Listen to an excerpt from the audiobook of Shuggie Bain, the Booker Prize-winning debut novel by Douglas Stuart
More about the book!
Douglas Stuart’s Shuggie Bain is the talk of the town, after it was recently awarded the 2020 Booker Prize.
‘This heartfelt and harrowing debut novel … is rightly being heralded for its visceral, emotionally nuanced portrayal of working class Scottish life and its blazingly intimate exploration of a mother-son relationship.’ – LitHub
Listen to an excerpt from the audiobook below, read by Glaswegian actor Angus King.
About the book
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 Édouard Louis, Frank McCourt, and Hanya Yanagihara, a blistering debut by a brilliant writer with a powerful and important story to tell.
Listen to the excerpt, read by Angus King: