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Download Shuggie Bain By Douglas Stuart (.ePUB)

Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart: A Powerful Debut Novel

Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart is a work of realist fiction that depicts the childhood and teenage years of the title character, Hugh "Shuggie" Bain, in 1980s post-industrial working-class Glasgow. The novel explores the themes of poverty, addiction, abuse, sexuality, and identity through the lens of Shuggie's relationship with his alcoholic mother, Agnes Bain. Shuggie Bain is Stuart's debut novel, and it won the 2020 Booker Prize, making him the second Scottish winner of the prestigious award in its 51-year history.


Plot Summary

The novel opens in 1992, when Shuggie is 15 years old and living alone in a dirty bedsit on the Southside of Glasgow. He works at a supermarket deli counter and dreams of becoming a hairdresser. He leaves work, placing tin cans of fish in his bag. The novel then flashes back to 1981, when Shuggie is five years old and living in a tenement flat in Sighthill with his maternal grandparents, Wullie and Lizzie; his mother, Agnes; his father, Hugh "Shug" Bain; his half-brother, Leek; and his half-sister, Catherine. Shuggie's father is mostly absent, working as a cab driver and having affairs with other women. Agnes is a beautiful woman often compared to Elizabeth Taylor, but she is unfulfilled by her life and takes to drinking.

The following year, Shug moves the family into a council flat in Pithead for families of workers of the local mine. He ultimately abandons the family there, leaving them to live with Joanie Micklewhite, the dispatcher of his cab company. Agnes desires a life of glamour, taking pride in her appearance, but her unhappiness drives her reliance on alcohol. Meanwhile, Shuggie is bullied at school and in the neighbourhood for not fitting in and for being effeminate. Shuggie often misses school to act as his mother's caregiver during her hangovers. Agnes's parents die and her daughter marries young, moving to South Africa. Agnes's alcoholism worsens, and she is taken advantage of by abusive men.

Her future looks brighter when she starts going to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and takes a job as a petrol-station attendant. She also meets Eugene Kelly, a kind man who seems to genuinely care for her and Shuggie. However, Agnes soon relapses and resumes her destructive habits. Eugene leaves her after discovering that she has been cheating on him with another man. Agnes attempts suicide by overdosing on pills, but Shuggie finds her and calls an ambulance. She survives, but remains depressed and hopeless.

Leek, who is a gifted artist, stays with Agnes and Shuggie to try to teach Shuggie how to "act normal" and conform to the norms of working-class Glaswegian masculinity, which does not come naturally to him. He also stays in faltering hope of saving Agnes, until one day she throws him out, leaving young teenage Shuggie as her sole carer and witness. Shuggie tries his best to cope with his mother's addiction and his own sexuality, but he faces constant harassment and violence from his peers and neighbours. He finds some solace in his friendship with Leanne, a girl who lives in the same building and who also suffers from abuse at home.

The novel ends with Shuggie leaving Pithead after Agnes dies from complications of alcoholism. He moves to Glasgow and gets a job at a supermarket deli counter. He still hopes to become a hairdresser someday.

Critical Reception

Shuggie Bain received widespread acclaim from critics and readers alike. It was praised for its powerful portrayal of poverty and addiction in 1980s Scotland, as well as its deep insight into the relationship between a child and a substance-abusing parent. The novel was also commended for its vivid language and imagery, which blend English and Scots dialects. The novel was compared to works by James Joyce, Frank McCourt, Roddy Doyle, Irvine Welsh, and James Kelman.

The novel was awarded the 2020 Booker Prize, making Stuart the second Scottish winner of the prize in its 51-year history, following James Kelman in 1994. The judges described the novel as "destined to be a classic" and "an amazingly intimate, compassionate, gripping portrait of addiction, courage and love". The novel was also a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction, the 2021 Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and the 2020 John Leonard Prize for Best First Book from the National Book Critics Circle. It was also selected as a notable book by the American Library Association on their 2021 ALA Notable lists for adult fiction.

As of April 2022, the novel has sold more than 1.5 million copies globally. It has been translated into more than 30 languages and has been optioned for a television adaptation by A24 and Scott Rudin Productions.

Download Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart (.epub)

If you are interested in reading Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart, you can download the .epub file from [here]. You will need an e-reader or an app that can open .epub files to read it. Alternatively, you can buy the paperback or hardcover edition from your local bookstore or online retailer.

Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart is a novel that will stay with you long after you finish reading it. It is a story of resilience, love, and hope in the face of adversity. It is a story that deserves to be read by everyone.


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