The Death of Sweet Mister

The Death of Sweet Mister

eBook - 2012
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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"
Publisher: New York : Back Bay Books, 2012
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xiii, 175, 10 p.)
Edition: 1st Back Bay paperback ed
ISBN: 9780316366830


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Nov 25, 2017

My six year old cowgirl Betty is one of the most interesting people I've yet to come across. Unlike most humans she actually knows how to communicate. She asks open ended questions and listens to the answers, is genuinely curious and remembers your answers forever. She befriends older folks but isn't the best with non-equestrian civilians. While moving out to our place in the country her and I call Turquoise Ranch, she’s befriended these old barrel racing champions who now let her ride their pony and want to see her more than most of our kin. I like to muck their stalls while Betty rides but the last time I was over her 90 year old Cherokee grandmother showed up too. We had an interaction unlike any I've had before. She is the first person to just unabashedly grab my hand and stare at my admittedly dank Navajo rings and did not speak for what felt like an hour but reckon was only 3 minutes. This is till awkward to most humans but felt as natural as a 1977 Morning Dew to me. Finally I spoke up when I realized someone should. Words then came out of my mouth that never have before. I asked, "So how's your life been so far?" She simply looked up at me and said, "Hell." I retorted with, "Same" and we became fast friends. I asked her name and she said with a wry little grin, "Six Killer." Seeing as how a gentleman doesn't ask and a lady never tells I just said, "They obviously had it coming." There might could be a few less Weinsteins in the world if we had a few more Six Killers around. I remember one time when Betty was younger she asked me, "So what happened to your parent's relationship?" Since no adult had ever asked me that I had no idea how to tell a five year old that the grandmother she unfortunately never got to meet moved to LA in the 80’s to be near her boyfriend's prison. I can't recollect who wrote the forward to this but he was right saying that until and unless someone else comes around Woodrell owns the Ozarks. His fiction is almost as weird as my non-fiction. However when I finally stop moving, mowing, mucking stalls, reading, writing reviews and long descriptions for priceless pieces I'm selling on eBay and Etsy and have to actually think, my mind now drifts to this very disturbing scene of Betty in ICU. It’s then I tend to cry myself into a nap.

Mar 02, 2013

Excellent. Set in the late 1960s in the Ozarks, where there are no exits for any of the characters, this novel tells of the death of innocence and childhood of a lonely 13 year old boy. It is a tragedy set amongst everyday people. The book is extremely well-written, communicating to the reader economically and without sentimentality.

Nov 29, 2010

Very hard to read due to the use of improper english by the charactors. I understand it was used to establish the scenario; I just couldn't stay interested.

Jul 08, 2008

Woodrell is an absolute master at building tension in relaxed prose, and this novel has a haunting and wonderful force. "Sweet mister"'s [the title comes from his mother's pet name for the protagonist, 13-yr-old Shug] death is a figurative one, yet it feels more tragic than a literal one.


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