2007: 150. Black Swan Green

“Do not set food in my office.  That’s Dad’s rule.  But the phone’d rung twenty-five times.  Normal people give up after ten or eleven, unless its a matter of life or death.  Don’t they”

Black Swan Green, David Mitchell

I loved, loved Mitchell’s previous novel, Cloud Atlas.  This book is totally different, but equally excellent, and Mitchell is one hell of a writer.  Where Cloud Atlas was a metaphysical puzzle, this is just a story of a year in a young man’s life in the town of Black Swan Green (there are no swans there, it’s a thing).  It’s not mystical or a story within a story or anything like that (though a character from Cloud Atlas does make a brief appearance), just the story of thirteen year old Jason Taylor’s life in 1982 Worcestershire.  But it is written so well, and Jason seems so real - so legitimately thirteen, and yet so sympathetic and believable, that the pages fly by.  Not much happens - we are in bildungsroman territory, but Mitchell really captures the stresses and joys and the fears and concerns of being that age in that time period (which I am guessing he himself was, once - he’s about that age).  The book is so, so good that I was sad to see it end.  Not flashy, but perfect.

Recommended for:  Everyone who likes reading - this is a book about people and life and families, and Jason is a charmer to boot.

Date/Place Completed: 9/19/07; Flying home to D.C.

Categories: Fiction

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017