75 Books, Book #4

You may be shocked to hear this, but I didn’t do a lot of reading over the three-day weekend.  Book #4 was David Mitchell’s Black Swan Green.  I’ll withhold my opinion until I get a chance to take this up with Megan.  Needless to say, my reaction is extremely complicated and requires a good deal of thought.  I read this book very slowly for a reason.  I’ll only say that I think this novel was definitely the right step forward for Mitchell.  But it’s an ambitious attempt that’s definitely going to split readers.  I think we’re going to see the same heated and divisive reactions that we saw with Ian McEwan’s Saturday.  More to follow.

One Comment

  1. I’ve just read Black Swan Green myself – my reaction is here – and agree that it is ambitious, and also feel that it establishes literary skills that haven’t necessarily been evident in the style of fiction he’s chosen to write before this, notably a sustained narrative voice. But I do wonder whether you are right that it will split readers. Anyone expecting another Cloud Atlas will probably be disappointed, but I’m not convinced that many people would be reading him in the expectation that he would repeat himself. Surely the split over Saturday was largely political rather than literary, and I don’t think the political content of Black Swan Green, over the Falklands War for instance, would have the same response because it is so clearly filtered through the 13-year-old perspective of the narrator. (Mind you, I saw the political content of Saturday as McEwan’s way of showing us into the mind of Perowne, but many readers seemed to take it straight.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *