The Death of Sweet Mister: A Novel

The Death of Sweet Mister: A Novel

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The Death of Sweet Mister 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
cmtusa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Daniel Woodrell's The Death of Sweet Mister is southern-fried Greek tragedy at its best. Woodrell creates a dark, seedy, unforgiving world and then forces you to navigate your way through it. It's not important that you like the characters. What's important here is that you endure the same pain that they've endured. This ain't some cozy Beach Read, folks. This is a book that takes you out of your comfort zone, a book that forces you to look at the world a little differently, and for that, I applaud Mr. Woodrell.
ktp50 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A story about the animal nature of love and sex and the cruel, cold, hard world. At the end of the day, sometimes, bad choices are all that remain. Here Ye! Here Ye! and Lest Ye Forget!!!...Daniel Woodrell is a supremely talented writer
Quiltinfun06 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ok, this book was introduced to me as a challenge from a friend who thinks he can get me to read outside of my comfort zone. Well, alright now. I read it. I guess it was more or less what I expected (especially since I know what my friend likes to read). It was definitely about a totally dysfunctional family set in the Ozarks. The narrator is Shuggie Akins the son of a woman named Glenda and a man who is almost unknown. The man, however, that he lives with is referred to as "Dad" but we know that isn't true. Dad is an awful character. He is a thief who steals for drugs; he drinks too and has a side kick named Basil. As would be expected Red aka Dad beats up his wife, womanizes and brow beats Shuggie into doing his dirtiest deeds for him.I won't go on any further because if you are the least bit interested in this book (it's only 196 pages long) you'll figure out the story.I met the challenge. I am unfazed, unimpressed and not inclined to read anything further by Daniel Woodrell.
Whisper1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My first book of 2010 has left me stunned as a deer in headlights while watching an approaching car speed around a corner with little time or space to spare.This dark, disturbing tale of abuse, incest, Ozark mountain poverty, dysfunction, alcoholism and drug addiction packs a wallop that takes the breath away!Told from the voice of overweight, mamma's boy 13-year-old Shugg, the writing is terse, tense and powerful. Little Sweet Mister, so called by Glenda his sultry, seductive mommie, never stands a chance to escape the never ending state of craziness as it envelopes him like the fog on the overgrown path, treacherous and filled with snaky people.The cast of misfits are vividly portrayed in all their evil nature. Red, Shugg's "father", is about as low-life as possible. While switching between smacking him until he bleeds and indoctrinating him into stealing drugs from dying people, Red certainly does not present a positive role model.When Glenda discovers a possible way out via a large, well-dressed man who drives a Thunderbird, the story quickly spirals into a fast nightmare.I read this as a discussion spring board for the Missouri Readers group.
Hagelstein on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Shug Atkins is thirteen and lives in a cemetery (or bone orchard, to him) with his sadistic, petty-criminal father, Red, and his long suffering - and drinking - mother, Glenda. Glenda is the caretaker of the cemetery, but Shug does the work. Red steals things and takes pills.When another man, whose Thunderbird is the only thing Shug likes about him, takes an interest in the still-beautiful Glenda (Red refers to her only as ¿the witch,¿) his family unravels even more.In addition to being an outstandingly told story, set in the south, with spot-on characters, Woodrell fits in some beautiful prose. Shug at a river: ¿The water had that sound of women that wouldn¿t hurt me. That sound of voices in talk that I could join.¿About Red: ¿His voice to me seemed always to have those worms in it that eat you once you¿re dead and still. His voice always wanted to introduce me to them waiting worms. He had a variety of ugly tones to speak in and used them all at me on most days.¿Shug is overweight and comes across as powerless for most of the story. When he does take matters into his own hands, the results are calculated and brutal.
ElizaJane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reason for Reading: This may sound weird but, I enjoy reading well-written depressing books. I have never read this author before nor actually even heard of him, but he caught my eye when I saw that the publisher had reprinted all his works in a new line of trade paperbacks. I had a hard time deciding which book to try first but this one seemed to fit my interests well and it was short so a good one to try a new author. It is really hard to use words such as "I liked" or "I enjoyed" with such a brutal and sad story. If you like happy endings or rays of hope, this is not the book for you as it is the complete opposite. We see a poor family living well below the poverty line, the word family here is optional as the parents are each extremely dysfunctional though in completely different ways. But they both have the same effect on the boy. This is virtually his coming-of-age story. The story is brutal in its harshness and honesty. I don't want to tell the topics it deals with as that would giveaway a major spoiler to the plot, but let's just say the book becomes harder and harder to read as the plot and the characters become more and more broken. This was an emotional, tough read but well worth it. Achingly well-written, the despair and cruelty that is so real in this story touched me deeply. Personally, for me, I "enjoy" this type of story, and this one in particular because it brings home the reality, to me, of a life without Jesus. Unimaginable emptiness.
JustMyTwoCents More than 1 year ago
Gritty and Frightening -- A Tragedy from Page One As horrible as the subject matter was, as gritty as the material was, I could not put this book down.  It is a frightening reminder that monsters are made and not born. This one will stay with me for a long time. I'll look for more from this author-- but I may need to read something more light-hearted in between!
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