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A Novel

by David Mitchell

Ghostwritten by David Mitchell X
Ghostwritten by David Mitchell
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2000, 448 pages
    Oct 2001, 448 pages

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Power Reviewer
Cloggie Downunder

a brilliant debut novel
Ghostwritten is the first novel by British author, David Mitchell. Told by nine different narrators, with a plot spanning centuries and continents, this is an amazing debut novel. The narrators are a member of a doomsday cult who releases poison gas in a subway in Tokyo, and details his retreat to Okinawa and a small nearby island, Kume-jima; a jazz aficionado who works as a sales clerk in a Tokyo music store; a lawyer in a financial institution in Hong Kong who has been moving large sums of money from a certain account; a woman who owns a Tea Shack on China's Holy Mountain and speaks to a tree; a non-corporeal sentient entity which is searching for who or what it is; a gallery attendant in Petersburg who is involved in an art theft scam; a ghostwriter/drummer living in London who saves a woman from being run over by a taxi; an Irish nuclear physicist who quits her job when she finds her research is being used for military purposes; and a late night radio talkback DJ who finds himself fielding calls from an intriguing caller referring to himself as the zookeeper. Mitchell weaves together these nine narrations into a cohesive whole with vague or occasionally direct references to a myriad of common themes, characters, objects, or words (including, but not limited to, albino conger eels, camphor trees, an earth-bound comet, Kilmagoon whiskey, jazz music, cleaning toilets and artificial intelligence) in each narration. His characters muse on, ponder and articulate on various themes: love/lust; chance/fate; brainwashing; propaganda; one's own place in the world; why we are who we are; principles; and the character of London Underground Lines; There is humour, irony, intrigue, and a plentiful helping of tongue-in-cheek comments. And when Mo Muntervary tells Father Wally “Phenomena are interconnected regardless of distance, in a holistic ocean more voodoo than Newton”, she could be describing Mitchell’s own love affair with connections: fans of Mitchell's work will also recognise certain characters and concepts from his other novels, in particular, Cloud Atlas, Black Swan Green and number9dream. This is a brilliant debut novel.

I love this book. You have to take your time but if you pay attention you will marvel at how intricitly woven this plot is, I mean come on I'm 16 and I can appreciate it. David Mitchell is such an educated, worldly, and diverse writer, he's taking me places I would never have been intrested in, and the fact that he is really, really hot is an added bonus!!

I dindn't understand the novel, I' sorry. What happened to the little girl who was born in Mongolia? there is more than one noncorpa? Who the hell was His Serendipity? And the russian girl? Please, help me.
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