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Shuggie Bain - Book Review

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by May (subscribe)
Typical Gemini, with the concentration span of a gnat & not one for sitting still. My old Da used to say that "you're a long time dead". So my mantra is get busy living.Please join me for more at
Published May 11th 2021
Reading this book would be good for everybody’s self esteem
Shuggie Bain, the debut novel by Douglas Stuart, won the 2020 Booker Prize. The only time I had cause to smile over this novel was when another reader described it as "misery porn", a term I'd not heard before. According to Wikipedia " Misery lit is a genre of supposedly biographical literature mostly concerned with the protagonist's triumph over personal trauma or abuse, often during childhood. It is also sometimes called pathography or misery porn."

1980's Glasgow and the men are out of work and the women are finding solace in their addictions: gambling, drink, and valium, and often all at once.

Shuggie is the youngest of three children. His father is a philandering and abusive slug who relocates the family away from the support of relatives to a town where the pits are closed and poverty abounds and then does a runner leaving the kids under the total control of their alcoholic mother. The two older children make their escape though loving, effeminate Shuggie does his best to protect his mother, even going without food for days because the dole money went on the drink. You just know it's not going to end well ...

Bleak it may well be though because it is so well written, and because we keep hoping for a "happy ever after", we keep reading until the finish line.

After completing Shuggie Bain, I was unable to open a bottle of wine for three days. Not one little glimmer of hope within the entire book.

*Available from all good bookstores.
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Why? 2020 Booker Prize Winner
Where: All good bookshops
Your Comment
If anyone is to do a book review, I'd choose you, as you are a bookworm indeed and love your books.
by Susan J Bowes (score: 3|2114) 40 days ago
Excellent review May. I got the book for Xmas. Not an easy read because of the subject matter but it is well written and compelling.
by May Cross (score: 3|7904) 40 days ago
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