The Swan

The Swan

A Novel
Cohee, Jim
Distribution: World
Publication date: 08/19/2011
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-22343-2
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Ten-year-old Aaron Cooper has witnessed the death of his younger sister, Pookie, and the trauma has left him unwilling to speak. Aaron copes with life's challenges by disappearing into his own imagination, envisioning being captain of the Kon Tiki, driving his sled in the snowy Klondike, and tiger hunting in India. He is guarded by secret friends like deposed Hungarian Count Blurtz Shemshoian and Blurtz's wonder dog, Nipper, who protect him from the creature from the Black Lagoon—who hides in Aaron's closet at night. The tales he constructs for himself, the real life stories he is witness to, and his mother's desperate efforts to bring her son back from the brink, all come to a head at an emotional family dinner. Set in Indianapolis in 1957, The Swan is a fictional memoir about enduring love and the weighty nature of mortality.

Author Bio

Jim Cohee is a freelance writer, based in San Francisco, who has written for Lonely Planet. The Swan is his first novel.


It's all there: eloquence, comedy, a childhood effectively captured, seriousness, an eccentric intelligence. The Swan delights.The brilliant stutter-stepping and jump-cutting expertly mimic the mind of a ten-year-old, and the basic irony is stunning—that a verbally pyrotechnic book should be uttered by a mute boy.Nothing short of dazzling.Lively, entertaining, funny, and often moving.The Swan is a story of childhood and a family's tenuous hold on everything that once seemed solid to them. Jim Cohee's lyrical and expertly crafted prose weaves a tale that is enchanting, hilarious, heartbreaking, and uplifting. A young boy's fantasies and his resistance to the circumstances of his family weaves this story of loss and the transcendence of the human spirit. It reminds us how noble and resilient we can be.Gorgeous and surprising.

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