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Ghostwritten (Vintage International)by David Mitchell
Synopses & Reviews
David Mitchell's electrifying debut novel takes readers on a mesmerizing trek across a world of human experience through a series of ingeniously linked narratives.
Oblivious to the bizarre ways in which their lives intersect, nine characters — a terrorist in Okinawa, a record-shop clerk in Tokyo, a money-laundering British financier in Hong Kong, an old woman running a tea shack in China, a transmigrating "noncorpum" entity seeking a human host in Mongolia, a gallery-attendant-cum-art-thief in Petersburg, a drummer in London, a female physicist in Ireland, and a radio deejay in New York — hurtle toward a shared destiny of astonishing impact. Like the book's one non-human narrator, Mitchell latches onto his host characters and invades their lives with parasitic precision, making Ghostwritten a sprawling and brilliant literary relief map of the modern world.
"Ghostwritten is also elegantly composed, gracefully plotted and full of humor....[It] recall[s] Tolstoy and Dostoevsky in its emotional scope and its ambitions. Like the great Russians, Mitchell makes us feel that more is at stake than individual lives, although it?s by individual lives that pain and loss are measured." Los Angeles Times
"This is one of the best first novels I?ve read for a long time....I read a proof of this on a transatlantic flight. When I got off in Atlanta, I couldn't put it down. I pulled my luggage in one hand along corridors and escalators, and held David Mitchell's last chapter up to my nose with the other. I finished at the carousel. It seemed appropriate. And it's even better the second time." A. S. Byatt
"David Mitchell's first novel is a firework display....The assurance and panache are truly remarkable....This is a remarkable novel by a young writer of remarkable talent." The Observer (London)
"Mitchell...has a gift for fiction's natural pleasures intricate surprises, insidiously woven narratives, ingenious voices... " The New York Times Book Review
"Mitchell deftly sketches each character to such a compelling extent that you become totally immersed....His nine characters and their random but fateful interactions provide a playful, suspenseful foray into our ever-shrinking world." Entertainment Weekly
"[Mitchell's] detail boasts the quiet and proud precision which makes his Englishness no surprise." The Seattle Times
By the New York Times bestselling author of The Bone Clocks and Cloud Atlas
“A brave new book for a brave new world—fueled by a brilliant imagination and buoyed by beautifully descriptive writing.”—USA Today
A gallery attendant at the Hermitage. A young jazz buff in Tokyo. A crooked British lawyer in Hong Kong. A disc jockey in Manhattan. A physicist in Ireland. An elderly woman running a tea shack in rural China. A cult-controlled terrorist in Okinawa. A musician in London. A transmigrating spirit in Mongolia. What is the common thread of coincidence or destiny that connects the lives of these nine souls in nine far-flung countries, stretching across the globe from east to west? What pattern do their linked fates form through time and space?
A writer of pyrotechnic virtuosity and profound compassion, a mind to which nothing human is alien, David Mitchell spins genres, cultures, and ideas like gossamer threads around and through these nine linked stories. Many forces bind these lives, but at root all involve the same universal longing for connection and transcendence, an axis of commonality that leads in two directions—to creation and to destruction. In the end, as lives converge with a fearful symmetry, Ghostwritten comes full circle, to a point at which a familiar idea—that whether the planet is vast or small is merely a matter of perspective—strikes home with the force of a new revelation. It marks the debut of a writer of astonishing gifts.
Praise for Ghostwritten
“[Mitchell] has a gift for fiction’s natural pleasures—intricate surprises, insidiously woven narratives, ingenious voices.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Elegantly composed, gracefully plotted and full of humor.”—Los Angeles Times
“Unlike so many of the chroniclers of the twenty-first-century pastiche—an industry dominated by ad men and feature-writers, not novelists—Mitchell has set out to craft actual characters, not archetypes. The result is a dazzling piece of work.”—The Washington Post
“Mitchell deftly sketches each character to such a compelling extent that you become totally immersed. . . . His nine characters and their random but fateful interactions provide a playful, suspenseful foray into our ever-shrinking world.”—Entertainment Weekly
“An intricately assembled Fabergé egg of a novel, full of sly and sometimes beautiful surprises. . . . In an era in which much literary fiction is characterized by unearned ironies and glib cynicism, it’s hard not to be impressed by the humanism that animates Mitchell’s book.”—New York
“Gripping and innovative. . . . [Ghostwritten serves] to illustrate the strange interconnectivity of the modern world and the improvisatory nature of fate.”—The New York Times
“A daring novel, uniquely structured and just as uniquely compelling.”—The Denver Post
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
David Mitchell lives in Hiroshima, Japan.
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