Synopses & Reviews
Daniel Woodrell delivers his most powerful work to date in The Death of Sweet Mister
An overweight, lonely thirteen-year-old, Shuggie Akins is shrewdly observant. But not even he can fully comprehend the nature of the forces working against him. His distracted, frequently tipsy mother, Glenda, turns a blind eye to the effect her sexually provocative teasing has on him. His putative father, Red, a brutal man with a short fuse, mocks and despises the boy. The three tentatively coexist in a ramshackle house situated in a "boneyard" in a rough-hewn Ozark town. Then along comes Jimmy Vin Pearce with his shiny green T-bird and his smart city clothes. Soon he and Glenda are engaged in a torrid affair setting in motion a series of events that are violent, shocking, and totally unpredictable-yet irredeemably inevitable.
Like Holden Caulfield and Huck Finn, Shuggie Akins tells his story of a reluctant descent into the world of adults in this unforgettable and ultimately moving novel.
"This third in Woodrell's stunning series of 'country noirs'...returns to West Table, Missouri, deep in the Ozarks, where the fuses are short, and the tragedies, like the thunderstorms, are just waiting to happen. Woodrell describes the lives of his Ozark hill folk with unflinching honesty, but he never fails to find heartbreaking tenderness beneath the hardscrabble surface....A word-perfect conclusion to an unforgettable trilogy of novels." Bill Ott, Booklist
"[A]n awful tale of evil and despair...so gorgeously rendered that it breaks your heart in two ways at once." Becky Ohlsen, Bookreporter.com
"The Death of Sweet Mister [is] as stunning and evocative as [an] ancient Greek tragedy. My congratulations to Woodrell for a wonderful book." Ron Hansen
"Dramatically rich and morally complex." St. Louis Post-Dispatch Best Books 2001
Woodrell, author of "Tomato Red, " delivers his most powerful work to date in "The Death of Sweet Mister." Like Holden Caulfield and Huck Finn, Shuggie Akins tells his story of a reluctant descent into the world of adults in this unforgettable and ultimately moving novel.
About the Author
Daniel Woodrell is the author of six widely acclaimed novels, including Tomato Red, for which he received a PEN West fiction award in 1998.