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Black Swan Green (8/09) > General thoughts on Black Swan Green?

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message 1: by Sally (new)

Sally (Mostly_Literary) | 72 comments Mod
What do you think? Did this book grab you? What did you think of the characters? The style of writing? Was it hard to get used to the British slang? Post some of your thoughts here.


message 2: by Robin (new)

Robin | 52 comments I give this 3 stars. I liked it, but not a 4 star ranking. I couldn't really get into the book until one third of the way through. I started to care for the characters much later in this book than usual. The author really captured the essence of a thirteen year old boy however. Perhaps a man would have a better say on that subject. Some things I just could not relate to. It boils down to me not ever being a 13 year old boy I suppose. However, much was universal.

Jason Taylor was a rich character but some of the others were not richly developed.

I liked the style of writing once I got used to it. I did enjoy the Britishness of it for the most part, the humor and the dry wit.

I was surprised to see references to some things American. Names and places which I am not sure we on this side of the pond would get if things were reversed. Americans are known for not knowing lots about the world outside their bubble.


message 3: by Robin (new)

Robin | 52 comments I was having trouble with either my computer or the site yesterday. I added these quotes but somehow they didn't post.

Some of my favorites from Black Swan Green...
"Run across a field of daisies at warp speed but keep your eyes on the ground. It's ace. Petaled stars and dandelion comets streak the green universe."

"In the copse, the bridle path joined up with a moon- cratered track. Trees knitted overhead, so only knots and loops of sky showed. Dark and cool it was......Newborn flowers in the garden were licorice allsorts blue, pink, and yellow. Maybe I heard scissors. Maybe I heard a poem, seeping from its cracks. So I stood and listened, just for a minute, like a hungry robin listening for worms. Or two, or three. "

"The melony sun dripped steamy brightness."

"Round the other side of the conker tree, I looked at what lay up the bridle path. A lane snaking to Marl Bank and Castlemorton, fields, more fields, a glimpse of an old gray turret rising above the firs. Line of pylons. You could pick out details on the Malvern Hills now."

(If you haven't already, treat yourself to pictures of the Malvern Hills on line!!!)

"The wind riffled the ten thousand pages of the oak tree."

"Tom Yew's death killed the thrill of the war."

"War's an auction where whoever can pay the most in damage and still be standing wins."

"Isn't no god better than one who does that to people."

"Catholics know how to run the business of religion.
Catholics and Mormons. Propagate customers, they tell their congregation, or is the Inferno for you!"

"Who has need of a divine creator who must sell inferior marmelade?"

"In English at school we study a grammar book...read...do debates on foxhunting, and memorize...We don't have to actually think about stuff."

"But if the right words existed the music wouldn't need to."

"Listening's reading if you close your eyes."

"Music's a wood you walk through."


message 4: by Jeanette (new)

Jeanette | 4 comments I couldn't really get into the book Black Swan Green. I tried..I really tried, but I did finish the book. It was somewhat interesting, but the story was all over the place. I understand that each chapter was an episode in the life of Jason, but I didn't feel it. Can someone tell me why the author had to give first and last names to characters throughout the book?

There were many interesting passages as Robin has stated, but not enough to make me love this book.





message 5: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne (turttle) | 2 comments Response to Jeanett and Robin's comment.

I totally agree with you, Jeanett. I just couldn't get into this book Black swan Green. I did enjoy the British humor, but I stopped about two thirds of the book, and returned the book as much as I hated not finishing the book.
At the same time, I also feel on the same pages with Robin, and I admire your detail oriented quality. You have that keen sense of observation, and almost good as reading the books through your comment. especially when you quote actual paragraphs of an author. I have a habit of writing down something that author said which I couldn't think of describing such ways. That's why reading is an enormous learning process even it's a fiction about life stories of particular characters or circumstances. I did find
I definitly agree with your last comment Robin about Americans are not really aware of world out side of
their bubble. I guess the country is so big and the fast paced life style can be the contributing factor.


message 6: by Rita (last edited Sep 05, 2009 01:20PM) (new)

Rita Vandenburgh | 1 comments I really enjoyed Black Swan gGeen. Is was so well written, with quiet humor and sincere feeling for a 13 year old boy. I cared about Jason, who confronted and learned to manage so many adolescent challenges. (i.e. bullying, self-confidence, stuttering, sex, etc.) I still think of Jason and wonder about his life in the new town and the new school. It has been interesting to compare the stories of 12 and 13 year olds: Paloma in Elegance of the Hedgehog, Matilda in Mr. Pip, Sarah in Sarah's Key, and Jason.


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