Despite internship pressure, despite the busy-ness of Holy Week, I finished a novel that I thought was going to take me a lot longer to read. Black Swan Green is, you see, brutal. It is brilliantly written; it is a compelling read. Its sharply accurate portrayal of childhood, though, is brilliant.
The story is part general bildungsroman and part künstlerroman. Describing it that way might well frighten off people who have been forced to read too many of such things—ah, Wilhelm Meister, and your apprenticeship!—but Mitchell’s story of Jason Taylor as he moves from childhood to a more adult view of the world, and into someone who begins to take his art seriously—is fresh and entirely enjoyable.
It’s told from
I’m making it sound like a dire book, but it’s infused as well with a gentle, self-deprecating humour. I can’t recommend it highly enough; Black Swan Green is a wonderful book, and one I’d like to see widely read.