Monday, June 19, 2006

Brought to book No.2

The big advantage of going on yer hols is, of course, NOT to get a good dose of skin cancer and ozone followed by rich food and trinket buying in some foreign field. Oh no. It's so you can grab the latest hardbacks in those handy to carry (not) 'airport editions'! So it was that I grabbed the latest David Mitchell opus, Black Swan Green.
Initially put off by the back cover's description of it being the experiences of a 13-year old growing up in a midddle English village in the early 80s, my doubts were further confirmed by a tendency to try far too bloody hard to place the reader back in 1981 (lots of references to pixie boots, Spandau Ballet and asteroids - for which I think we can blame the Andrew Collinses of this world). But hold on...this is David Mitchell, and he's GOOD. Veering wildly from the magical realism of his previous 3 novels he has power over words that lifts what could be a mildly funny, poignant picture of adolescence (shiver) into a poetic and gripping read. His best trick is to make you think all is mundane and then show you that even suburbia is as dark and arcane as any fantasy world. I laughed, I cried, I want more...

2 comments:

lifestooshort said...

you read a whole book in only a week? I'm impressed. wish I could do that.

Garuda said...

It's a curse rather than a blessing - The combination of commuting and years of working in bookshops means I consume literature at a horrible rate. Which is why my flat is filled with piles of books which always seem to be bad value for money ;-)