Twice recently I’ve had the same unusual experience with my reading. I was looking forward to reading a second novel by an author who wrote a book that I loved, only to find the second novel seemed to be very much the same as the first, as if the writer was stuck somehow. This happened with Young Mungo.
Mungo is a caring 14-year-old Glaswegian gay boy with an alcoholic mother, a sister planning her escape, and a violent brother. Sound familiar, those of you who have read Shuggie Bain? The novel begins with Mungo being packed off on a camping trip with two men his mother barely knows from her AA meetings. He is poorly clad and equipped, the men are drunk, and a feeling of dread is the immediate effect. In between chapters that continue this story, the novel returns to scenes from Mungo’s past.
Set in the 1990’s, the novel is similar to Shuggie Bain except that Mungo is older and the novel is even more grim and violent at times. Still, it is compelling and becomes less like the other novel as it goes along. I ended up liking it but not so sure I want to visit that world a third time.
Sounds like it would be a difficult read for me. Glad it was rewarding to you.
I feel like both of his books are very popular, but they sound so dark!
They are dark, but they have comparatively upbeat endings. You should talk! Half the stuff you read seems really dark to me. Ha ha ha!
You’re right! What am I worried about?? Lol