The re-read proved to be a real disappointment! Even alternating books I found myself lengthening segments to postpone returning to Jason's world.
I say only that I now agree in differing degrees with all of the criticisms. Excluding the Crommelyncks, Dean Moran and Julia, I found most characters unsympathetic to cardboardish. Don't know the music so didn't get much from those references. The cringe-inducing family dinner was one of the best portrayals I've read of the Uncle Brian type. And, of course, Solarium...I'm making an effort to substitute "go to the hell" for some of my own less pleasant expletives!
The puzzle is why I've so reversed my opinion. I started the re-read before reading this month's comments to forestall being influenced by folks' insightful (as always*) comments. Seems I have to upgrade my Oxford Eng. Dictionary because it had very few of the slang words.
I started Mitchell's Cloud Atlas a couple days after abandoning Black Swan Green and while there is very little slang, his vocabulary is incredible—makes me wonder if he writes w/a Thesaurus to hand. Hesitate to opine prematurely again, but it is totally different than Black Swan Green; in fact so different from anything I've ever read that I keep wondering what David Mitchell would be like as a dinner companion.
*I always scan the nominated books and monthly comments and want to thank you all for your in depth, articulate comments.