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Black Swan Green Audiobook

Black Swan Green

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Publisher's Summary

From award-winning writer David Mitchell comes a sinewy, meditative novel of boyhood on the cusp of adulthood and the old on the cusp of the new.

Black Swan Green tracks a single year in what is, for 13-year-old Jason Taylor, the sleepiest village in muddiest Worcestershire in dying Cold War England, 1982. But the 13 chapters, each a short story in its own right, create an exquisitely observed world that is anything but sleepy. A world of Kissinger-esque realpolitik enacted in boys' games on a frozen lake; of "nightcreeping" through the summer backyards of strangers; of the tabloid-fueled thrills of the Falklands War and its human toll; of the cruel, luscious Dawn Madden and her power-hungry boyfriend, Ross Wilcox; of a certain Madame Eva van Outryve de Crommelynck, an elderly bohemian emigre who is both more and less than she appears; of Jason's search to replace his dead grandfather's irreplaceable smashed watch before the crime is discovered; of first cigarettes, first kisses, first Duran Duran LPs, and first deaths; of Margaret Thatcher's recession; of Gypsies camping in the woods and the hysteria they inspire; and, even closer to home, of a slow-motion divorce in four seasons.

Pointed, funny, profound, left-field, elegiac, and painted with the stuff of life, Black Swan Green is David Mitchell's subtlest and most effective achievement to date.

©2006 David Mitchell; (P)2006 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Great Britain's Catcher in the Rye, and another triumph for one of the present age's most interesting and accomplished novelists." (Kirkus Reviews)

"Gorgeous....Captures the sheer pleasure of being a boy and brings to mind adventures shared by Huck and Tom." (Publishers Weekly)

"He reproduces Jason's inner life with such astonishing verisimilitude that readers will find themselves haunted by him long after turning the last page." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (470 )
5 star
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4.2 (242 )
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4.4 (240 )
5 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    M. McClure Pelham, AL USA 03-09-07
    M. McClure Pelham, AL USA 03-09-07 Member Since 2001

    damack1

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of my favorites"

    I loved this book. The narrator was top-notch, and the story was engrossing. I found myself worrying about Jason at odd times during the day and night, when I wasn't listening to the book. There were also some really memorable phrases, the kind you hear, stop the the player, and think, "I've got to remember that one."

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Oakland, CA, USA 12-21-06
    Jason Oakland, CA, USA 12-21-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    1
    1
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    "Particularly good narration"

    Especially in the second half or so of the book, the narrator really shines at doing all the voices, from the odd accent of old Madame Cromerlinck to the Gypsies and the horrid gossipy vicar's wife.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cranberry 07-17-06
    Cranberry 07-17-06 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    446
    37
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    "Very, very good"

    This is an enjoyable audiobook. Very easy to listen to, excellent narration. We've all been in similar situations to those encountered by Jason. We can all identify.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Marie Honolulu, HI United States 06-02-06
    S. Marie Honolulu, HI United States 06-02-06 Member Since 2016

    S. Marie

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Clear, gripping prose"

    Just a really great story and easier to follow than Mitchell's other work- Could Atlas. Of the two, I preferred this one, although both are beautifully written. On the surface the story appears straightforeward, but then makes strange turns. I generally dislike literal novels and prefer immersive fantasy, but this was some of both.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam San Francisco, CA, United States 04-28-11
    Sam San Francisco, CA, United States 04-28-11

    Artist. Photographer. Devil.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bizarre Pronouciations"

    Mitchell's pronunciation are so peculiar, it is taking away from the story for me. I have never heard an English accent so strange. It doesn't make any sense to me whatsoever. I grew up in the West Country, as did he - and I have never heard anything like it. He says "Aunt" for Ant. He says "Urn Bru for Iron Bru". He says "Don" for Dawn. He says Gehrage for Garage. He says MalVERN instead of MALvern, he says Dotsun for Datsun, He says Aaahlice for Alice and the list goes on and on. Americans probably don't realise how weird it is, but believe me, it is weird. Story is great - it reflects my own childhood era perfectly - but I do wish someone else was reading it.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rose Blum 07-07-16
    Rose Blum 07-07-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
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    18
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    "Couldn't take more of the dreadful English accent"
    Any additional comments?

    Having grown up in Malvern ( pronounced Moll Vern ) I loved Mitchell's reference to places I know and I found the story compelling, but the narrator's English accent was so painful that I couldn't get through this. I hope there's another recording as I'd love to listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather Collis Puro 06-18-16 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    7
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    "remembering the 80s"

    coming of age story sprinkled with the ongoing futuristic fantastic tale that Mitchell weaves through all his recent works. Lovely voice of the main character.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric 05-11-16
    Eric 05-11-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "My favorite of his books"
    Would you listen to Black Swan Green again? Why?

    The narrator was compelling. I doubt if I'll listen again because I have many, many waiting for my eaers.


    What other book might you compare Black Swan Green to and why?

    Skippy Dies.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rose S 05-01-16
    Rose S 05-01-16 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    9
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    "a peak inside the mind of a bright but bullied boy"

    Jason is brilliant but different. a dangerous combination at age 13 but he also stammers. How he deals with the resultant bullying and lifes many roadblocks hints at his future greatness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    moira shea 03-31-16
    moira shea 03-31-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
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    50
    1
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    "just perfect"
    Would you listen to Black Swan Green again? Why?

    i don't tend to do that


    Any additional comments?

    Just a great combination of narrator,story and lyrical writing.A joy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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