Skip to main content

Black Swan Green by David Mitchell : A year in the life of a thirteen year old

Black Swan Green is a year in the life of thirteen year old stammering Jason Taylor in the small town of Black Swan Green. David Mitchell assumes his voice with amazing deftness and skill.
What he does really well is immerse the reader in Jason's world. The narration, the voice is spot on. The characters are brought to life. The setting of Black Swan Green is brilliant. Two characters from Cloud Atlas make an appearance and all of it leads to a surprisingly cohesive whole that is much greater than the sum of his parts. A lot of novels with kids as protagonists are written but this is by far the best I have read. Its loads better than what they call Young Adult fiction and indeed I would  rate it above A Catcher in the Rye.
Its not a novel light on subject matter, gypsies come into the picture at one stage and the unrest they cause in Black Swan Green is vividly rendered. Weighty matters are dealt with, without even once losing the narrator's voice.
Looking back at his other novels this is probably his simplest one in terms of structure and plot with no interleaving strands or overarching themes but that does not diminish Black Swan Green. This is easily his most heartfelt novel and he manages to lend a touch of magic even to the most mundane of activities. 
This is a great addition to David Mitchell's ouvre and he really is a fine writer with a gift for storytelling and turning out sentences that stick with you long after the book is closed.

You can buy Black Swan Green here.


Popular posts from this blog

The Broken Empire by Mark Lawrence

What a great read this turned out to be.  I was completely engrossed and fascinated. Jorg Ancrath starts of as a young prince who wants to get his throne back, get back everything he has lost and most importantly get revenge and he is prepared to do anything to achieve his aims. The thing is that Jorg Ancrath is a despicable violent bastard. He does things that should curdle your blood. But despite all of it, Jorg's voice is compelling. I couldn't help but put myself in his shoes. For most of the trilogy I was Jorg Ancrath even through his dastardly deeds(especially through his dastardly deeds). There was a part of me that couldn't help identifying with his ruthless streak of getting what he wants no matter what the cost. I have yet to find another character who embodies "The end justifies the means" more than Jorg Ancrath. The world itself set on an Earth of the far future. (Similar to the dying earth series by Jack Vance and Book of the new sun by Gene

On Hans Zimmer

I have been listening to quite a lot of soundtracks lately. Two composers in particular stand out, Hans Zimmer and Clint Mansell. I have written about Clint Mansell over here . Hans Zimmer has somehow managed to score a lot of my favorite movies including Inception, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight , the Gladiator, Sherlock, Pirates of the Caribbean just to name a few. In fact chances are that if there is a movie's score you like in the last decade its by Zimmer.(Apart from Lord of the rings of course :)) The thing about Zimmer though is that he is able to deliver even in movies that are not particularly good. Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons come to mind immediately which feature some great violin solos courtesy Joshua Bell. Here are a few of my favorite tracks. Put your headphones on and listen. Discombulate from Sherlock Red Warrior from The Last Samurai Time from Inception Jack Sparrow's Theme Science and Religion from Angels and Demons

Announcing the first part of the Karna trilogy

Finally after a lot of procrastination and some hard work the novel is done or at least the first part of it. Its about Karna in the Mahabharata. It also revolves around Kunti. From my reading experience Karna is highly readable and is short as well. (Novella length). You can read the whole book online here or if you want to get the pdf/epub for your reading devices you can get them from Leanpub Let me know what you think of Karna Part One. Two more parts are on their way.