Sunday, August 13, 2006

Book Review: Black Swan Green

Black Swan Green
by David Mitchell
Published by Knopf Canada

Britain’s David Mitchell is a master of structure as he proved with 2004’s Cloud Atlas. His newest novel, Black Swan Green lovingly uses this similar framework to tell the story of young Jason Taylor.

Set in Thatcher’s England, the thirteen-year-old leads us through the episodes of his life: fights, wars, girls, cigarettes, parents, books. There is nothing weird or angst-ridden about them; indeed, they are extraordinarily ordinary. But they are magic. Jaw droppingly so.

No mistake, this isn’t a coming-of-age story. (No doubt someone will dub it so.) Nor is it merely a story. Rather, like Mitchell’s previous Cloud Atlas, and number9dream, Black Swan Green is an intimate spell cast over the seeker who cannot come away unaffected.

I can’t say this enough: David Mitchell is a genius and I have yet to experience a glitch of his wand. Please, read and absorb this book.

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