The Death of Sweet Mister by Daniel Woodrell

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.

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