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The Death of Sweet Mister [Paperback]

Daniel Woodrell
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Sep 2002

Set in the Missouri hill country, Death of Sweet Mister presents one eventful summer in the life of Shug, a friendless, overweight 13-year-old living with his mother, Glenda in the caretaker's cottage at the local cemetery. Glenda flirts incessantly, even with her son, who is becoming increasingly aware of her charms. Glenda's husband, Red (who may or may not be Shug's father), comes and goes, bringing money occasionally and strife a lot more often. This summer Red is training Shug in the family business, using the juvenile without a record to perform the burglaries that are getting too risky for Red himself. Shug's efforts to protect his mother from Red, from other admirers, and from her own rash decisions come to a head one hot summer night

“I can't remember coming across a more precise evocation of innocence lost since Golding's The Lord of the Flies. With The Death of Sweet Mister, Daniel Woodrell has written his masterpiece - spare, dark, and incandescently beautiful. It broke my heart.” - Dennis Lehane
“Daniel Woodrell's The Death of Sweet Mister is nakedly honest, unsettling, pitch perfect, and uniquely American. Put it on the shelf alongside Faulkner, Jim Thompson, and Cormac McCarthy. With this one, Mr. Woodrell has earned himself a piece of immortality.” - George P. Pelecanos
“Woodrell is one of the most intense and accomplished practitioners since Jim Thompson. He has achieved a near mastery of style as language, plot, characterization and theme mesh with a seamless power” – NY Times Book Review
“A dark, disturbing beauty of a story...Woodrell throws down sentences that will leave you amazed.” – Charles Frazier
“At a time when the two dominant strands of male American fiction to emerge in the last couple of decades - contemporary noir and dirty realism - have largely lapsed into self-parody, a writer from the Ozark mountains of Missouri has come along to resuscitate them both.” - The Independent

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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The Death of Sweet Mister + Tomato Red
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Product details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: No Exit Press; New edition edition (1 Sep 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184243053X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842430538
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.9 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,311,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dan Woodrell comes from a long line of Ozarkers that stretch back before the Civil War. A high school dropout he joined the marine corps at 17. The military and he saw things differently. A period of post military drifting ended up at the University of Kansas and a Michener fellowship at the Iowa Writers School, where he was definitely the odd man out.

He is the author of eight novels including Under the Bright Lights, Muscle for the Wing, The Ones You Do, Ride With the Devil, Woe To Live On, Give Us A Kiss, Tomato Red and The Death Of Sweet Mister. He lives in West Plains, Missouri.

Critical Acclaim for Daniel Woodrell

"...Daniel Woodrell is a storyteller of bristling imagination and muscular prose, who uses the poetically profane language of the trailerpark to wicked effect..." - Sara Paretsky, Bizarre

"...Daniel Woodrell is stone brilliant ... a bayou Dutch Leonard steeped in rich Louisiana language..." - James Ellroy,

"...Daniel Woodrell is one of the most exciting writers I've discovered in a long time..." - Val McDermid, Manchester Evening News

Product Description

About the Author

Daniel Woodrell is the author of six novels, including the New York Times Notable Books Give Us a Kiss and Tomato Red, which won the PEN West Fiction Award in l998. Though often compared to William Faulkner and Erskine Caldwell, he is in fact an original. As The New York Times Book Review wrote, "He's only drawing from the same well they did, but with a different take, a different voice, a sharper sense of irony." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaker 14 Mar 2007
Another great Woodrell novel with more weight to it than "Give Us a Kiss". You follow the life of Shug an overweight kid living a hard teenage existence with his damaged mum and "crime spree" Dad. Woodrell creates empathy with ease and as Shug's mum lurches from one crisis to another, with Shug following into a world of danger and risk, you stay glued for the ending. Woodrell has written more exciting stories, and more dramatic ones, but this book has an Ozark "Roddy Doyle" about it that is greatly enjoyable.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Another breath-taking novel from one of America's greatest living writers. This man has not written a bad book. How many writers can say that? Since reading the fantastic "Give Us A Kiss" a few years ago, I've devoured them all, and can honestly say that no writer has so consistantly given as much pleasure.
As with all his works the characters are astonishing in their complexity without ever being overwritten. The dialogue is a joy to read, and the story unfolds at a perfect pace, tricking you into believing you're reading a simple tale of down-on-their-luck individuals before branching out in ways that leave you breathless.
This is a short novel, but one that will linger in your mind for weeks afterwards. I can't praise it highly enough. Do yourself a favour and get into Daniel Woodrell, because once you do you'll wonder why you didn't start years ago.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read 6 Feb 2011
Daniel Woodrell is a tremendous writer. I came to his books via "Winter's Bone" - I bought a dodgy DVD in the pub...didn't bought the book, while I waited for official DVD release.
"Winter's Bone" took me to "Tomato Red", then "Muscle For The Wing". Each book helped convince me of his talent.Not a wasted word; dialogue that is so real; tragedy around the corner.
"The Death of Sweet Mister" continues these threads. It is not unlike knowing a car crash is coming; but, still you have to look. No good, or redemption, can come from the tale - but still the pages are turned. The reader is in a vise-like grip.
No Exit Press have done a magnificent job, publishing his work. The large font; superb cover illustration; and heavy paper, all combine to make reading his books an almost visceral experience.
Read him - you won't be disappointed!
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5.0 out of 5 stars sweet 3 May 2012
By AndrewW
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
this guy woodrell gets better and better, really good story and possibly one of the most devastating and shocking of last chapters. didnt see that coming despite the close mother/son relationship throughout. now off to purchase more daniel woodrell. god bless and damn the ozarks.
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