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The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet, A Novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, June 29, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
The story begins in the year 1799, and most of the action takes place on the man-made island of Dejima in Nagasaki, Japan. This is the farthest outpost of the Dutch East Indies Company and foreigners are kept restricted to the island. It's the only contact point between Japan and the West.
This epic tale starts out dramatically with a young midwife helping a Japananese magistrate's concubine with a difficult birth. The midwife is named Orito Aibagawa, and she has a disfiguring scar on one side of her face. With the support of her father she begins to study medicine under the tutelage of the brilliant Doctor Marinus.
After this dramatic opening, we are introduced to Jacob de Zoet, a young Dutch clerk who has just arrived in Dejima. Jacob is hoping to work for 5 years and make enough money to go home and marry his fiancee. He stands out not simply because he is so virtuous and decent, but also because of the color of his hair - bright red. Jacob will learn that his fellow merchants, supervisors and Japanese translators are not always to be trusted, and that things are not always as they appear.
Other important characters in this novel include Ogawa Uzaemon, an honorable young translator who faces a difficult moral dilemma. We meet high-ranking Japanese officials including Magistrate Shiroyama and the malevalent Lord Abbot Enomoto. In fact there is a huge cast of characters, many with their own fascinating backstories. And did I mention a thieving monkey named William Pitt?
This book is wonderful on so many levels. It succeeds as a rousing old-fashioned adventure tale with nail-biting scenes taking place on both land and at sea.Read more ›
The author has the rare ability to work on three narrative scales simultaneously: small, medium, and large.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It is slow to get into, but was very compelling.Published 15 days ago by debbiej
far better than the usual historical romance. memorable characters you care about great writing. loved the details and vivid images the story invokedPublished 18 days ago by MC Manoa
I can safely say that before reading this I had not cast one single thought on 18/19th century Japan or the Dutch traders who managed it. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Ngma
An amazingly different approach to historical fiction. I learned a lot about the early days of Japan's reluctant entry into the world of the international told through the eyes,... Read morePublished 25 days ago by Robert Y. Ellis
Hard going but worth it once you're in. I was hoping for some more relationship between this book and his others. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Excellent., enjoyed the story and the sweetness of the love story.Published 2 months ago by Karen Trenolm
I thought this book was just ok. For one, the writing style was not enjoyable for me. I purchased this book looking for for a story about trade and commerce in Japan but was left... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Eric R. Anderson
Yay!! Why must I offer a minimum number of words when YAY! Says it all.. You have doubtless missed out on many excellent short reviews.Published 2 months ago by Michael