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Lauren Davis has commented on (1) product.

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

Lauren Davis, January 30, 2013

I heard David Mitchell interviewed on NPR and found what he said, and how he said it to be fascinating. Intrigued, I went to NPR's website and read a selection from The Thousand Autumn's of Jacob de Zoet. It happened to be the first few pages of the opening scene which, quite frankly, horrified me. I concluded I didn't have the constitution to deal with feudal Japan and Mitchell's often intense storytelling style. But then I happened upon the actual book at the library and picked it up to leaf through. After reading one page from the middle, I was hooked. Mitchell's storytelling abilities are just too good.

The opening scene turned out to be not as horrific as I thought and the rest of the book, while gritty in a few parts, was lyrical, often funny and always compelling. Compared to Mitchell's earlier works, The Thousand Autumns is in a rather conventional storytelling style, until you realize he's written this historical novel entirely in present tense! No wonder it feels like we're there, exploring this exotic, strange, beautiful and foreboding place along side a handful of very engaging characters.

Since reading The Thousand Autumns, I've also read Cloud Atlas, another work of Mitchell's I was worried I wouldn't like and ended up loving. Now I'm entralled with Mitchell's ability to create whole worlds out of his amazing imagination and innovative craft. Prose this good must take a lot of work, but like all real writing, it flows easily and swiftly. I enjoy the ride.
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