16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
The Greatest Book Ever Written,
By A Customer
This review is from: Ghostwritten: A Novel (Hardcover)
OK, maybe it's not the greatest book ever written, but it is pretty amazing, and I sure felt that "greatest book ever written" enthusiasm while reading it. If you are a public reader like I am (commuter trains), then this is the kind of novel that makes you want to shake the person next to you and tell them all about it. It is that good.
Mitchell's tale is woven through a series of vaguely connected tales in that span Asia, Europe and the U.S. in gradual westward movements. Each tale is self contained, but each story also illuminates or expands previous stories until they ultimately intersect at the conclusion. Though I generally prefer novels to short stories, I would have to say that I think the strength of this book is in the individual tales rather the pattern of the whole. His characters are wonderful, and he is marvelously skilled at creating tension, drama and reader interest within the first few paragraphs of each story. It doesn't gel quite as much as I would have like, but I feel like that is more or a quibble than a complaint. Mitchell is an astonishingly gifted writer.
I read a lot of books, but there are very few contemporary novels that I have so enjoyed in recent years. "High Fidelity" by Nick Hornby and "A Conspiracy of Paper" by David Liss come to mind. "Ghostwritten" is very different from those books (and they are very different from each other), but like those novels, it is original, daring, entertaining, and very satisfying. I can't recommend this one strongly enough.