Saturday, 31 March 2007


AUTHOR: David Mitchell


DATE READ: March 2007

NOTES: Quite an amazing read – a complex, exuberant book with six interweaving and overlapping stories (any of which could be a novel in their own right). The writing style and spelling change according to the setting of each part: the 19th century Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing, an American notary, the letters of Robert Frobisher, an impoverished young would-be composer working with an older musician in Belgium, a 1970s thriller involving corporate crimes, a struggling present day publisher trying to survive against a tide of modern problems (debt, the train service, old age, street crime), a sci-fi story of clones and servitude and the tale of Zachary set in a fallen dystopic world.

There are some obvious links and it is altogether a great read. Not sure which bit I like best – possibly the Luisa Rey story or the Orison of Sonmi-451. I found the Sloosha’s Crossing part the most difficult to read because it is written the way Zachary was supposed to talk with lots of apostrophes and new vocabulary (“Nay, I din’t murder her, see in a split-beat b’tween aimin’ an’ thrustin’….”). This part would probably be brilliant to listen to on an audiobook.

Highly enjoyable and well worth the effort. A tour de force!
Have now bought his latest book Black Swan Green and look forward to reading it.

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