Thursday, May 15, 2008

Black Swan Green

I have just finished the last of my stock of real books, "Black Swan Green" by David Mitchell, it's back to the ebooks again. While I have thoroughly enjoyed everything else I have read by Mitchell (Number9Dream, Ghostwritten, and especially Cloud Atlas), I was a bit wary of picking up this one. It's about a year in the life of a stammering, bullied, sensitive 13-year-old. It didn't sound too interesting -I remember 13 being a bit crap, I did not particularly want to read about someone else's crap year of being 13.

I 'm glad I did though. I should have known that nice Mr Mitchell wouldn't steer me wrong. It starts off in a slightly Diary of Adrian Mole style, but you quickly realise there's a lot more going on in this book. He lays on the 80s ephemera thick, references to Monster Munch and puffball skirts abound, and it works well dragging us unwillingly back into the horrible style vacuum that was 1983.

The plot's a good one, not terribly surprising or original, but that's not the real point - it's the journey that's important. Great writing, great characters and even a couple of references to his other books are slipped in for smug twats like me to notice. Worth a read, and I think i'd recommend it to any 13 year old - it's a shite time of life, but there's still a lot you can control if you want to.

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