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Black Swan Green


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Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award

About the Author

David Mitchell's first novel, GHOSTWRITTEN, was awarded the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. His second novel, NUMBER9DREAM, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize as well as the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. In 2003, David Mitchell was selected as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists and his third novel, CLOUD ATLAS, was shortlisted forsix awardsincludingthe Man Booker Prize and won the British Book Awards Best Literary Fiction and South Bank Show Literature Prize. Born in 1969, he grew up in Worcestershire, and now lives in Ireland with his wife and two children.


(See Prepub Alert, LJ 12/05) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

'David Mitchell is dizzyingly, dazzlingly good!BLACK SWAN GREENis just gorgeous.' -- 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.' -- David Robertson, 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.' -- Arena 'Spry, disconcerting and moving. It is also extremely funny even - or especially - at the blackest of moments.' -- Kate Kellaway, Observer Summer Reads 'Intricate and beautiful' -- Time Out 'Hugely touching and enjoyable' -- Rachel Cooke, Observer Summer Reads 'It is the best kind of contemporary fiction' -- Times Literary Supplement 'Rich and strange' -- Guardian 'That very rare thing, a realistic first novel written by a master of his craft.' -- Christina Patterson, Independent 'All the drama and inadvertent comedy of the onset of adolescence are brilliantly laid bare!a deceptively easy read, at times uproariously funny' -- Evening Standard

Any "whingers" out there won't feel comfortable in Mitchell's new novel of burgeoning and cruel adolescent boys in the rural but hardly pastoral England village of Black Swan Green. Heyborne, who performed one of the characters in the audiobook of Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, embodies the voice of 13-year-old Jason Taylor to perfection. His timbre is youthful and a tad reluctant, as might be expected of a teenager with a stammer who wants desperately to fit in with his rowdy friends. Jason's friends sound too much like Jason himself, but since they are viewed from Jason's perspective and since boys in a clique do tend to sound alike, the choices Heyborne makes are not problematic. The 1980s Worcestershire slang is more challenging, however. The addition of the letter "y" to words to form adjectives is somewhat "educationy," but it is sometimes hard to work through regionalisms that one cannot see in order to place them better. Although Mitchell's novel doesn't lives up to Lord of the Flies, which it derives from, Heyborne's performance is both compelling and compassionate, and the audio is entertaining and highly rewarding. Simultaneous release with the Random House hardcover (Reviews, Jan. 2). (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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