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Black Swan Green
by David Mitchell


Overview - By the New York Times bestselling author of The Bone Clocks and Cloud Atlas - Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize
Selected by Time as One of the Ten Best Books of the Year - A New York Times Notable Book - Named One of the Best Books of the Year by The Washington Post Book World, The Christian Science Monitor, Rocky Mountain News, and Kirkus Reviews - A Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist - Winner of the ALA Alex Award - Finalist for the Costa Novel Award

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.
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More About Black Swan Green by David Mitchell
 
 
 
Overview
By the New York Times bestselling author of The Bone Clocks and Cloud Atlas - Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize
Selected by Time as One of the Ten Best Books of the Year - A New York Times Notable Book - Named One of the Best Books of the Year by The Washington Post Book World, The Christian Science Monitor, Rocky Mountain News, and Kirkus Reviews - A Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist - Winner of the ALA Alex Award - Finalist for the Costa Novel Award

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 Green 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 realpolitik enacted 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 emigre 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 Green is David Mitchell s subtlest and most effective achievement to date.
Praise for Black Swan Green

David Mitchell has created] one of the most endearing, smart, and funny young narrators ever to rise up from the pages of a novel. . . . The always fresh and brilliant writing will carry readers back to their own childhoods. . . . This enchanting novel makes us remember exactly what it was like. The Boston Globe
David Mitchell is a] prodigiously daring and imaginative young writer. . . . As in the works of Thomas Pynchon and Herman Melville, one feels the roof of the narrative lifted off and oneself in thrall. Time
A] brilliant new novel . . . In Jason, Mitchell creates an evocation yet authentically adolescent voice. The New York Times Book Review
Alternately nostalgic, funny and heartbreaking. The Washington Post
Great Britain s Catcher in the Rye and another triumph for one of the present age s most interesting and accomplished novelists. Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
This book is so entertainingly strange, so packed with activity, adventures, and diverting banter, that you only realize as the extraordinary novel concludes that the timid boy has grown before your eyes into a capable young man. Entertainment Weekly

From the Hardcover edition."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780812974010
  • ISBN-10: 0812974018
  • Publisher: Random House Trade
  • Publish Date: February 2007
  • Page Count: 294


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary

 
BookPage Reviews

Black Swan Green

Mitchell, author of the acclaimed Cloud Atlas (2004), returns with a spare and lovely novel told from the perspective of a teenager. Jason Taylor resides in Black Swan Green, a quiet little village in Worcestershire, with his smart, socially successful sister and quarreling parents. The year is 1982. Margaret Thatcher is in office, the Cold War is winding down, and Duran Duran are all the rage. Thirteen-year-old Jason, as the reader soon learns, has a stammer, a characteristic that gives strange shape to his life, as he edits his own vocabulary in an effort to make speaking easier. On certain days, he avoids words beginning with N, while on others, he shies away from the letter S. Life with a perfect sister only makes his deficiencies more apparent—or so it seems to Jason. Mitchell's portrayal of Jason as an eccentric teen who is brilliant in his own right, full of clever insights and ingenious ideas, is a joy to read. As the novel unfolds, a cast of remarkable characters is introduced, including Dawn Madden, the voluptuous object of Jason's affection, and Madame Eva van Outryve de Crommelynck, a mysterious immigrant with her own incredible story. This beguiling novel offers plenty of humor and an unforgettable narrator in Jason, whose inner thoughts and emotions are convincingly presented by Mitchell.

 
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