Shuggie Bain

Shuggie Bain

Fiction & Poetry, Modern & Contemporary Fiction
Paperback Published on: 15/04/2021
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Winner of the Booker Prize 2020 Winner of the British Book Awards Overall Book of the Year & Debut Book of the Year 2021 Shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize 2021 Longlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2021 Longlisted for the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction 2021 Winner of Scottish Waterstones Book of the Year 2020 It is 1981. Glasgow is dying and good families must grift to survive. Agnes Bain has always expected more from life. She dreams of greater things: a house with its own front door and a life bought and paid for outright (like her perfect, but false, teeth). But Agnes is abandoned by her philandering husband, and soon she and her three children find themselves trapped in a decimated mining town. As she descends deeper into drink, the children try their best to save her, yet one by one they must abandon her to save themselves. It is her son Shuggie who holds out hope the longest. Shuggie is different. Fastidious and fussy, he shares his mother's sense of snobbish propriety. The miners' children pick on him and adults condemn him as no' right. But Shuggie believes that if he tries his hardest, he can be normal like the other boys and help his mother escape this hopeless place. Douglas Stuart's Shuggie Bain lays bare the ruthlessness of poverty, the limits of love, and the hollowness of pride. A counterpart to the privileged Thatcher-era London of Alan Hollinghurst's The Line of Beauty, it also recalls the work of Edouard Louis, Frank McCourt, and Hanya Yanagihara, a blistering debut by a brilliant writer with a powerful and important story to tell.

  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan
  • ISBN: 9781529019292
  • Number of pages: 480
  • Weight: 341g
  • Dimensions: 197 x 129 x 30 mm

Customer Reviews

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Shuggie Bain
An astonishingly brilliant debut novel
To read Shuggie Bain is to let yourself be squeezed, with excruciating slowness, through an emotional wringer. It’s brutal, bleak and raw. Heartbreakingly,... READ MORE
Audrey Haylins
Shuggie Bain
Shuggie Bain gives powerful and truthful meaning to the saying 'where there's life, there's hope'. The most powerful piece of fiction I have ever read. A ... READ MORE
Lynne Gremson
Shuggie Bain
A compelling story
Shuggie is a young boy who lives a very challenging life with his fractured family. He lives in a run down Glasgow housing estate with his alcoholic mother... READ MORE
Shuggie Bain
I tried, but once I was skipping whole paragraphs, I new I couldn't go on. "She was stood" and "he was sat". Naeb'dy in Glesca talks l'at. Certainly not in... READ MORE
Robert Baird
Shuggie Bain
Best book I've read in years.
Heartbreaking and tragic, yet beautiful and awe-strikingly real.
Shuggie Bain
This book will stay with me for a long time.
Amelia McNair
Shuggie Bain
This story grew on me. After the first couple of chapters I wondered if it was for me, but I quickly became attached to the characters and found myself mis... READ MORE
Ewa Hiles
Shuggie Bain
I find this style of writing very old fashioned and a bit misogynistic. Women aren't dealing with these issues anymore. The perception of these women is ... READ MORE
Lucy Huawei
Shuggie Bain
Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart
I listened to this on BorrowBox and found that Angus King who was the narrator was an excellent choice to read this dark, gritty and compelling story. Shug... READ MORE
Christine Rennie
Shuggie Bain
Stunning, heartbreaking whilst providing a glimmer of hope.
Douglas Stuart has written a wonderful novel, which should be on any passionate book lover's reading list. Beautifully written, the biggest achievement of ... READ MORE
Melanie Pagen
Shuggie Bain
Tough reading but so worth it
Set in Thatcher-ravaged Glasgow, “Shuggie Bain” is the story of the eponymous Shuggie and his struggle growing up as a boy who was “different”; Shuggie’s M... READ MORE
Jayne Heywood
Shuggie Bain
Read this!
What can I say about this book? Honestly, it blew me away. Set in Glasgow in the early 80s, this is the gut-wrenchingly sad story of a little boy and his ... READ MORE
Katie Walters
Shuggie Bain
Shuggie Bain
I honestly don’t really know where to start with my review for Shuggie Bain, but here goes. From start to finish I felt like I was on an emotional roller ... READ MORE
Shuggie Bain
I absolutely adored this book -What a talented writer. I felt so much for Agnes; the description of her suffering and her life in poverty in Glasgow was ju... READ MORE
Brian Palmer
Shuggie Bain
Well written but flawed
Despite being a well written book, author Douglas Stuart paints Glasgow and its working class occupants in a very bleak, unflatteringly light. All the resi... READ MORE
Michael Gilfedder
Shuggie Bain
Gripping and Powerful
I became invested in both Shuggie and Agnes very early on and found that the twists and turns in their lives evoked powerful emotions about their fate I re... READ MORE
Isobel  Millar
Shuggie Bain
Agnes and Shuggie
I finished this book feeling really sad. From the beginning of the novel you knew it wasn’t going to end well for Shuggie but as a reader you so wish it wa... READ MORE
Penelope Lavender
Shuggie Bain
Totally Emmersive
I bought this book because it was a Booker Prize winner and also because part of the subject matter was parenting within the context of alcoholism. Any bo... READ MORE
Sheryl Moody
Shuggie Bain
Heart-breaking and Beautiful
The plaudits for this book are well deserved. It is so emotional, so draining, but also impossible to stop reading. I read about the Bain family like I was... READ MORE
Debbi Voisey
Shuggie Bain
Uplifting but yet still important
I found it was not as I would . But it just brought home. Truths of our future. It has it all.
Shuggie Bain
Shuggie in vain
I sometimes struggle with my perception of Booker Prize-winning books: will they be ‘too clever’ for me, or will they open my eyes in ways that ‘lesser boo... READ MORE
Mark Rasdall