Black Swan Green

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Vintage Canada, 2007 - Adolescence - 304 pages
112 Reviews
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From award-winning writer David Mitchell comes a sinewy, meditative novel of boyhood on the cusp of adulthood and the old on the cusp of the new. Black Swan tracks a single year in what is, for thirteen-year-old Jason Taylor, the sleepiest village in muddiest Worcestershire in a dying Cold War England, 1982. But the thirteen chapters, each a short story in its own right, create an exquisitely observed world that is anything but sleepy. A world of Kissingeresque realpolitikenacted in boys’ games on a frozen lake; of “nightcreeping” through the summer backyards of strangers; of the tabloid-fueled thrills of the Falklands War and its human toll; of the cruel, luscious Dawn Madden and her power-hungry boyfriend, Ross Wilcox; of a certain Madame Eva van Outryve de Crommelynck, an elderly bohemian emigré who is both more and less than she appears; of Jason’s search to replace his dead grandfather’s irreplaceable smashed watch before the crime is discovered; of first cigarettes, first kisses, first Duran Duran Lps, and first deaths; of Margaret Thatcher’s recession; of Gypsies camping in the woods and the hysteria they inspire; and, even closer to home, of a slow-motion divorce in four seasons. Pointed, funny, profound, left-field, elegiac, and painted with the stuff of life, Black Swan Greenis David Mitchell’s subtlest and most effective achievement to date. From the Hardcover edition.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - m.belljackson - LibraryThing

Ordered for the lovely cover and title, the first chapter was promising, but plot and character development slow moving and not enthralling as anticipated. No dead horse or dog in this one, simply a way-un-needed dead kitten...and more sad miseries. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - usuallee - LibraryThing

Mensmerizing, nuanced & poignant coming of age story about a young boy with a stuttering problem growing up in 1980's England. The book takes place during his 13th year and it is awe-inspiring how ... Read full review

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About the author (2007)

David Mitchell is the award-winning and bestselling author of The Bone Clocks, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, Black Swan Green, Cloud Atlas, Number9Dream, and Ghostwritten. Twice shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Mitchell was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time in 2007. With KA Yoshida, Mitchell translated from the Japanese the internationally bestselling memoir The Reason I Jump. He lives in Ireland with his wife and two children.

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