Young Mungo
by Stuart, Douglas






"Douglas Stuart's first novel Shuggie Bain is one of the most successful literary debuts of the century so far. It was awarded the 2020 Booker Prize, and is now published or forthcoming in forty territories, having already sold more than a million copiesworldwide. Now Stuart returns with Young Mungo, his extraordinary second novel. Five years in the writing, it is both a page-turner and literary tour de force, a vivid portrayal of working-class life and a deeply moving and highly suspenseful story of the dangerous first love of two young men: Mungo and James. Born under different stars-Mungo a Protestant and James a Catholic-they should be sworn enemies if they're to be seen as men at all. Their environment is a hyper-masculine and sectarian one, for gangs of young men and the violence they might dole out dominate the Glaswegian estate where they live. And yet against all odds Mungo and James become best friends as they find a sanctuary in the pigeon dovecote that James has built for his prize racing birds. As they fall in love, they dream of finding somewhere they belong, while Mungo works hard to hide his true self from all those around him, especially from his big brother Hamish, a local gang leader with a brutal reputation to uphold. But the threat of discovery is constant and the punishment unspeakable. And when several months later Mungo's mother sends him on a fishing trip to a loch in Western Scotland, together with two strange men whose drunken banter belies murky pasts, he will need to summon all his inner strength and courage to try 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 and giving full voice to people rarely acknowledged in the literary world, Young Mungo is a gripping and revealing story about the bounds of masculinity, the push and pull of family, the violence faced by many queer people, and the dangers of loving someone too much"-





DOUGLAS STUART is a Scottish-American author. His New York Times-bestselling debut novel Shuggie Bain won the 2020 Booker Prize and the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. It was the winner of two British Book Awards, including Book of the Year, and was a finalist for the National Book Award, PEN/Hemingway Award, National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize, Kirkus Prize, as well as several other literary awards. Stuart's writing has appeared in the New Yorker and Literary Hub.





*Starred Review* St. Mungo is the patron saint of Glasgow, and in Stuart's second novel-after Booker Prize-winning Shuggie Bain (2020)-Mungo is also a 15-year-old living in Glasgow, the youngest son of an alcoholic mother. Mungo would do anything "just to make other people feel better." He is a gentle soul living in an environment of toxic masculinity, sectarian violence, and drink, but, as we learn, he has strong reserves of strength that he himself doesn't know he possesses. Love for another young man would be risky, but when Mungo, a Protestant, falls in love with James, a Catholic, the peril is immense. This is a searing, gorgeously written portrait of a young gay boy trying to be true to himself in a place and time that demands conformity to social and gender rules. Many details are specific to Glasgow, but the broader implications are universal. Stuart's tale could be set anywhere that poverty, socioeconomic inequality, or class struggles exist, which is nearly everywhere. But it is also about the narrowness and failure of vision in a place where individuals cannot imagine a better life, where people have never been outside their own neighborhood. "I've never even seen sheep before," Mungo says at one point. Like James Kelman, Stuart has put working-class Glasgow on the literary map.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Stuart's prize-winning, best-selling debut, Shuggie Bain, ensures great enthusiasm for his second novel of young, dangerous love. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.





*Starred Review* St. Mungo is the patron saint of Glasgow, and in Stuart's second novel-after Booker Prize-winning Shuggie Bain (2020)-Mungo is also a 15-year-old living in Glasgow, the youngest son of an alcoholic mother. Mungo would do anything "just to make other people feel better." He is a gentle soul living in an environment of toxic masculinity, sectarian violence, and drink, but, as we learn, he has strong reserves of strength that he himself doesn't know he possesses. Love for another young man would be risky, but when Mungo, a Protestant, falls in love with James, a Catholic, the peril is immense. This is a searing, gorgeously written portrait of a young gay boy trying to be true to himself in a place and time that demands conformity to social and gender rules. Many details are specific to Glasgow, but the broader implications are universal. Stuart's tale could be set anywhere that poverty, socioeconomic inequality, or class struggles exist, which is nearly everywhere. But it is also about the narrowness and failure of vision in a place where individuals cannot imagine a better life, where people have never been outside their own neighborhood. "I've never even seen sheep before," Mungo says at one point. Like James Kelman, Stuart has put working-class Glasgow on the literary map.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Stuart's prize-winning, best-selling debut, Shuggie Bain, ensures great enthusiasm for his second novel of young, dangerous love. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.





Two 15-year-old Glasgow boys, one Protestant and one Catholic, share a love against all odds. The Sighthill tenement where Shuggie Bain (2020), Stuart's Booker Prize-winning debut, unfurled is glimpsed in his follow-up, set in the 1990s in an adjacent neighborhood. You wouldn't think you'd be eager to return to these harsh, impoverished environs, but again this author creates characters so vivid, dilemmas so heart-rending, and dialogue so brilliant that the whole thing sucks you in like a vacuum cleaner. As the book opens, Mungo's hard-drinking mother, Mo-Maw, is making a rare appearance at the flat where Mungo lives with his 16-year-old sister, Jodie. Jodie has full responsibility for the household, as their older brother, Hamish, a Proddy warlord, lives with the 15-year-old mother of his child and her parents. Mo-Maw's come by only to pack her gentle son off on a manly fishing trip with two disreputable strangers. Though everything about these men is alarming to Mungo, "fifteen years he had lived and breathed in Scotland, and he had never seen a glen, a loch, a forest, or a ruined castle." So at least there's that to look forward to. This ultracreepy weekend plays out over the course of the book, interleaved with the events of the months before. Mungo has met a neighbor boy named James, who keeps racing pigeons in a "doocot"; the boys are kindred spirits and offer each other a tenderness utterly absent from any other part of their lives. But a same-sex relationship across the sectarian divide is so unthinkable that their every interaction is laced with fear. Even before Hamish gets wind of these goings-on, he too has decided to make Mungo a man, forcing him to participate in a West Side Story-type gang battle. As in Shuggie Bain, the yearning for a mother's love is omnipresent, even on the battlefield. "They kept their chests puffed out until they could be safe in their mammies' arms again; where they could coorie into her side as she watched television and she would ask, 'What is all this, eh, what's with all these cuddles?' and they would say nothing, desperate to just be boys again, wrapped up safe in her softness." Romantic, terrifying, brutal, tender, and, in the end, sneakily hopeful. What a writer. Copyright Kirkus 2022 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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