Young Mungo

by Douglas Stuart

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LoveReading Expert Review of Young Mungo

A remarkable journey through one young man’s growing pains as he explores love and realises it has the potential to break him.

Powerful, thought-provoking, and stunningly eloquent, this remarkable novel will be one of my books of the year. Two young men meet, under normal circumstances they would battle on different sides of the Glaswegian Catholic and Protestant divide, instead they fall in love. Although no date is given, this potentially takes place in the 90’s. Two different time frames slip into and through each other, with the past rushing to meet the present. Gangs of words squared up, pushing and shoving their way into my thoughts. While the focus remains on the main character Mungo, Booker prizewinner Douglas Stuart doesn’t skim the surface of the other characters, he took me deep down into who they truly were. Mungo will remain a part of me, he feels entirely real, and I lived every exquisitely written second alongside him. This travels into extremely dark places, and yet it’s full of love too. Family obligations, abuse, self-worth, violence, religion, toxic relationships, the struggle of being different, the purity of first love all swirl together, creating a darkly addictive pull that on occasion threatens to overwhelm. A LoveReading Star Book and Liz Pick of the Month, Young Mungo is a swaggeringly beautiful novel that I recommend, heart and soul.

Liz Robinson

Young Mungo Synopsis

The extraordinary, powerful second novel from the Booker prizewinning author of Shuggie Bain, Young Mungo is both a vivid portrayal of working-class life and the deeply moving story of the dangerous first love of two young men: Mungo and James.

Born under different stars, Protestant Mungo and Catholic James live in a hyper-masculine world. They are caught between two of Glasgow's housing estates where young working-class men divide themselves along sectarian lines, and fight territorial battles for the sake of reputation. They should be sworn enemies if they're to be seen as men at all, and yet they become best friends as they find a sanctuary in the doocot that James has built for his prize racing pigeons. As they begin to fall in love, they dream of escaping the grey city, and Mungo must work hard to hide his true self from all those around him, especially from his elder brother Hamish, a local gang leader with a brutal reputation to uphold.

But the threat of discovery is constant and the punishment unspeakable. When Mungo's mother sends him on a fishing trip to a loch in Western Scotland, with two strange men behind whose drunken banter lie murky pasts, he needs to summon all his inner strength and courage to get back to a place of safety, a place where he and James might still have a future.

Imbuing the everyday world of its characters with rich lyricism, Douglas Stuart's Young Mungo is a gripping and revealing story about the meaning of masculinity, the push and pull of family, the violence faced by so many queer people, and the dangers of loving someone too much.

Win a Signed Copy of Should I Tell You? by Jill Mansell

Win a Signed Copy of Should I Tell You? by Jill Mansell

Closing date: 10/07/2022

"Escape to a joyful corner of Cornwall with this heartening novel that overflows with love, friendship and a healthy smattering of sunshine." Lindsay Quayle, Expert Reviewer To celebrate the release of Should I Tell You by Jill Mansell, we are working with Headline to give away 3 signed copies of the paperback. This draw is open only for UK residents currently in the UK and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once. The draw closes on 10 July 2022. Please ensure that the details you use to enter the competition will be correct at the time the competition ends. The winners will be notified as soon as possible.

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What To Read After Young Mungo

Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead
This is How we are Human
The Origins of Iris
Motherland and Other Stories

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781529068764
Publication date: 14/04/2022
Format: Hardback

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About Douglas Stuart

Douglas Stuart was born and raised in Glasgow. After graduating from the Royal College of Art in London, he moved to New York, where he began a career in fashion design. Shuggie Bain is his first novel.

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