David Mitchell is dizzyingly, dazzlingly good ... Black Swan Green is just gorgeous. -- Eithne Farry Daily Mail A delight to read from beginning to end Sunday Express Luminously beautiful The Times I do hope to read a better British novel this year, but I can't honestly say that I expect to. Scotsman Mitchell is just about the best writer operating in Britain today ... a novel that, like each of its predecessors, sticks in the back of your head for weeks after you've finished it. -- Mat Smith Arena Spry, disconcerting and moving. It is also extremely funny even - or especially - at the blackest of moments. -- Kate Kellaway Observer Intricate and beautiful Time Out Hugely touching and enjoyable -- Rachel Cooke Observer It is the best kind of contemporary fiction TLS Rich and strange Guardian All the drama and inadvertent comedy of the onset of adolescence are brilliantly laid bare ... a deceptively easy read, at times uproariously funny -- Joel Rickett Evening Standard Black Swan Green's 'I love 1982' nostalgia is a glassy, pitch-perfect, mock-innocent surface through which something rotten might appear -- Ali Smith Sunday Telegraph
It's a dank January in the Worcestershire village of Black Swan Green and thirteen-year-old Jason Taylor -- covert stammerer and reluctant poet -- anticipates a stultifying year in the deadest village on Earth. But Jason hasn't reckoned with a junta of bullies, simmering family discord, the Falklands War, an exotic Belgian emigre, a threatened gypsy invasion and the caprices of those mysterious entities known as girls. BLACK SWAN GREEN charts thirteen months in the black hole between childhood and adolescence, set against the sunset of an agrarian England still overshadowed by the Cold War. Wry, painful, funny and vibrant with the stuff of life, it is David Mitchell's subtlest and most captivating achievement to date.