|Amazon Price||New from||Used from|
|Product Alert: This book does not contain a misprint on page 39. We have received complaints from customers that they have received misprinted editions because of the way the story changes direction in the middle of a word on page 39 (for Kindle readers, the end of the first section). This is not a misprint or error. It is the way the author has written the book. He returns to the seemingly abandoned storyline later in the book.|
At once audacious, dazzling, pretentious and infuriating, Mitchell's third novel weaves history, science, suspense, humor and pathos through six separate but loosely related narratives. Like Mitchell's previous works, Ghostwritten and number9dream (which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize), this latest foray relies on a kaleidoscopic plot structure that showcases the author's stylistic virtuosity. Each of the narratives is set in a different time and place, each is written in a different prose style, each is broken off mid-action and brought to conclusion in the second half of the book. Among the volume's most engaging story lines is a witty 1930s-era chronicle, via letters, of a young musician's effort to become an amanuensis for a renowned, blind composer and a hilarious account of a modern-day vanity publisher who is institutionalized by a stroke and plans a madcap escape in order to return to his literary empire (such as it is). Mitchell's ability to throw his voice may remind some readers of David Foster Wallace, though the intermittent hollowness of his ventriloquism frustrates. Still, readers who enjoy the "novel as puzzle" will find much to savor in this original and occasionally very entertaining work.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Mitchell's virtuosic novel presents six narratives that evoke an array of genres, from Melvillean high-seas drama to California noir and dystopian fantasy. There is a naïve clerk on a nineteenth-century Polynesian voyage; an aspiring composer who insinuates himself into the home of a syphilitic genius; a journalist investigating a nuclear plant; a publisher with a dangerous best-seller on his hands; and a cloned human being created for slave labor. These five stories are bisected and arranged around a sixth, the oral history of a post-apocalyptic island, which forms the heart of the novel. Only after this do the second halves of the stories fall into place, pulling the novel's themes into focus: the ease with which one group enslaves another, and the constant rewriting of the past by those who control the present. Against such forces, Mitchell's characters reveal a quiet tenacity. When the clerk is told that his life amounts to "no more than one drop in a limitless ocean," he asks, "Yet what is any ocean but a multitude of drops?"
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker
Each section of this Russian doll of a novel has distinct characters, time periods, and writing style. Each shift requires a readjustment period but worth it. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Kirk D. Heminger
Lovely read. Picked it up quick, and read it twice. Worth the effort if you can get in to it.mPublished 4 days ago by @rollabarnessa
Great book although I actually enjoyed the movie more. I really liked the take on the reincarnation as a theme.Published 10 days ago by andrea
David Mitchell is a true wordsmith, crafting scenes, conversations, and incredibly imaginative worlds that are breathtaking and awe inspiring. An excellent read.Published 10 days ago by Anaboena
This was my first visit with Reps. I liked the story and the way the writer brings out the history of Apache spiritualism through modern eyes. I will buy another book by Reps. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Jajadeh
I have previously read two Mitchell books and liked them both, to a degree, but this one just bored me to tears in its first 200 pages. Read morePublished 16 days ago by 1gudriter
An interesting story. Feels more like a collection of short stories that follow a theme. Their connections feel forced. There are absolutely wonderful moments and solid writing. Read morePublished 18 days ago by myPenName