|Publisher:||Random House Inc|
|Publish Date:||Aug 2004|
|Number of Pages:||509|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||0.94|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||5.51 x 1.13 x 8.43|
David Stephen Mitchell (born 12 January 1969) is an English novelist. He has written five novels, two of which, Number9dream (2001) and Cloud Atlas (2004), were short listed for the Booker Prize. In 2012 Mitchell's Cloud Atlas was made into a major motion picture film starring Tom Hanks and Halle Berry. Mitchell was educated at the University of Kent, where he obtained a degree in English and American Literature followed by an M.A. in Comparative Literature. In 2003, he was listed among Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in The World.
His other novels include Ghostwritten, Black Swan Green and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. In Black Swan Green, Mitchell's main character is a 13-year-old boy who stutters; Mitchell also suffers from this speech impediment and is a patron of the British Stammering Association.
In what must rank among the year's more ambitious novels, Mitchell (Ghostwritten) presents six quasi cliffhanger stories in six different time periods. Beginning with a mid-19th-century Pacific voyage, the book then vaults to an early 20th-century composer who cuckolds his mentor, a 1970s reporter pursued by hit men when she joins forces with a company whistle blower, a put-upon editor trapped inside a home for the aged, a servant clone interrogated about her travels to the outside world, and, finally, a return to the Pacific, only centuries later in a post-civilization world.
Got it? Now tie up the cliffhangers in reverse order, going backward in time. The stories have a loose connecting theme of pursuing freedom and justice, and Mitchell has a gift for creating fully realized worlds with a varied cast of characters. However, there are patches of rough sledding; while the clever construction serves to highlight the novel's big ideas, the continual interruptions may distance the average reader. After slogging through five half-stories, the author has the bravery (or foolishness?) to relate the sixth in an invented dialect for a long stretch.
The book has received good press in the United Kingdom, but perhaps sensing a smaller audience, the U.S. publisher offers a trade paperback original at a "try me" price. Libraries may wish to do so for their more adventurous readers of literary fiction.
-Marc Kloszewski, Indiana Free Lib., PA
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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
A postmodern visionary who is also a master of styles of genres, David Mitchell combines flat-out adventure, a Nabokovian lore of puzzles, a keen eye for character, and a taste for mind-bending philosophical and scientific speculation in the tradition of Umberto Eco and Philip K. Dick. The result is brilliantly original fiction that reveals how disparate people connect, how their fates intertwine, and how their souls drift across time like clouds across the sky.
"[David] Mitchell is, clearly, a genius. He writes as though at the helm of some perpetual dream machine, can evidently do anything, and his ambition is written in magma across this novel's every page".-- The New York Times Book Review
"One of those how-the-holy-hell-did-he-do-it? modern classics that no doubt is--and should be--read by any student of contemporary literature".--Dave Eggers
"Wildly entertaining... a head rush, both action-packed and chillingly ruminative".-- People
"The novel as series of nested dolls or Chinese boxes, a puzzle-book, and yet--not just dazzling, amusing, or clever but heartbreaking and passionate, too. I've never read anything quite like it, and I'm grateful to have lived, for a while, in all its many worlds".--Michael Chabon
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