LITERATURE: Up Next: Black Swan Green

071208lWilliam Gay is a hard act to follow and I felt that sense of disappointment as I went through my shelves to select my next reading.  I’m in the mood for language, yet what besides a few that I’m saving away for special times can rise up to meet the anticipation?

So it was best, I think, to choose something I have no preconceptions about; a new author, a different setting, a different time.

After pulling out a few novels, glancing at a few pages, and ending up sticking back in place, I seemed drawn to David Mitchell’s Black Swan Green.  Different enough to not compare with Gay (or Faulkner, McCarthy, Marquez, Steinbeck).

The first thing I’ve noticed just by thumb-flipping through–lots and lots of dialogue.  Odd how it stood out and then I remembered how Gay–like McCarthy–gives us a break from punctuation.

First few pages are interesting, from a first person pov of a young boy sneaking into his father’s office to answer the prolonged ringing of a phone and getting no response from the caller.  That’s your standard hook; let’s see where it goes from there.  A mistress?  Mafia?  As I said: interesting.

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