The Death of Sweet Mister: A Novel

( 8 )

Overview

Shug Akins is a lonely, overweight thirteen-year-old boy. His mother, Glenda, is the one person who loves him--she calls him Sweet Mister and attempts to boost his confidence and give him hope for his future. Shuggie's purported father, Red, is a brutal man with a short fuse who mocks and despises the boy. Into this small-town Ozarks mix comes Jimmy Vin Pearce, with his shiny green T-bird and his smart city clothes. When he and Glenda begin a torrid affair, a series of violent events is inevitably set in motion. ...
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The Death of Sweet Mister: A Novel

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Overview

Shug Akins is a lonely, overweight thirteen-year-old boy. His mother, Glenda, is the one person who loves him--she calls him Sweet Mister and attempts to boost his confidence and give him hope for his future. Shuggie's purported father, Red, is a brutal man with a short fuse who mocks and despises the boy. Into this small-town Ozarks mix comes Jimmy Vin Pearce, with his shiny green T-bird and his smart city clothes. When he and Glenda begin a torrid affair, a series of violent events is inevitably set in motion. The outcome will break your heart.

"This is Daniel Woodrell's third book set in the Ozarks and, like the other two, Give Us a Kiss and Tomato Red, it peels back the layers from lives already made bare by poverty and petty crime." --Otto Penzler, "Penzler Pick, 2001"

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Editorial Reviews

Michael Anderson
"[Woodrell] has achieved near mastery of style: language, plot, characterization and theme mesh with a seamless power."
Bret Israel
"A fiery, poetic, hair-raising novel."
Bharat Tandon
"The plot, tawdry in the abstract, is transformed by Woodrell's gallows humour and his rendering of Shug's voice, part Huck Finn, part Holden Caulfield."
Charles Frazier
"A dark, disturbing beauty of a story . . . Woodrell throws down sentences that will leave you amazed."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316206143
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 4/24/2012
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 332,412
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Five of Daniel Woodrell's eight published novels were selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Tomato Red won the PEN West Award for the Novel in 1999. Woodrell lives in the Ozarks near the Arkansas line with his wife, Katie Estill.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 10, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Anne B. for Readers Favorite "The Death of Swe

    Reviewed by Anne B. for Readers Favorite

    "The Death of Sweet Mister" by Daniel Woodrell is a well-written, entertaining but gloomy book. In it we meet Shug Akins, a thirteen year old overweight young man. He and his mother, Glenda, live rent free in a mobile home for taking care of the cemetery next door. When not in jail, Red lives with them. He is a brutal, abusive man who hates Shug. Red forces Shug to break into the homes of dying people and steal their pain killers. Glenda is an attractive young woman; she dresses in provocative clothing. Glenda is the only one who has ever loved Shug. Jimmy Vin Pearce arrives in town driving a green T-bird; soon he and Glenda are having a sizzling affair.

    I was quickly drawn into Shug’s life. The poor boy is blatantly abused, emotionally, mentally and physically, by Red. In a more elusive manner he is abused by his mother. Shug is at that special age where he isn’t a man and yet he isn’t a child. His mother dresses provocatively in front of him and doesn’t even try to hide her sexual exploitations from him. She gives him alcohol and allows him to drive her car. Although she knows Red hates the boy she allows the abusive man to take Shug “fishing.” This tale is cruel and bleak. Author Daniel Woodrell is a genius. I have never read a book that brought out such passionate anger in me. There is no happy ending to this story and yet it is a compelling read. This is a review of the audio version. The reader is Dennis LeHane. His voice is filled with passion in just the right places. This is a must read book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2001

    A great book

    In the same vein as Nowhere Near the Sea of Cortez(Jim Harris) and Carmac McCarthy, Woodrell captures dark, poetic lower class images, sounds, words, better than any writers out there, with the exception of Harris. But both these writers are in a class by themselves with spare, phenomenal word plays and fascinating explorations of poor folk. Take Sherwood Anderson and throw in Raymond Carver and a heavy dose of Bukowski. A brilliant writer.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted May 23, 2012

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