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Young Mungo cover art

Young Mungo

By: Douglas Stuart
Narrated by: Chris Reilly
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Publisher's Summary

Winner of The British Book Awards Fiction Audiobook of the Year. Read by Chris Reilly, a BAFTA Scotland award-winning actor and native Glaswegian, his 'beautiful narration' was praised by the BBA judges for bringing 'the written dialect to life'.

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.

©2022 Douglas Stuart (P)2022 Macmillan Publishers International Limited

Critic Reviews

'Prepare your hearts, for Douglas Stuart is back. After the extraordinary success of Shuggie Bain, his second novel, Young Mungo, is another beautiful and moving book, a gay Romeo and Juliet set in the brutal world of Glasgow’s housing estates' - Observer

'A touching, tender tale of boy meets boy in the bleak tenements of Glasgow . . . Superb' – The Times ‘Best Summer Reading’

'Reilly’s narration, especially when he’s voicing the people in Mungo’s life who hurt him, is full of barely repressed violence. But Reilly also captures Mungo’s wonder, love, and irrepressible softness' - Audiofile magazine

What listeners say about Young Mungo

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No words

I pause as I think what to write, it’s hard, so much to connect with as a gay man - although not raised in same conditions… I believe every gay man identifies with being made to feel shame for being themselves, when all one wants is to be seen and validated. I really hope there was never a Mungo.

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Starts slow but becomes captivating.

Starts slow but builds. I could not stop listening. Wow. I felt like I was there.

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Highly recommended

Literary work full of marvellous wordsmithing and piecemeal revealing of character. Definitely put it on your TBR pile.
Narrator was A1.

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Holy damn this was good

Written with the most lovely language. The time jumps between chapters can be a little confusing at first to catch on to but you figure it out eventually. The characters a great. Warning! There are some super disturbing SA scenes in this book, as well as murder warnings!! That being said, all the scenes in this book evoked emotions dee within me. Would recommend!!

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Heartbreakingly beautiful

I originally purchased the paperback to read and couldn't get into this book with its strong Scottish language but wow listening to it narrated by Chris Reilly was exceptional.

This book had me feeling all the emotions and then some. So exquisitely painfully written to make you stop and hope there aren't too many "Mungo's" in the world. What a cruel people we can be and what a harsh life so many have experienced through no fault of their own.

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Beautiful

Gosh , what a sad and beautiful book . You couldn’t help but love poor Mungo and his situation . Very well written you could imagine being there .

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A real gem

This is a well written, well narrated story. It touched me deeply and felt so real. I highly recommend this book.

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Beautiful and sad

Really well written and well read. Very sad story, full of love and pain. Highly recommend.

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Excellent writing great narration

It’s sad but so good. Beautifully narrated and Douglas Stuart is a master. This was my favourite of his two books.

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The sadest books I have ever read

I loved this book but I almost gave up because it was so sad. it's well worth seeing it through.

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