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This was my third Mitchell, and I can honestly say that he really does know how to carry the narrative(s). While his debut is much closer to Cloud Atlas (the first book I read) than my personal favourite ”The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet”, the undersong of tension that he’s able to weave to his stories is already there, strong and commanding.
Although I prefer ”Jacob de Zoet” also in terms of how concentrated the narrative is – despite the fact that it, too, carries the story through with the aid of multiple narrators – ”Ghostwritten” is a thoroughly engrossing tale of transmigration, life, death and relationships in the middle of it. In other words, the little brother to ”Cloud Atlas”.
The challenge is immense. The book is divided into chapters that all follow a different character, their destinies and lives somehow interlinked, in fact in a very particular way, which one will realize when all is said and done. How does one then carry the story so that it stays fervent and interesting? I think Mitchell does an admirable job, although there are some stories that didn’t do it for me at all, the Hong Kong chapters for example. The mysteries of consciousness is the one topic with which Mitchell makes the most out of not only the story but his skill as a writer, and I think the theme works better here than it does in ”Cloud Atlas”, although it might be I’m mixing too much of the film with the book.
In retrospect, the intertextuality between this and ”Cloud Atlas” manages to deepen both works.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
My first experience of David Mitchell, and it's a long time since I've been so captivated by a novel, perhaps 'My Name is Red' was the last to give me such pleasure.
The novel consists stories from nine narrators around the world. They are loosely linked, although the exact nature of their interdependence emerges as the story progresses. Each stands alone as an engaging piece of writing, although inevitably some will grab you more than others.
There are big ideas in the book, but I won't try to explain them, or my understanding of them, here. It's enough to say that it is a highly enjoyable listen from a distinct and compelling author, although it wasn't until the third chapter I was completely hooked.
The narration is excellent, some accents are better than others but each voice is distinct and believable.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
What disappointed you about Ghostwritten?
Too Much Dribble and not enough story I had too much trouble keeping up with what was going on because it was all over the place
Would you ever listen to anything by David Mitchell again?
Would you listen to another book narrated by William Rycroft?
What character would you cut from Ghostwritten?
Any additional comments?
0 of 1 people found this review helpful