An apocalyptic cult member carries out a gas attack on a rush-hour metro, but what links him to a jazz buff in downtown Tokyo? Or to a Mongolian gangster, a woman on a holy mountain who talks to a tree, and a late night New York DJ? Set at the fugitive edges of Asia and Europe, Ghostwritten weaves together a host of characters, their ...
An apocalyptic cult member carries out a gas attack on a rush-hour metro, but what links him to a jazz buff in downtown Tokyo? Or to a Mongolian gangster, a woman on a holy mountain who talks to a tree, and a late night New York DJ? Set at the fugitive edges of Asia and Europe, Ghostwritten weaves together a host of characters, their interconnected destinies determined by the inescapable forces of cause and effect. A magnificent achievement and an engrossing experience, David Mitchell's first novel announced the arrival of one of the most exciting writers of the twenty-first century.
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This was given to me by my wife as a surprise. I knew that he has written the libretto for the opera "WAKE' which has music by Klaas de Vies and was produced in Holland to much acclaim. I found the story fascinating.I am not surprised that David Mitchell has won so many prizes in
literature and has been short listed twice for the BOOKER Prize. Please enjoy this work and you will thinking about
this long after you complete the book. Enjoy and think about what he says..........
Henry S F
Nov 4, 2010
Don't miss this book!
If you are interested in young, modern English writers start here! Many of Mitchell's characters/themes reappear in later novels, so reading them in sequence really adds new levels of meaning to the later works. Highly recommended.
Oct 21, 2010
Fabulous as has been everything he has written. They are all worth reading.
Jun 19, 2007
The concept of Ghostwritten is compelling: several unrelated, interconnected stories that somehow are suppose to create a whole. At first, part of the fun in reading Ghostwritten is being plunked in the middle of some interesting crisis in a character's life. You become fascinatingly absorbed in the tale and then suddenly you're unceremoniously removed from the character's somewhat unresolved story and plunked into the middle of another character crisis in another part of the world. Disoriented, you read along sucked into this new tale only to have this happen to you again and again. It's jarring and throws off the momentum a bit, but keeps the novel fresh and exciting. What makes this so much fun is unexpectedly stumbling across interconnections to characters from past stories that thread throughout. I found myself excited from anticipation when each new chapter began, looking out for the surprise connections. Because of this, I read the book slowly, savoring each new twist and turn wanting to make the read last. Mitchell is a good storyteller and sucks you in completely.
Perhaps in reading this so slowly I missed something. The last interesting chapter is London with the ghostwriter. The final few chapters fall apart, especially the New York City chapter. The DJ chatting with the Zookeeper was a complete "What the ...???" moment and when I read the last page I scratched my head and thought, "Did I miss something?" I didn't understand the point to having the stories interconnect outside of its entertainment value. I wasn't quite sure I "got" the big picture. I think the novel went in a full circle but I'm unsure.
It's enough to make me want to closely re-read the novel to see what I've missed but I don't think I really need to know that badly to compell me to re-read Ghostwritten. It's a fun read, full of wonderful visuals and lyrical writing but for me it wasn't a completely cohesive read. I give it three stars. Recommended, but expect to be somewhat disappointed with the ending.
Publishers Weekly, 2000-07-03 Nine disparate but interconnected tales (and a short coda) in Mitchell's impressive debut examine 21st-century notions of community, coincidence, causality, catastrophe and fate. Each episode in this mammoth sociocultural tapestry is related in the first person, and set in a different international locale. The gripping first story introduces Keisuke Tanaka, aka Quasar, a fanatical Japanese doomsday cultist who's on the lam in Okinawa after completing a successful gas attack in a Tokyo subway. The links between Quasar and the novel's next narrator, Satoru Sonada, a teenage jazz aficionado, are tenuous at first. Both are denizens of Tokyo; both tend toward nearly monomaniacal obsessiveness; both went to the same school (albeit at different times) and shared a common teacher, the crass Mr. Ikeda. As the plot progresses, however, the connections between narrators become more complex, richly imaginative and thematically suggestive. Key symbols and metaphors repeat, mutating provocatively in new contexts. Innocuous descriptions accrue a subtle but probing irony through repetition; images of wild birds taking flight, luminous night skies and even bloody head wounds implicate and involve Mitchell's characters in an exquisitely choreographed dance of coincidence, connection and fluid, intuitive meanings. Other performers include a corrupt but (literally) haunted Hong Kong lawyer; an unnamed, time-battered Chinese tea-shop proprietress; a nomadic, disembodied intelligence on a voyage of self-discovery through Mongolia; a seductive and wily Russian art thief; a London-based musician, ghostwriter and ne'er-do-well; a brilliant but imperiled Irish physicist; and a loud-mouthed late-night radio-show host who unwittingly brushes with a global cyber-catastrophe. Already a sensation on its publication in England, Mitchell's wildly variegated story can be abstruse and elusive in its larger themes, but the gorgeous prose and vibrant, original construction make this an accomplishment not to be missed. 5-city author tour. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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