Shuggie Bain

Written by:
Douglas Stuart
Narrated by:
Angus King

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
March 2020
17 hours 30 minutes
This is the unforgettable story of young Hugh “Shuggie” Bain, a sweet and lonely boy who spends his 1980s childhood in run-down public housing in Glasgow, Scotland. Thatcher’s policies have put husbands and sons out of work, and the city’s notorious drugs epidemic is waiting in the wings.

Shuggie’s mother Agnes walks a wayward path: she is Shuggie’s guiding light but a burden for him and his siblings. She dreams of a house with its own front door while she flicks through the pages of the Freemans catalogue, ordering a little happiness on credit, anything to brighten up her grey life. Married to a philandering taxi-driver husband, Agnes keeps her pride by looking good—her beehive, make-up, and pearly-white false teeth offer a glamourous image of a Glaswegian Elizabeth Taylor. But under the surface, Agnes finds increasing solace in drink, and she drains away the lion’s share of each week’s benefits—all the family has to live on—on cans of extra-strong lager hidden in handbags and poured into tea mugs. Agnes’s older children find their own ways to get a safe distance from their mother, abandoning Shuggie to care for her as she swings between alcoholic binges and sobriety. Meanwhile, Shuggie is struggling to somehow become the normal boy he desperately longs to be, but everyone has realized that he is “no right,” a boy with a secret that all but him can see. Agnes is supportive of her son, but her addiction has the power to eclipse everyone close to her—even her beloved Shuggie.

A heartbreaking story of addiction, sexuality, and love, Shuggie Bain is an epic portrayal of a working-class family that is rarely seen in fiction.
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Kristen N.

There are no words to describe the wonder, warmth, sadness, and humility of this book. It makes you laugh, cry, steal time to listen in your busy day, and understand what drives people on their basest levels. I would listen to this narrator read his grocery list. The performance is incredible. I will listen again, and make everyone I know listen to this book. Just, wow.

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Cyn K.

It's a lovely and quiet story, heartbreaking even. I sometimes found it difficult to understand the Scottish accent of the reader, but he did a lovely job. It's a quiet, low-key kind of book and very much focused on character development as opposed to plot.

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Julie J.

It was beautifully written and narrated. I highly recommend!

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Both this book and the reading are STELLAR! Incredible story, which I understand is based on the authors childhood, and an AMAZING reader. Even at 13 hours, I DO NOT want it to end. I guess there was a very good reason why it won the Mann Booker Prize!

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Beautifully tragic story. So raw and true. Sad but honest. A great story and the narrator was amazing. I will listen to anything he narrates!

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Ellen W.

Hard to read but riveting book.

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Suzanne M.

Awful. Made no sense. About a young boy trying to not be molested. Then old women getting drunk and horney. Yugh

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Astrid H.

One of the best books I have read EVER. Stuart writes beautifully and the story is so realistic, it gives you goose bumps. Beautifully narrated by Angus King.

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Appreciated the time taken to tell the story and shape the characters.

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Linda M.

This is a beautifully written story, full of sensitivity, love and disappointment. This won the Booker Prize this past year (it used to be called the Mann Booker Prize but "Mann" dropped out) and, I feel, fully deserved it. The reader/listener feels like they know the characters by the end of the book, especially "Huggie" and "Agnes" as well as getting a good sense of their surroundings in 1980s Glasgow, Scotland. The narrator was Scottish, which really helped in getting a feel for Glasgow, and he was excellent.

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Paola N.

Powerful, deeply sad and beautiful. The narrator is fenomenal. Loved it

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Ron T.

Powerful, sad, well told story of the love and tragedy of family

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Shuggie Bain
This title is due for release on March 17, 2020.

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This title is due for release on March 17, 2020
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