The Magic Numbers

Thirteen ways of looking at world weaver David Mitchell's bewitching 13-part novel

Mitchell: the wanderer
photo: Miriam Berkley
Mitchell: the wanderer


Black Swan Green
By David Mitchell
Random House, 294 pp., $23.95

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    13. N9D's last section is a blank page. BSG ends with "it's not the end." Mitchell is great at beginnings, reluctant with conclusions. He loves even his most minor characters so much that he resurrects them, sets up new resonances, fresh recognitions. Let's step back to admire. On his disastrous outing to Lyme Regis with his father, Jason buys a connected set of 13 postcards, each depicting a dinosaur, "but if you put them end to end in order, the background landscape joins up and forms a frieze."

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