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Young Mungo  By  cover art

Young Mungo

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

The extraordinary, powerful second novel from the Booker Prize-winning 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

What listeners say about Young Mungo

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Amazing. Absolutely Breathtaking

Stop browsing and listen to this book NOW!Wow. What a story!
I heard Young Mungo was good but I had no idea it would be SO good! Douglas Stuart weaves a gritty tale that you are sure to fall in love with. More than once throughout the book I had to remind myself that this was fiction and not non-fiction. The characters are so real and the setting is so well described, it’s like living in 1980s Glasgow. An absolutely superb read, perfect for fans of Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes and even Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles. Listen to it now, you will not be disappointed!

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  • Sigrin
  • 08-21-22

Lovable Mungo

Another great book, spoilt personally for me by the narration.

The narrators scottish accent makes this story come alive, however he has no real intonation, strength and meaning when he connects with the prose.

The story line is quite harrowing, very sad and dark. However there is no difference when Chris Reilly reads a fight scene or a tender moment, which kind of spoilt it for me.

Like Shuggie Bain, this book is not an easy listen, brooding with deep supressed emotion

So if you like Douglas Stuart’s previous work you will like this too, but may be listen to the sample first.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-24-22

Beautiful Narration

This book is a little universe in itself. Stunning, immersive storytelling and a fantastic narrator that captures every moment perfectly.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-06-22

Engrossing

Story pulls you in, poor kind hearted mungo, amazing tale of hard upbringing and fighting for a better life

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  • Pat Lynch
  • 11-28-22

Higher Love..

Heartbreaking and powerful.  It would be easy to say that this is 'Heartstopper' put through an Irvine Welsh blender but Stuart is very much his own writer and the control in the prose here is unforgettable. In many ways this feels like a continuation of Shuggie Bain's story. Different named mother and siblings but all familiar. Mungo is a beautiful creation. A kind gentle soul in the wrong place at the wrong time. At odds with the tough world of his family and the sectarian ghetto neighborhood he's brought up in, his spirit, like his flesh, takes one pounding after another. When he eventually finds love it brings him into even more danger. Just when the set backs, disappointments and abuses can border on despair there's a gasp of air here or hope there. Despite the constant little cruelties there's moments of true tenderness and affection. Above all there's compassion, sometimes even for the perpetrators who are often victims themselves. Some of the greatest love stories ever told are set against external forces like war or catastrophe. Here young Mungo is a prisoner of circumstance from the moment he was born. You're left rooting for him all way..

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  • miss am reeves
  • 11-24-22

Great story.

Gritty and authentic. Loved it. Enjoyed this as much as the first book by the author.

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  • mrs sharon jenkins
  • 11-22-22

Brilliant

The first book was brilliant this even better,you were there with Mungo every step of the way,it was painful,heart rendering.

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  • magser
  • 11-09-22

Bleak and brilliant

I think this is a sort of masterpiece. It won't be to everyone's taste, as it is unremitting in its examination of lives that are blighted by poverty, prejudice, neglect and hopelessness. But there are some very warm hearted people among the cast of characters and some humour to balance in part the horror. The narrator is spot on. Congratulations to him. This is such a truthful, fascinating and ultimately uplifting story I can't recommend it too highly. But be prepared for some very uncomfortable listening at times. Superb.

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  • Just me
  • 11-03-22

Transporting gripping.

I have enjoyed listening to this book immensely, feeling frustrated every time I had to turn it off before picking it up again. Gritty, emotional and totally believable. I love it.

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  • Charlotte
  • 11-01-22

A true grit story

Having read Shuggie Bain was keen to read more by this author, it did not disappoint! Such a story well told, the whole thing totally real, the characters 3D and so believable. It was hard hitting and gritty to the point of utter sadness for the way these people live their lives but what else can they do. A great read.

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  • Moooma Al-Nowais
  • 10-25-22

Brilliant. Simply brilliant.

I could not differ more from the characters and typical audience of this book. I am half a world away, speak an entirely different language as my mother tongue, and have never been to Scotland. Listening to this book, its ethereal writing and the wonderful performance from the narrator, I was there, in Glasgow, and have been there all my life.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-21-22

Heartbreaking

I loved this book. I feel like I don't have the words to explain how the story of this beautiful boys life made me feel. A must read!!

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  • David Todd
  • 10-05-22

Heart wrenching

A story of abuse (both sexual and mental), violence and an impossible love that seems to survive.
Beautifully read in that fantastic Glaswegian accent I grew up with in Australia. Listen to this. It is beautifully written and read.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-28-22

Masterpiece

My book club choose this book and I was sceptical reading the prologue but I am so thankful I stuck with it. It was outstanding in so many ways - the characters, the story and the writing!! A hard and gut wrenching read at times but so beautifully done and such an important story. Thank you

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  • shelley
  • 09-09-22

heartwarming beautiful story

I could not stop want you to know what happens next but keep me engrossed the whole way through a beautiful beautiful heartwarming beautiful story.

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  • Sam Eltringham
  • 09-07-22

Love Douglas Stewart

The 2nd book I've listened to by this author & I'll be straight onto preordering any future releases

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  • Isobel
  • 09-03-22

Genius

I loved everything about this - the story, utterly clever writing and the narration. Six stars!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-12-22

Audio book impossible to understand

I am sure this is a good 👍 book but the audio book version is the worst I have ever come across (and I have listened to many). The Scottish accent doesn't travel well making it limited to Scottish audiences. Accents are beautiful things but there are certain compromises one has to make in the name of communication. A broader international community may be interested in this story.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-18-22

Heartwrenching and beautiful

Beautifully written. Real, emotional, raw and violent yet loving and tender. Leaves you panging for more.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-11-22

great once you get the timeline

I first struggled to get into it. the two timeliness were somewhat confusing and took a while to get going. but then it turned into a great story. hard to get used to the Irish accent but once you get used to it it's also really charismatic.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-08-22

Necessarily Brutal

This was so well written and so believable based on stories I’ve heard from how Glasgow used to be. Great story with some unexpected, shocking and dark turns that literally shook me as I listened.