PanLos Angeles Review of Books... it didn’t really work for me ... Yes, Stuart’s prose flows very smoothly, reminding me at times of one of Liverpudlian Ramsey Campbell’s ’80s horror novels, minus the supernatural monsters, startling imagery, and, too often, the subtlety ... mostly Shuggie Bain is the \'Readers’ Wives\' version of a heritage novel. A poverty porn parade of violent grotesques. Like Martin McDonagh doing Billy Elliot ... It is remorselessly prosaic and constantly evasive. It is surrounded by and full of things it cannot or will not say, and those silences are repeatedly betrayed by the things it must say in order to say what it wants to say. And the novel becomes most interesting at those precise moments when it turns away from the world beyond its milieu and turns in on itself. On the one hand, these refusals help to produce the sense that the novel is a kind of slum tourism ... On the other hand, those moments of disconnection, when Shuggie Bain shies away from thinking about the contexts of the story it tells, are entry points into the novel’s Anthropocene unconscious ... No matter how much Stuart sets aside, ignores, is unaware of, or suppresses that history—however much he selects these particular words and sentences, patterns and themes, and rejects those others—the novel still bears its traces.