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Bursting the Thermometer

Black Swan Green: A Novel by David Mitchell

Reviewed by Ruth Franklin
The New Republic Online

" 'I liked it.' Is there anything less interesting to say about a book? Every negative piece is negative in its own way: we remember with a grim chuckle Mark Twain's enumeration of James Fenimore Cooper's literary offenses ('There have been daring people in the world who claimed that Cooper could write English, but they are all dead now'), or Nabokov's epistolary rebuke of Edmund Wilson ('A patient confidant of his long and hopeless infatuation with the Russian language, I have always done my best to explain to him his mistakes of pronunciation, grammar, and interpretation')..." Read the entire New Republic Online review.

4 Responses to "Bursting the Thermometer"

    Carolyn July 20th, 2006 at 5:40 am

    By the time I got to the actual review of Black Swan Green , I forgot the title and author of the book being reviewed.
    Franklin appears to be more eager to show us her own clever use of words and the ability to tie up a lot of "stuff" into an essay about topics interesting to herself than she is in writing a "review" of David Mitchell's new novel.

    s h a r o n July 20th, 2006 at 7:55 am

    Carolyn, exactly. It seems it would have been so easy (and right) to begin with Section II.

    Eunice K. Riemer July 20th, 2006 at 6:13 pm

    I ran this review through Word for Windows and found that it contains 5006 words. It is the epitome of a New Republic book review--boring, opinionated and, especially, long.

    BD July 22nd, 2006 at 1:53 am

    Ruth Franklin's review is wonderful. It provides interesting and informative perspectives that shed light on how to read reviews AND exactly what kind of book (and author) is on offer. Sure it's long but it's good - which is a lot better than short, dull, and predictable. More please.

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