ook niets meer te maken hebben met haar moeder. Moeder is met alle drie de kinderen en haar nieuwe man, de vader van Shuggie, weer ingetrokken bij haar ouders. Uiteindelijk gaat ze in een verre buitenwijk wonen waar ook allemaal alcoholische gezinne wonen, zonder werk, zonder uitzicht met veel kinderen en veel drankmisbruik.Agnes doet soms een poging om af te kicken. Gaat een jaar lang naar de AA en drinkt dat jaar niet, dat jaar heeft ze een verhouding met een erg lieve man, die ook echt voor haar zorgt, maar hij begrijpt niet hoe alcoholisme werkt en haalt haar over om een glaasje met hem te drinken waarna het weer faliekant fout gaat. Hij (Eugene) blijft dan nog wel heel lang in de buurt, uit schuldgevoel en koopt eten, zodat de jongens in ieder geval niet verhongeren, want dat dreigt wel vaak. Agnes zet Leek op een dag de deur uit en als Shuggie 14 of 15 is, hem ook. De loyaliteit van dat kleine jochie naar zijn moeder is zo prachtig beschreven, de liefde tussen die twee ook.
Dit boek heeft de Booker-prijs 2021 gekregen, terecht! ( )
1 stem vuurziel | Nov 29, 2021 |
Douglas Stuart’s gut-wrenching, prize-winning first novel tells the story of young Hugh “Shuggie” Bain, whose disastrous family life provides the framework for a sordid, tragic tale of alcoholism and abuse. We first encounter teenage Shuggie in 1992. He is fending for himself, working for cash in a Glasgow supermarket. But how did he get there? The middle sections of the book answer that question by taking us back to the early 1980s. Shuggie is the youngest of the three children of Agnes Bain, a beautiful, proud woman in her thirties who habitually takes up with selfish, manipulative, abusive men. His father Hugh, known as “Big Shug,” drives a taxi and routinely carries on with women of every stripe and description. For solace, for fun, and to blot out the world, Agnes drinks, invariably to excess. It’s a hardscrabble life that lacks hope and promise, but things go from bad to worse after Shug moves his family out of the cramped council flat they’ve been sharing with Agnes’s parents to a house in a remote mining village. This is post-industrial Scotland. The mine has all but shut down and almost everyone is on the dole. The mining town is a ruined, scorched place where, as Stuart tells us, “the land had been turned inside out,” a place neglected by those in power and despised by the people who live there, a place that breeds cruelty, misery and addiction. When Agnes’s drinking and resentment over his philandering become more trouble than they’re worth, Big Shug abandons his family completely. Left alone with three children, Agnes’s dependence on alcohol escalates: most days she is dysfunctional by noon and comatose by evening. Money is tight and most of it goes on lager and vodka. Under these wretched circumstances the children—Shuggie, Catherine and Alexander (known as “Leek”)—care for themselves as best they can, pinning threadbare hopes on their mother’s rare and sporadic periods of sobriety while steeling themselves for the inevitable relapse. Despite her dereliction, Shuggie grows up idolizing his mother, in thrall to her beauty, serving her needs before his own, unaware that she’s deliberately raised him to be her enabler. His siblings are more mature and pragmatic, Catherine especially. She is the first to leave, absconding for a new life in South Africa. Later, in a drunken rage, Agnes throws Leek out of the house. Left alone with his mother, Shuggie struggles to assume necessary responsibilities and keep the household afloat while continuing to attend school and learning how to navigate an alien and hostile adult world. With Agnes having relinquished the roles of guardian and provider, Shuggie often goes hungry, but rarely does his mother go without drink. Still, Shuggie clings to hope, managing her moods, battling her cravings and encouraging sobriety. But it’s a battle against a relentless adversary that he has no chance of winning. Shuggie’s torment is magnified by growing up a misfit, aware that he is different from other boys but helpless to do anything about it, subject to taunting and physical abuse because of his proper speech, effeminate mannerisms and indifference to typical masculine passions, like football, girls and automobiles. The novel is long and structured in the manner of a symphony, with themes and motifs repeating and intensifying as the story progresses, the whole thing building to a devastating crescendo. Douglas Stuart’s down and dirty novel is not for the faint of heart. A portrait of anguished love and addiction, Shuggie Bain offers only faint flickering glimmers of hope. But it gets to the heart of the matter as it portrays the human will to survive, as only the best fiction can. ( )
  icolford | Nov 28, 2021 |
This was an audiobook narrated by Angus King, a narrator I haven't heard before but based on this book I certainly wouldn't mind listening to him narrate other books. I presume with a name like Angus that he is Scottish. If he's not then he does an amazing job of the Glaswegian accent in this book. The book itself was awarded the Booker Prize in 2020 and, without having read any of the other short-listed books, it seems like a good choice to me. It's not a feel good book though, by any stretch of the imagination.

Shuggie is an alternate for Hugh, something I had never heard before. Named after his father Shuggie grows up with very little to do with him. Shug Bain, the father, leaves the family for another woman, just as he left his first wife for Shuggie's mother, Agnes. At one point Shuggie counts up all the children to whom his father has acted in loco parentis and it is something like 15. Mind you, he doesn't seem to bother financially supporting those children after he has moved on to new responsibilities. Shuggie and his two half-siblings and his mother were moved into a house on the edge of a defunct coal mine just before Shug left them. Agnes has never worked outside the house and she has a drinking problem that gets worse and worse as they continue to live in this depressing enclave. Shuggie learns early on in life that his mother will buy alcohol above any food. He quite often goes to get the social assistance money so he can sometimes keep back a little money but he quite often is literally left with nothing to eat. Nevertheless he is very close to his mother and he knows that she loves him. At one point Agnes gets sober and gets a job but her boyfriend convinces her to have a drink and Agnes falls of the wagon with a mighty thud. When his sister marries and moves to South Africa there is one less person providing for the family. His brother hangs around longer and he does try to look after Shuggie but eventually he moves off to a job in England. Shuggie has learned from Agnes to speak with an upper-class accent and that, together with his effiminate mannerisms, makes him the target of neighbourhood bullies. Despite all this Shuggie is a likeable and mostly happy lad. Somehow he finds the strength to endure all that life throws at him. That's a good thing because right from the start of the book we know that at the age of 15 Shuggie is on his own. The mystery as to how he got there kept me hooked on finishing the book.

This is a profound look at poverty and alcoholism but it is also an exploration of surviving all that. ( )
  gypsysmom | Nov 27, 2021 |
The story of Shuggie Bain, which is really the story of Agnes Bain. Sad, hopeful and pessimistic in equal measures. A story which reels you in and has you hoping for something better, because you really care about the characters. ( )
  Amzzz | Nov 18, 2021 |
Deserving Booker Prize Winner

It’s not too much to this modify this opening sentence from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to describe the story of Shuggie and his alcoholic mom Agnes: “For never was a story of more woe than this of Agnes and her Shuggie.” Battles go on in Shuggie Bain, little Shuggie’s fierce love for his mother in the face of her addiction and neglect of him, his frustrating struggle to save from her worst proclivities, to protect her from spiteful neighbors and predatory men, his own efforts to survive in an environment that torments him for his homosexuality, and his fight to exist in the throes of grinding poverty so severe that he often finds himself on the edge of starvation. Everything about Shuggie Bain will depress you, Shuggie’s situation, Agnes’s alcoholism, the grayness of Scottish public housing, and the futility of it all in the end. Yet, despite all this utter sadness, Shuggie Bain the novel and Shuggie Bain the boy will leave readers inspired, because this boy illustrates that hope never dies, and that love for another can see you through the most trying circumstances.

The story begins with Shuggie living with his mother and father Hugh, his older sister Catherine and brother Leek, all together with Agnes’ parents in their small public housing apartment. Hugh drives a taxi and often cheats on Agnes, and Agnes assuages her hurt with lager and vodka, as do the other women she hangs with. Hugh’s a brawny and prideful man whom Agnes left her first husband for. They battle frequently over his infidelity, till finally one day he decides to move the family to their own public housing flat far from her parents. This proves disastrous for their marriage, as he leaves her for another woman and she is left to fend for herself and children in a community hostile to them. She sinks further into drink, alienating her daughter who marries and moves with her new husband to South Africa. Infidelity and drinking are the watchwords of their Pithead town, build in the barren dirt and dust of a defunct colliery. Here, though, she is able to get herself off drink for a year, find a job, and care for Shuggie and Leek. And she meets a man, a taxi driver like Hugh, who seems to love and respect her, until he urges her to have a drink, believing that a person, even an alcoholic, should be able to drink socially. Once she’s back on drink, he rejects her, as does Leek, who moves out on his own. She and Shuggie struggle on together, with Shuggie never giving up on her.

Once Pithead becomes too much for them, she moves herself and Shuggie to public housing in Glasgow, halfheartedly promising Shuggie that she will give up drinking. She doesn’t and their lives deteriorate further, she allowing men to use her for money, and he again harassed for his overt feminine qualities. In the end, alcohol consumes her and ends her life. She dies in a chair in front of a nearly adolescent Shuggie, who lovingly attends to her to make her presentable before she’s removed from their flat.

Douglas Stuart drew the novel from his own life and his own love of his mother, and this affection rings true on every page. Grim as the above outline sounds, and there’s no disguising that every page amounts to an exercise in depression, Shuggie himself shows that the love of a son for his mother can rise above all the grimness, leaving the reader inspired and grateful the world has compassionate boys and girls like this in it. You’ll be glad you read it.
( )
  write-review | Nov 4, 2021 |
Viser 1-5 af 79 (næste | vis alle)
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.
tilføjet af Lemeritus | RedigerVulture, 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.
tilføjet af Lemeritus | RedigerThe 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.
 
... 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.
 
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.
tilføjet af Lemeritus | RedigerJacobin, Eliza Gearty (Mar 16, 2020)
 

» Tilføj andre forfattere (1 mulig)

Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Stuart, Douglasprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Coulson, JezOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
King, AngusFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Pickersgill, MartynAuthor photographmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Vries, Willemijn deFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Wilson, StuartOmslagsdesignermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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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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