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The Stardust Lounge: Stories from a Boy's Adolescence

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  120 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Stephen Digges is the kind of angry adolescent a lot of parents would have given up on. He is out of control by the time he is 13 -- running with gangs, stealing cars, fooling around with drugs and guns, and in general making his family’s life hell. Confronted with his growing recklessness and defiance, his mother, the poet Deborah Digges, decides to try to accept Stephen ...more
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Published July 29th 2009 by Anchor (first published 2001)
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Feb 27, 2013 Karima rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A mother's story of life with a troubled teen-age son. I had a hard time with the first half of the book and considered abandoning it. Saw no hope and thus no reason to continue hearing of their grim tale. I am so glad that I did not follow this impulse.
Though many may not agree with some of the ways Digges and their therapist handled certain situations, one can't help but be moved by the ins and outs of their predicaments and how they maneuvered through them. Digges also included, along with h
Kelly O'Brien-Yetto
"... for some children, indeed for Stephen, adolescence is simply a nightmare, a terrible, seemingly unending nightmare in which he is at risk, at one moment being chased down, in the next doing the chasing. "

Digges's memoir focuses on how she handled the out of control adolescence of her youngest son, Stephen, in the early '90s. I was drawn to this book because it said that, after trying many tactics which failed, she decided to observe her son (she was inspired by Jane Goodall's book on chimps
Dec 07, 2009 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mother's story of raising a wayward teenager and how they worked together to get him successfully through it. Uplifting, but probably not a cure-all for all parents/teens. Interesting how they were able to use their pets as part of the healing and learning.

Book has some flow issues-ideas introduced and then a few chapters later re-visited with more detail...could tell that the chapters were written out of sequence and not checked to ensure continuity and flow.
Jul 18, 2009 Geeta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fragmented, lyrical account of Digges' son troubled adolescence and her efforts to hold on to their relationship. Dogs and cats play a big role in this, and I am particularly fond of Buster, the epileptic dog that Digges rescues and ultimately provides the structure her son needs.
Sep 20, 2012 Abbe added it
Shelves: in-library Review

"Thanks for a wonderful childhood!" Stephen Digges tells his mother as he hugs her goodbye in front of his New York City college dorm, and it's a measure of just how persuasive and potent her account of his difficult adolescence is that we know exactly what he means. At 13, Stephen was running away, stealing his mother's car, carrying guns, doing drugs, and getting into trouble with the law and in school. Already divorced from Stephen's father, Digges saw her son's problems br

Dec 05, 2007 Grace rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anybody, it's great
Shelves: 2007
This is a great book. You should read it. Seriously.

Deborah Digges is a single mother of two boys. This story is about her youngest son, Stephen. When the book starts, Stephen is 13 and he's in a lot of trouble. He's associated with gangs, doing drugs, carrying weapons, skipping school, in trouble with the police, the whole nine yards. Digges is desperate not only to turn her son around, but to regain her close relationship with him. In her desperation, she turns to whatever ideas she can grasp-
Oct 02, 2012 Becky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this personal account of fear, frustration, and bewilderment as her 13-year-old son spirals into a life of violence and crime - and the unorthodox changes she makes in their lives to save him. As the mother of a 13-year-old boy, I thought a lot about what I would do and how I would respond if my son behaved as hers does. And I appreciated the insights from her research into what school/life can look/feel like to adolescent boys.
Oct 26, 2008 Jennifer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jennifer by: Brain, Child
Shelves: motherhood, memoir
I don't know what it is, but lately I seem to be in a phase of reading all about extremely disturbed/anorexic/and/or drug-addled youth. Getting a leg up on parenting teen-agers, I guess. Anyway, this book is beautifully written (the author is a poet) and her approach to dealing with her adolescent son's issues is interesting in that it is so unconventional, but I couldn't really get into it for some reason that I can't quite put my finger on.
Jan 27, 2012 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
this book was written by the late, great poet. She is actually my step-aunt from years ago! Such a beautiful recap of a story I knew of my family.
Nov 20, 2008 Kristy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was really interesting and scary (from a mom's point of view) on how easily your child can lose their way and how hard it is to get them back.
May 03, 2016 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this memoir by the late, great poet Deborah Digges. So glad I discovered it here on Goodreads.
Jan 28, 2013 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh man...I really love reading memoirs by poets... this is so good, I'm dragging it out.
Jul 05, 2012 Kris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant read, as a parent I understood how she felt, really truely touching story.
Apr 22, 2008 Jan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful, sad, funny. For parents or people who have parents. Wonderfully written!
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Don't worry, it has a happy ending.
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