Lawrence's Reviews > Black Swan Green

Black Swan Green by David Mitchell
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M 50x66
's review
Apr 27, 2012

liked it
Read from April 27 to 28, 2012

I enjoy Mr. Mitchell's writing very much. That is, I enjoy tremendously just reading his sentences. He is imaginative. His images are unique, idiosyncratic. But for this reason and Mr. Mitchell's fluency, I think I have a hard time grasping the larger picture.

I kept thinking: This is how Oliver Twist gets written in the 20th/21st century. The reason is that, if I draw back, I see OT themes --- helpless victim, benefactors and persistent persecutors, a better future. But Mr. Mitchell provides the contemporary horror as Dicken provided the horror of conditions in his era. The raising of consciousness over bullying makes the contemporary horror true to life. Besides this, are the other aspects of Mr. Mitchell's young hero's beleaguered life --- stammering, secret poetry and sensibility, and family woes. I appreciated his ability to survive. I appreciated even more his ability to fight --- perhaps out of despair.

The chapter in this book that will stay with me is "The Solarium". Mme van Crommelynke's insight into the hero and his creativity are worth rereading because I think they are true for him and for poets generally.


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