Metro Reco: Black Swan Green
I’ve had David Mitchells’s Booker Prize finalist, Black Swan Green, sitting by my bed for months. It kept getting put off in favour of the big guns, like Alice Munro and Margaret Atwood’s latest. Dudes, this book was surprise treat. I loved it.
Set in 1982, Black Swan Green is a year in the life of Jason Taylor, pre-teen poet trying to fit in with his peers in a tough little town in Worcestershire. His life isn’t made any easier by a speech impediment, a growing interest in girls, and his parents’ struggling marriage.
Black Swan Green is sweet, subtle, and poignant; Jason Taylor is the most endearing character I’ve met in a long time. The 80’s references bring you back to the days of slow-dancing in the gymnasium.
David Mitchell lives in Ireland. His second novel, number9dream (2001), was short-listed for the 2002 Booker Prize. His third novel, Cloud Atlas, was shortlisted in 2004.