Having read Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell’s Black Swan Green came as quite a surprise. It’s just one story, told in a straightforward fashion, and it’s subject matter is familiar and relatable. Thirteen-year-old Jason Taylor has an eventful 1982 as he tries to overcome his stammer, capture his feelings in poems, make sense out of the war in the Falklands, and make it through the bullying at school.
While it might seem like this would be a disappointment coming off the inventive Cloud Atlas, in actuality Black Swan Green is a delightful read. Mitchell expertly catalogs the anxieties of an unpopular boy on the verge of adolescence. The specific details of the time period and the setting are also appreciated .
It seems like David Mitchell is just as comfortable in the real world as he is spinning out a futuristic fantasy-world.