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Ghostwritten Paperback – Apr 20 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre; 2nd Revised edition edition (April 20 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340739754
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340739754
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 299 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #127,889 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
This story, or rather these connected novellas, was such a wonderful reading experience. I was so surprised an author could jump cultures and time periods with such ease and I'd never heard of Mitchell before. (I first read "Ghostwritten" in 2002, before Mitchell became an international sensation). With each subsequent short story, I couldn't wait to see how Mitchell would tie it to the previous one. I've promised to name a future pet either 'Quasar' or 'His Serendipity' in honor of that fantastic opening story! This book was a sign of the amazing things to come from a world-class storyteller.
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This is a mind-bending novel, a thought-provoking series of vignettes (are actually novellas in themselves) that hook into each other to present a stunning vision of the contemporary world. Okay, not quite contemporary because some of the details are already out of date, like the passing mention of the World Trade Center in "Night Train," but that's just quibbling; the ideas are absolutely immediately now. How Mitchell manages to combing history with geography with politics with metaphysics with psychology with morality...it's a beautiful novel in that it pushes the audience to listen with ever greater focus and attention and, believe it or not, responsibility for how we respond when we close the last page.
If he had only written "Holy Mountain," David Mitchell would have created a wonderful addition to the world of literature, but he's done so much more here. Read it. Listen. Absorb. Respond.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Nov. 21 2002
Format: Hardcover
Few people can successfully balance and interweave so many varied perspectives, but Mitchell does so with grace and beauty. His prose is rich but not overwrought, his characters are fully realized, and his story says something important about an ever shrinking world. This is the kind of book Americans need to read more often to remind them that we are not alone on this planet, and that human dignity and foibles are universal. Check out his other book Number9dream as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Celia on April 25 2002
Format: Paperback
Very intriguing, very original, very fresh ideas. I was totally taken by surprise by this firstnovelwriter. He seems to be so familiar with so many different realities and , what is stranger, he makes us feel at home in a ger in Mongolia or as a cult-controlled terrorist, or a transmigrating spirit or a guide at the Hermitage... I am looking forward for his next book. I wonder where he will take me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Jan. 18 2002
Format: Paperback
I'm absolutely jealous that Mitchell can write so well. He has written a book that I will not forget. Each chapter is more or less a short story centering on one character. However, each character seems to be connected in one way or another. Now, critics have said that this novel is very much the same as writings of a famous Japanese writer (a role model, evidently, to Mitchell), however, unless you are a graduate in World lit. or from Japan, I don't think you would know any different.
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By Sears Braithwaite (of Bullard) TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 18 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I originally got this book, years ago, at the library and was bowled over by it.

I decided to re-read it and opted for the Kindle edition. (I don't own a Kindle yet, but use Kindle for Mac and iPod.) It was a good idea. In digital format you can do searches and easily follow up the many cross-connections in the text. And there are tons of these. Ghostwritten is a true reader's book: it begs to be read over and over, to reveal its complexity. In that way it's a lot like a Nabokov (who Mitchell mentions a few times, obviously with deep respect).

I also like the way on Kindle you can make provisional highlights and notes, deleting or editing them as you want. Nice.

But still love to mark up a real book. And the way paper feels and smells. Oh to have it both ways.
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By A Customer on May 26 2002
Format: Paperback
David Mitchell's "Ghostwritten" is a dazzling debut by an exciting new writer. "Number 9 Dream" may have garnered alot more attention for its Booker Prize nomination but after leafing through them, "Ghostwritten" seemed the more accessible of the two, so I went for it and wow....what an amazing read it was. I loved nearly every moment of it. Mitchell takes us on a magical mystery tour through major cities and other exotic locations in Asia (Okinawa, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Mongolia) and Europe (St Petersburg, London, Ireland) and uses the short story medium to showcase current phenomena and burning issues of the day, from the horrors of terrorism, nuclear war risks, fraud and corporate greed, to eastern mysticism, political blackmail, and love and infidelity. The individual stories are presented as a series of self contained vignettes which are bound together by a common sensibility running through them. Occasionally, a familiar character may resurface without warning only to vanish just as suddenly. The fleeting reappearance of characters from past episodes makes them feel like passing ghosts in the night. The stories are multi-genreal and though different as chalk and cheese, share a sense of the unexpected. My own personal favourites are the ones set in St Petersburg, Hong Kong and Ireland. Only the last story disappoints. It's bizarre and difficult to follow and a downbeat ending to an otherwise spectacular collage of scenes from our modern age. David Mitchell is such a talented contemporary writer I reckon we will hear alot more from him in the future. For a first effort, "Ghostwritten" is an incredibly mature, assured and imaginative piece of work. One of my best reads this season.
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