Ghostwritten Paperback – Apr 20 2000
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A remarkable first novel . . . Eastern, ethereal, yet flecked with flashes of commando grit, this multi-faceted novel is full of surprises―Time Out
The best first novel I have read in ages . . . it beguiles, informs, shocks and captivates.―Daily Telegraph
The accolades are well deserved . . . Ghostwritten is a wide-reaching, multi-layered novel . . . Mitchell also captures a tenderness, a yearning for something deeper, just below what often appears in as a bleak and cheerless surface―Observer
Technically accomplished, but consistently funny and affecting: if you want to know what the distinctive literature of the 21st century will look like, begin here―Independent
One of the best first novels I've read in a long time . . . I couldn't put it down―Mail on Sunday
Mitchell's dazzling debut covers a lot of geography and a vast range of topics. The whole magpie's nest is loosely bundled into the net bag of a fiercely incomprehensible and mystical plot.―The Times
Fabulously atmospheric and wryly perceptive . . . a huge new talent―Guardian Books of the Year
Demands to be read and re-read . . . an astonishing debut―Independent
A firework display . . . a remarkable novel by a young writer of remarkable talent―Observer
About the Author
Born in 1969, David Mitchell grew up in Worcestershire. After graduating from Kent University, he taught English in Japan, where he wrote his first novel, Ghostwritten. Published in 1999, it was awarded the Mail on Sunday John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. His second novel, number9dream, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and in 2003, David Mitchell was selected as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists. His third novel, Cloud Atlas, was shortlisted for six awards including the Man Booker Prize, and adapted for film in 2012. It was followed by Black Swan Green, shortlisted for the Costa Novel of the Year Award, and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, which was a No. 1 Sunday Times bestseller. Both were also longlisted for the Booker.
In 2013, The Reason I Jump: One Boy's Voice From the Silence of Autism by Naoki Higashida was published in a translation from the Japanese by David Mitchell and KA Yoshida. David Mitchell's sixth novel is The Bone Clocks (Sceptre, 2014).
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Top Customer Reviews
What I liked most about this book was that it defied definition. It was easy to read but wasn't a book that you can breeze through passively. You have to pay attention. If you don't you miss out on a lot. This story is shaped ike nine short stories set in various locations around the world. Each location tells the story of one character unrelated to the other characters in the stories, but yet somehow overlapping. It is this overlapping that holds the story together and makes it so fun to read. Two of my favorite were "London" and "Night Train", possibly because I "sensed" more of the author in the words.
Of course this might also be things that turn some readers off, especially those that can't tolerate ambiguity. Ghostwritten doesn't try to be something more than it isn't. It maintains a modest and enduring tone throughout the novel, unveiling here and there little bits and pieces about the overall big picture.
I am impressed by Mitchell's style and vision. This was not an easy book to pull-off. That he did so as his first book inspires me and fills me with awe. The characters were well-crafted. Although he has a large cast of characters, none of them feel canned. All of them were distinct, and you really feel as if they were real characters living the full lives that is told in the stories.
The title is brilliant and I loved the literal and post modern playful use of the free-ranging consciousness or "ghost" writer to draw us into the theme of human interconnectedness. Some of the plots are very Hollywood pitch and facile, but this playfulness is part of a post modern relationship with readers. The plots are extraordinary and beautifully evoked in Mitchell's easy use of language that mimics, lives and proselytises. Some reviewers have found the 'six degrees' theme rather pointless in the text - the links don't seem to take us anywhere engaging past idle recognition of intersections of fate. I feel that these intersections produce different kinds of meanings to the 'six degrees' theme. To me they draw attention to the timeless themes of human connection and that individualism is greatly flawed as a Western aspiration etc and I think the book is deeply political in its offering of these snapshots of human identity. The chapters add up to an intelligent, heavily freighted and mesmerising tome.
The most exciting thing for me reading the book is that Mitchell respects his readers. I like where he is taking us and can't wait for the next book.
Most recent customer reviews
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... Read morePublished on Sept. 18 2013 by SogeumHoochoo
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... Read morePublished on Nov. 25 2012 by Rick Patterson
This book is Mitchell's first novel. That said it is cohesive & tightly written. The book is a series of linked first person narratives told by nine characters. Read morePublished on Feb. 24 2002 by Kindle Customer
I did something with this book that I have never done before. I finished reading the last line of the book, closed it, took a long breath, and opened it right back up again to... Read morePublished on Feb. 11 2002 by Kathy Turner Meyer
I loved the six-degrees-of-separation complexity of this book! It's amazing the ground it covers. And you know you're missing stuff. Read morePublished on Feb. 5 2002 by A. C. Seligman
As the book was fragmented up into the individual stories, I thought I should write my review in the same manner, as the 9 stories are so completely different:
Okinawa: The... Read more