Welcome to Read With Us book discussion day
Bonny and Carole and I are each posting a different question (or a couple of questions) on our blogs today about our latest RWU book . . . Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart. Join the discussion (which you're welcome do even if you didn't read the book). I'll be answering your posts within the comment section for this discussion -- and you can comment on other people's comments, as well. Y'know . . . like in a real book group. (Please know . . . that because of the limitations of my blogging platform, Typepad, I can't "layer" or "stack" the comments in my comment feed and have them work. Sorry. Bear with me.)
Let's begin. . .
First . . . I'd really like to know what you thought of the book. How did it make you feel? Did you like it? If you also read Shuggie Bain (by the same author) with us last year, which book did you like better?
Next . . . Author Douglas Stuart opted to structure Young Mungo with a dual timeline, jumping back and forth in time between Mungo's first-ever camping trip . . . and daily life events in Mungo's world during the weeks leading up to the camping trip. What did you think of this storytelling structure? Did it work for you?
Last . . . Young Mungo is a very intense read. I know many readers (myself included) needed to put the book down for a while after reading certain parts before they could continue on. Yet . . . most readers also chose to pick the book back up and continue reading. According to one interview I read with author Douglas Stuart, he had this to say about challenging his readers:
“I think good art's only obligation is to move you, to make you feel rearranged. If you're going to give me 16 hours of your time, then I'm going to try and move you as best as I can to make you think. I like to create an immersive world for my readers because I think most readers might never see a working-class community or people living with poverty or travel to Glasgow. … Before I'm a writer, I'm a reader. And for me, the thing I love most in a book is when I close the last page, I want to think, 'Don't go, stay with me, or tell me what you're going to do next.' And that's all I really tried to do with my books.”
So. Did reading Young Mungo make you feel . . . rearranged? If you put the book down at . . . oh, say the midpoint . . . did you pick it back up and continue on? Why? And how do you feel about the book now that there's been a bit of "space" between finishing the book and . . . today?
I can't wait to hear what you think!
Don't forget: We'll be discussing the book on Zoom tonight - 7:00 pm Eastern Time. There's still time for you to join us! Just let me know of your interest either with a comment or by sending me an email (see sidebar, above) -- and I'll send a Zoom invitation.
PS - If you are planning to join us on the Zoom, but haven't received an invitation from me (I sent them yesterday), please let me know so I can get the Zoom link to you today.