David Mitchell

Don’t you just love David Mitchell? Or his novels, at least? Ghostwritten, Number9Dream, Cloud Atlas – I love them all. And in the spring, we’ll be blessed with a fourth: Black Swan Green. If anybody has access to an advance copy of this – I’d really, really love one.

The plot summary is as follows:

Jason Taylor is 13, doomed to be growing up in the most boring family in the deadest village in the dullest county in the most tedious nation on earth. Featuring 13 chapters, each self-contained as a short story, this book follows 13 months in his life as he negotiates the pitfalls of school and home and contends with bullies, girls and politics.

And here’s a very short extract:

Picked-on kids act invisible to reduce the chances of being noticed and picked on. Stammerers act invisible to reduce the chances of being made to say something we can’t. Kids whose parents argue act invisible in case we trigger another skirmish. The Triple Invisible Boy, that’s Jason Taylor. Even I don’t see the real Jason Taylor much these days, ’cept for when we’re writing a poem, or occasionally in a mirror, or just before sleep. But he comes out in woods. Ankley branches, knuckly roots, paths that only might be, earthworks by badgers or Romans, a pond that’ll ice over come January, a wooden cigar box nailed behind the ear of a secret sycamore where we once planned a treehouse, birdstuffedtwigsnapped silence, toothy bracken, and places you can’t find if you’re not alone. Time in woods’s older than time in clocks, and truer.

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