Black Swan Green is David Mitchell's best novel yet. He has shown great promise in all of his previous novels (Ghostwritten, number9dream, Cloud Atlas). However, I think this the first one that is truly in his own voice. He often wore his influences on his sleeve in the other novels. I am not a big fan of fantasy or science fiction, so I felt those elements marred his other novels. I guess one aspect of the novel that was interesting to me was the English nostalgia of the 80s aspect of it. Mitchell is the same age as me, but the culture that he grew up in seems very foreign to me. There are a lot of references that mean nothing to me that are universally understood by the English. But I think he transcends a regional story by drawing attention to the horrors of growing up, especially at that precarious turning point where one makes the transition into adolescence. He captures the need for acceptance and the petty cruelty of youth-bringing back some unwanted memories. Thus, he captures the turbulence, which is further fueled by family problems and a speech impediment of the story protagonist-one Jason Taylor. I also like how he managed to incorporate Robert Frobisher (a character from Cloud Atlas) into the story as well. While the ending is upbeat, it is far from resolved, much like life itself.