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August 2013
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thebostonreader [userpic]
18. Black Swan Green by David Mitchell

Twelve-year-old Jason is in the middle rung of popularity at his school, but his standing can go up or down at a moment's notice. He's a stammerer, a fact he goes to great lengths to hide, and his parents are not exactly happy with each other. His older sister is hard on him, as siblings can be, and he has odd experiences that seem almost on the lip of magical realism.

David Mitchell can write. Every sentence is perfectly constructed, and he brings out the terrible side of being a young teenager (and is there a good side?) with a visceral immediacy that reminded me of a lot of feelings I might have preferred to forget. The descriptions of bullying brought back Margaret Atwood's Cat's Eye in my mind.

I enjoyed this one a lot more than Jacob de Zoet, which I found tedious in places. Black Swan Green is never tedious, and I didn't want it to end.