Young Mungo

Douglas Stuart

13 April 2023
400 pages


The Number One Sunday Times Bestseller
A Dua Lipa's Service95 Bookclub selection

'Another beautiful and moving book, a gay Romeo and Juliet set in the brutal world of Glasgow’s housing estates' – The Observer

From the Booker Prize-winning author of Shuggie Bain, a vivid portrayal of working-class life in 80s Glasgow, and the deeply moving story of the dangerous first love of two young men.

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 as they begin to fall in love, they dream of escape, and Mungo must work hard to hide his true self from all those around him.

But the threat of discovery is constant. When Mungo’s mother sends him on a fishing trip to a loch in western Scotland with two strange men, he must summon all his inner strength and courage to reach a place of safety, a place where he and James might still have a future.

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.

Young Mungo was a Sunday Times bestseller w/c 10/4/22

A touching story of forbidden love pursued in the face of sectarian violence with a plot that unfolds with all the urgency and dread of teenage yearning
Stuart follows his Booker-winning Shuggie Bain with another tale of a Glasgow boy whose mother is an alcoholic. This time, however, it’s a love story, with Protestant-Catholic sectarian tensions in the background; Mungo and pigeon-fancier James are star-crossed lovers in a Jets and Sharks world. The tension of their romance is expertly sustained.
Again Douglas Stuart proves himself a wonderfully gifted writer . . . Young Mungo is the work of a true novelist.