Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Black Swan Green: David Mitchell

Black Swan Green: Why would a long-established English village be called that? Black swans are native to Australia. 

Mitchell is a short story writer. He strings short stories together and calls them novels. (Kipling did something similar.)

Mitchell is famous for doing voices. (Look I'm Kingsley Amis; look I'm Eric Fenby.) Here he's attempting to voice himself- or someone like himself (as a thirteen year old)- but he's still seeing life through genres- the sit-com, the ghost story, the school story. This is his most deeply felt book, but not his best. 

All Mitchell's fiction is about man being a wolf to man. The awfulness is punctuated by odd, gratuitous acts of kindness. A hardnut (one of many) recommends the hero takes a bowie knife to the bully who is picking on him." I'd get sent to borstal," he protests. "Well, wakey fucking wakey," says the hardnut, "Life's a borstal!"

  • Iodine And Salt

    When I was merely a vegetarian I used to allow myself to eat fish- so, although I called myself a vegetarian, I was actually a pescatarian. The…

  • I Love The Smell Of Pig In The Morning

    I walked out into the field this morning and smelled pig farm. Or maybe it was somebody muck-spreading. Either way it had me thinking about pork…

  • Shrooms

    Ailz put an app on my phone which allows me to identify fungi. It's a very cautious app and only tells me that certain specimens are…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.