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Shuggie Bain: A Novel – tekijä: Douglas…
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Shuggie Bain: A Novel (alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi 2020; vuoden 2020 painos)

– tekijä: Douglas Stuart (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1,1427513,307 (4.28)194
"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"--… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:mciarav
Teoksen nimi:Shuggie Bain: A Novel
Kirjailijat:Douglas Stuart (Tekijä)
Info:Grove Press (2020), 448 pages
Kokoelmat:e-books, Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):***
Avainsanoja:-

Teoksen tarkat tiedot

Shuggie Bain (tekijä: Douglas Stuart) (2020)

Viimeisimmät tallentajatTofey, dgerring, Rennie80, MungBean, Jwagen, Amzzz, ClifMcintosj
  1. 10
    Seitsemännen portaan enkeli (tekijä: Frank McCourt) (Anonyymi käyttäjä)
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» Katso myös 194 mainintaa

englanti (67)  hollanti (2)  ruotsi (2)  norja (1)  Kaikki kielet (72)
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 72) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Many book club members praised the way this book covered important topics like poverty, alcoholism etc., and the writing style that made the characters' experiences very vivid and realistic. However some members found the story a bit too bleak for their liking, and which felt to be dragged for too long, thus making the reading experience less enjoyable (though indeed enlightening). Overall book club members rated this book 8/10. ( )
  Tofey | Oct 25, 2021 |
Svart och beklämmande läsning av huvudpersonens uppväxt och familj i Glasgow. ( )
  Humila | Sep 23, 2021 |
"Sadness made for a better house-guest; at least it was quiet, reliable, consistent."

Set in Glasgow between 1981 to 1992 encompassing the Thatcher years this novel features an underclass of the working population who are struggling to survive. Many of the men worked in the now defunct coal mines and associated industries have lost their jobs and have little hope of future employment whilst most of their women don't work and depend on welfare payments to support themselves and their families. There is a culture of heavy drinking of it's inhabiants, where drinking takes priority over everything including food and children. This story focuses on one family, the Bains. Shug and Agnes, the parents and their three children, Catherine, Alexander (known as Leek)and the youngest Hugh(Shuggie).

The novel opens with 16 year old Shuggie, living in a boarding house and working in a sandwich shop. Only Catherine has escaped Scotland and Agnes and is now living in South Africa with her husband. Leek wanted to go to art school but instead works as a labourer, Shuggie wants to be a hairdresser. Shuggie is neat and clean, polishes his shoes, dresses in suits, speaks politely and is gay. He has casual sex with another male resident of his boarding house for money for food and heating. The only enduring relationship Shuggie has ever had is with his mother.

Although the book is called Shuggie Bain it is Agnes who really dominates it. Agnes is unhappily married (for the second time) to a philandering taxi-driver who cruises the night-time city streets in hope of casual sex. Meanwhile Agnes scans Freeman's catalogues ordering happiness on tick. She is beautiful and vain always taking care with her outward appearance, she wears a good mohair coat, high heels and costume rings with big stones (a Glaswegian Elizabeth Taylor), she dominates any environment she inhabits but increasingly seeks solace in alcohol, drinking away the family's weekly benefits. Her alcoholism is destructive not just to herself but also for her relationships and her children.Her children are loyal to her and Shuggie as the youngest adores her, she is the one person who accepts him as he is, but this loyalty comes at great personal cost to themselves.

"Shug had seen it before, those with least to give always gave the most."

Agnes’s drinking shapes and destroys everyone who comes in contact with her. Shuggie stays with Agnes to the bitter end but even after her death his memory of her continues to blight his future.

"It was clear now: nobody would get to be made brand new."

Douglas Stuart gives the reader an insight into Thatcherite Glasgow from the point of view of some of its residents and is a gloomy indictment of it. The story is told from multiple points of view – mostly Shuggie, Agnes, and Leek, but others also chip in from time to time. Yet despite the ever-present sadness there are also glimpses of a wry humour that helps lifts the mood from time to time.

I hesitate to say that I found this an enjoyable read but I do think that as a début novel it is a remarkable piece of writing and as such a worthy winner of the 2020 Booker Prize. ( )
  PilgrimJess | Sep 17, 2021 |
Wonderful writing, but sad. ( )
  libq | Sep 13, 2021 |
In a book whose story has moments of wry humor interspersed between many more moments of almost unrelenting sadness, Shuggie Bain, the titular character, is tossed back and forth between disappointments too numerous to count. We meet him as he is growing up in the projects in 1980s Glasgow with his mother and family. Both his mother, Agnes, and the environment of lower class Glasgow are characters that rival and sometimes surpass Shuggie in interest for the reader. The combination in this first novel from the pen of Douglas Stuart make for an engrossing read in spite of a heavy dose of heartbreak.

After a brief introductory section and two chapters where we meet Agnes, her girl friends, and her second husband, Shug, we finally meet a five-year-old Shuggie who is dancing while being cheered by his mother in her Glasgow tenement. Shuggie is the last born among Agnes’ children. The other two children were sired by a different father. Agnes abandoned her first husband for a taxi driver who is rarely at home. Shuggie’s father, Big Shug, is a womanizer and has pushed Agnes into a depression due to his philandering behavior. Agnes has turned to alcohol, thus, becoming a shadow of her former self. In spite of flaws, Shuggie loves his mother and sometimes misses school to look after her.

Agnes’ behavior forces her first two children to plot their escape. Therefore, Shuggie is left with his mother. Shuggie hides from the outside world for being mocked about his sexuality. This leaves him alone and he spends much time with his mother. To make his mother happy, Shuggie sings and dances for her. When Agnes’ conditions worsen, men take advantage and molest her sexually. Readers get insight into a bitter and humiliating woman, whose downfall is catalyzed by love and marriage. Simply, it is a case of a dysfunctional love affair.

Shuggie is displayed as a character who longs to make his mother happy no matter what happens. Although he has been failed by his parents, Shuggie is never judgmental. Gradually he begins to realize he is "different" than the other boys.
"He felt something was wrong. Something inside him felt put together incorrectly. It was like they could all see it, but he was the only one who could not say what it was. It was just different, and so it was just wrong."

In spite of this devastating realization, or perhaps because of it, Shuggie is a strong character dealing with rejection by friends and abandonment by his father, just as his mother is also dealing with rejection. The rejection experienced by a mother and her son leads to a huge love that binds them together. The decade of the eighties is not kind to either Shuggie or Agnes. While Shuggie gradually enters manhood in his teen years he begins both to accept his gay persona and to learn how to dance for himself.

Stuart's book won the 2020 Booker Prize whose judges praised this "amazingly intimate, compassionate, gripping portrait of addiction, courage and love." ( )
  jwhenderson | Sep 12, 2021 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 72) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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.
 
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.
 
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.
lisäsi Lemeritus | muokkaaJacobin, Eliza Gearty (Mar 16, 2020)
 

» Lisää muita tekijöitä (1 mahdollinen)

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Stuart, Douglasensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Coulson, JezKansikuvataiteilijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
King, AngusKertojamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Pickersgill, MartynAuthor photographmuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Vries, Willemijn deKertojamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Wilson, StuartKannen suunnittelijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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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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