Black Swan Green

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Author: David Mitchell
Publisher: Sceptre (2007)
Binding: Paperback, 384 pages

Black Swan Green by David Mitchell – 2 out of 5.

An Audio Book for me this one & very much picked out of the library at random, just to see what it was like. I'd heard good things about “Cloud Atlas” (by the same author, which isn't the David Mitchell from Mitchell & Webb by the way). This Novel sees our hero, Jason, as his life moves from childhood into teenager & the struggles involved. It's set back in the early '80s & has some nice nostalgic references sprinkled liberally through the book. There are also some references to cool fantasy & SF books from time to time.

Despite some flashes of interesting situations & occurrences it's really a pretty standard coming of age tale which is fairly inoffensive throughout. There were times earlier on in the plot where I though things were going to go to a darker place, Jason could be a disturbed child or has he got a split personality? But no, he's just a kid trying to get on with things such as his mild speech impediment, sexuality & family troubles. Each chapter looks at a different time through a year period in Jason's life, by far the most irritating for me was the old Belgian Lady who tried to help Jason with his poetry, I thought she'd become more of a main character but, thank God, she soon disappears. The best bits were with his family & at school, though I did get a bit lost with all his school chums names.