Author: Douglas Stuart –
Publisher: Picador –
Genre: Novel –
Overall rating: 5/5 –
Writing: 5/5 –
Duration: 17:30 (very long) –
Narrator: Angus King –
Narrator/performance: 5/5 –
Impressions: 5/5 –
Performance errors: 0/5 –
Complexity/reading level: 5/5 –
Audience: Adult, TW: alcoholism
Here is something you would call an audiobook for an ambitious reader. It is a brilliant debut by Douglas Stuart, published in 2020. I won 7 awards (American Academy of Arts and Letters: Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction in 2021, Booker Prize 2020, British Book Awards Overall Book of the Year 2021, British Book Awards Debut Book of the Year 2021, Independent Publisher Book Awards: Europe Best Regional Fiction (Bronze) 2021, Libr’à Nous: Littérature Étrangère (French translation by Charles Bonnot) 2022, Waterstones Scottish Book of the Year 2020; for full list visit Wikipedia).
The book is about alcohol addition and a lot of other unpleasant things, yet it is actually possible to enjoy it (not really clear how). There are no pretty things in the book, maybe save the ending, yet it is full of art. There is no room for dignity, yet the book is full of it. Perhaps writing true does that to novels. The audiobook version is also a treat for admirers of the Scottish accent (myself included). It can certainly be recommended to every adult (especially to policy makers) but with warnings – the experience is a strong one. There is an ocean of knowledge there – about human relationships, the Western society in general – and history.
A very good cover, hinting at the nightmare right from the start yet proud and elegant. What can I say what has not been said about it before.