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Number9Dream: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

David Mitchell
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $6.01 (38%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

From the author of Cloud Atlas, now a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, and Hugh Grant, and directed by Lana and Andy Wachowski and Tom Tykwer

Number9Dream is the international literary sensation from a writer with astonishing range and imaginative energy—an intoxicating ride through Tokyo’s dark underworlds and the even more mysterious landscapes of our collective dreams.

David Mitchell follows his eerily precocious, globe-striding first novel, Ghostwritten, with a work that is in its way even more ambitious. In outward form, Number9Dream is a Dickensian coming-of-age journey: Young dreamer Eiji Miyake, from remote rural Japan, thrust out on his own by his sister’s death and his mother’s breakdown, comes to Tokyo in pursuit of the father who abandoned him. Stumbling around this strange, awesome city, he trips over and crosses—through a hidden destiny or just monstrously bad luck—a number of its secret power centers. Suddenly, the riddle of his father’s identity becomes just one of the increasingly urgent questions Eiji must answer. Why is the line between the world of his experiences and the world of his dreams so blurry? Why do so many horrible things keep happening to him? What is it about the number 9? To answer these questions, and ultimately to come to terms with his inheritance, Eiji must somehow acquire an insight into the workings of history and fate that would be rare in anyone, much less in a boy from out of town with a price on his head and less than the cost of a Beatles disc to his name.


From the Hardcover edition.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

David Mitchell's second novel, Number9Dream, tells the story of Eiji Miyake, a young man negotiating a hypermodern and dangerous Tokyo to meet for the first time his secretive and powerful father. Naïve and fresh from the Japanese countryside, Eiji encounters every obstacle imaginable in his quest, from his father's--and in-laws'--reluctance for the encounter to occur (Eiji is the bastard son) to fiery entanglements with yakuza (the Japanese mafia) to the overwhelming size and anonymity of Tokyo itself.

The novel is cartoonish in that Eiji has a vivid and violent imagination that fills the book with daydreams. When not chain-smoking, forlorn Eiji wanders the city following vague or cryptic leads that invariably dead-end or land him back among yakuza. Mitchell (author of the critically acclaimed Ghostwritten) has a smart, eclectic writing style that seems foreign, and the novel is well paced, but the yakuza encounters are too cinematic, complete with unusual torture and pyrotechnics. Moreover, in addition to Eiji's daydreams, the last half of the book contains excerpts from the diaries of his great uncle's World War II naval heroics and bizarre short stories that Eiji reads while hiding--the latter of which make for tedious reading.

Number9Dream is crafted from too many disparate components; it does not seem to be a full expression, but an overly crowded one. Readers will sympathize with Eiji and his search, but in the end will wonder what effect, if any, all the extraneous forces had on him. The book provides many fun moments, but ultimately it doesn't really add up to the sum of its parts. --Michael Ferch

From Publishers Weekly

A young Japanese man's quest to find his estranged parents throws him into a bizarre world of mobsters, dream villains and cyber-tricksters in Mitchell's second novel (after Ghostwritten), a hyperactive, erratic sprawl of a book that begins when narrator Eiji Miyake finds himself out on his own after his twin sister, Anju, dies: his alcoholic mother had had a nervous breakdown and left her two children with their grandmother when they were very young, and they have never met their father. Miyake makes the move from rural Japan to Tokyo to stake out the company where his father is a powerful executive. But his search lands him in a nebulous yet dangerous game of cat-and-mouse with an equally powerful Japanese mobster who uses Miyake's need to find his parents to kidnap and threaten him in a series of malevolent and nearly inexplicable scenes. The most coherent sequence in the narrative takes place when Miyake is contacted by his grandfather, a former seaman who gives Miyake his diary, a poignant account of his stint on a submarine in the final days of WWII, as the Japanese frantically scrambled to deploy a new undersea warhead. Miyake eventually manages to meet his parents, but those potentially affecting scenes are overwhelmed and overshadowed by Mitchell's relentless tendency to spin out futuristic, over-the-top scenarios in which Miyake is whisked away into strange settings and then abused as if he were the hero in a deadly video game. Mitchell showed considerable promise in his highly acclaimed debut, but his sophomore effort is so chaotic that it will test even the most diligent and devoted reader. (Feb. 26)Forecast: Rave reviews from the British press, a Booker Prize nomination and a five-city author tour will give this challenging novel a needed boost.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


Product Details

  • File Size: 770 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Random House (December 18, 2007)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0012SMGOC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,076 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be patient! May 4, 2002
Format:Hardcover
First of all, most of the other reviewers comments are true, even the comments of those who hated the book. Here's the scoop: Number9Dream is brilliant and moving, occasionally violent and shocking, and almost never boring. The scenes involving "Goatwriter" are everything you might imagine from what you have heard. They are puzzling. They are a distraction from the main story. They are also quite funny in their way. Be advised that these scenes do not pop inexplicably out of the ether, as you might assume from the other reviews posted here. The main character, Eiji, is hiding from those who might kill him, and he stumbles upon the text of a story. To bide his time, he reads this story about Goatwriter. It's odd, but it fits. Most importantly, readers who wade through that short section will find they've enjoyed one of the most satisfying novels they've read in a very long time.
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ambitious novel that stumbles under its own aspirations October 17, 2002
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
In "Ghostwritten" David Mitchell produced a novel that was stylish, engaging, and above all, clever. He created a fascinating portrait of the chance meetings that drive us on to our destinies; a task that in less gifted hands would be burdensome, but that was elegant and light in Mitchell's. Unfortunately, "Number9Dream" doesn't quite live up to the high benchmark he set with his first novel.
The book's primary problem is that Mitchell was far too clever for his own good. As the reader follows the protagonist, Eiji Miyake, on his search for this father, and his place in the world, they are buffeted by numerous asides, dreams, stories, fantasies, etc. Any one of these is extremely well written, but taken as a whole they make for a disjointed reading experience. Their purpose is to explore the interactions Mitchell considered so deftly in "Ghostwritten" but as they pertain to just one individual. However, the end result is a chaotic mishmash that is frequently entertaining, and always well written, but rarely satisfying.
That said, I wouldn't necessarily recommend against reading "Number9Dream", for one thing a sub par effort for David Mitchell is better than 90% of what's on the market today. Moreover, he makes some really interesting points about the nature of society and his ending (which I am sure many found abrupt) is a fascinating point about the fleeting nature of contentment, ambition and desire.
In the end, David Mitchell should be complimented for writing a novel that challenges the definitions of plotting and characterization. While the attempt falls somewhat short, it is still a noteworthy sophomore effort. If you don't mind a novel that makes you work a little, "Number9Dream" is an interesting effort from a young writer who is just hitting his stride.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Favorite Book from my Favorite Author January 25, 2005
Format:Paperback
DESPITE WHAT YOU MAY HAVE HEARD

I love the condescension of this book's reviewers. Most of them see fit to deem Mitchell's novel as 'ambitious', that he was far too clever for his own good, but not quite clever enough for them. One reader was barely able to compel himself through the first 60 pages, but was still able to deduce that Mitchell's work was in this instance "fundamentally masturbatory" (I have no idea what book this guy was reading).

A FANTASTIC READ

If you want to read an excellent novel, I would hate to have you be dissuaded by numbskulls with a hazy grasp on the definition of the term 'disjointed.' For a novel that "challenges the defintion[sic] of plotting" the narrative thread is marvelously clear. It is, at its core, a book about a boy searching for his father. But more than that, its a book about a boy's life and everything that fits into that life: what he's thinking, where he comes from, what he wants.

I KNOW YOU'LL LIKE IT

I think reviewers who gave this book 3 stars or less had difficulty with the novel because in Number9dream Mitchell deals in the fabric and machinery of human imagination, how it compels us through the mundane, how it propels us through our fears, and how some of us are driven to nurture it, to stoke its fires and, at times, to give ourselves over to its power.

So if you are not willing to surrender, if briefly, to imagination, this is not the novel for you. But otherwise, give it a chance, let yourself go, and for God's sake love this book. I do.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Spiritual Novel from the genius Mitchell November 29, 2002
Format:Hardcover
While not as good as his first novel "Ghostwritten," "Number9Dream" is an unforgetabe book, and satisfying read for those who are familiar with David Mitchell's style. The book begins in Tokyo with a young man from the countryside sitting in a coffee shop, plotting the best time to invade the building that houses his fathers lawyer. He plaans to extract from her, information as to his fathers where-abouts, which are the focus of the novel.

Though a good novel, it would probably be difficult for people to understand who've never read Mitchell before. My only noteable complaint about the book is that the dream sequences become somewhat jumbled at first, leaving you confused and somewhat angered. I nearly put the book down before the first section had finished. You'll fiure out what's real by the time the second section is about half-way through. Sometimes grusome (that bowling scene is disgusting), sometime beautiful (Mitchell really has expanded on his touching and lovely way of speaking) and like "Ghostwritten," leaves you no really clear-cut ending (something else that might enrage new readers). So basically, a good read for veterans of Mitchell, confusing and annoying for everyone else.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Favorite
I have a couple of favorite books, based on the combination of an engaging story and wonderful writing. The first two are The Prince of Tides and The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Bill M.
5.0 out of 5 stars Reviewed Highly by an Avid Reader
Provided as a gift to an avid and critical reader, the book was devoured in days with satisfaction. One amazing item within the book that the reader loved was a short called... Read more
Published 1 month ago by C. Martin Centner
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book
Absolutely brilliant.
Published 1 month ago by Adam Rado
3.0 out of 5 stars A little too dream-like
Not bad, I would recommend borrowing over buying. Too many weird turns (Goatwriter ? ).and annoying twist/deceptions in story-line
i enjoyed reading the love story and about... Read more
Published 2 months ago by james f
4.0 out of 5 stars In-depth review: promising second novel
This is my fourth David Mitchell novel, and by now, the pattern's familiar. I enjoy once again Mitchell's fidelity to a young narrator's voice. Read more
Published 3 months ago by John L Murphy
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Enjoyable
loved the book, very interesting use of language and extremely engaging, only part I wasn't sold on was the ending!!! Definitely recommend
Published 4 months ago by Caitlin Elizabeth Jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars Confusing, Complicated, and Wonderful
When I began reading this book, I wasn't too fond of it. My introduction to David Mitchell was through his novel Black Swan Green, and I was expecting something similar to that. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Venn Buckelew
5.0 out of 5 stars You will love this amazing book!
David Mitchell is a wonderful writer. Like many other authors, I admire him and endeavour to learn from him. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Marius Gabriel
5.0 out of 5 stars Mitchell is awesome
This is the fourth book by David Mitchell that I've read. I cannot get enough of this writer. One of the most creative writers I've had the pleasure to read. Read more
Published 7 months ago by M. Tyson
5.0 out of 5 stars A great follow up to cloud atlas
I really enjoyed this novel It had the same type layering as cloud atlas but in a different way. Again it had me thinking with a less then predictable plot line
Published 7 months ago by graycement
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More About the Author

David Mitchell's first novel, GHOSTWRITTEN, won the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. NUMBER9DREAM, his second, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. In 2003 he was selected as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists and his third novel, CLOUD ATLAS, was shortlisted for 6 awards including the Man Booker Prize and won the British Book Awards Best Literary Fiction and the South Bank Show Literature Prize. He lives in Ireland with his wife and daughter.

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