Officially reviewed by the OnlineBookClub.org Review Team
Rating: 3 out of 4 stars! | Genre: Non-Fiction
You and Fran should receive advertising payment for your Mitchell-book plugs. After reading your post I can't wait to read Ghostwritten.
I am sailing along with Number9Dream and, as usual, its plot and outward appearances are very, very different from any of Mitchell's other books. I think that the scope of Mitchell's subject choices is what so pleasantly surprises me every time I pick up one of his books for the first time. I don't know if you've ever read this book before but it has some very vague elements of Black Swan Green except in this case the protagonist is 20 years old instead of 13. As with the former book Mitchell is able to capture the mindset of his character perfectly and place you snugly within his world.
I've read up a little on Ghostwritten, though not enough to have any clear view of the subject matter or plot, and with what I've learned, along with your recommendation I feel I am going to really enjoy it. A melancholy sadness overcomes me however because I know with each book I read I am coming closer to the end of Mitchell's current collection of novels and I don't know what I will do with myself when I finally arrive at the end - probably become a hermit wandering the ancient Inca roads of Peru or something .... *Sigh*
EDIT: I've left a link in Fran's Thousand Autumns thread that I think you will enjoy. It is an interview with Mitchell concerning Thousand Autumns and it is really quite good.
DATo wrote:I don't know whether or not to recommend Number9Dream. I still have not finished it but there are some very strange things going on with it ... even for Mitchell. There is some very graphic violence which is quite disturbing but which I must admit appears as necessarily intended for artistic development of the plot and characters. Also, something very weird takes place in the middle of the book where the story takes a sort of surrealistic left turn. This turn has a logical basis in the foundation of the story but I think it has some other, metaphorical meaning as well. So far I am having trouble understanding what Mitchell is trying to do with this. Perhaps things will clear themselves up as I continue to read but I have a very strong feeling that they will not.
The story is good, and, as usual, is very different from anything of Mitchell's that I've read before. I would give it a guarded recommendation anyway I think, but be forewarned that it may be disturbing on a number of levels.
DATo wrote:I am three chapters into Ghostwritten and I can understand why so many people have raved about this book. Much like Cloud Atlas there are independent stories connected by what, so far, appear to be insignificant threads. The writing is what I have come to expect from Mitchell ... ABSOLUTELY SUPURB !!!
It is everything you said it would be Gannon, and I'm not even 1/2 way into it yet. Many thanks for the recommendation!
I like this book much better than I did Number9Dream. Though #9 was still a very good book it doesn't compare to this one.
Did you too feel the similarity between the main character of Number9Dream and the store attendant in the second story of Ghostwritten? I think the mothers of the two had similar backgrounds as well but the young men's names are different. The threads which connect the stories of Ghostwritten are starting to emerge more clearly and perhaps because they emerge so gently they have an even greater effect upon me.
Since my last post I have finished the third chapter - Holy Mountain - and I thought that the way Mitchell wrote the ending of that chapter was perhaps his most poetic piece of prose-writing yet. I was similarly taken by Mitchell's description of the flock of birds in Thousand Autumns which circled the city at the beginning of one of the chapters, I think it was the one where the magistrate dies.
I'm sure there are many more surprises to come and I can't wait to find them while at the same time telling myself to slow down and savor each word. I have the same problem when I eat a really great meal ... well, I have an excuse ... I'm Italian, and Italians are genetically programmed to love eating *LOL*
I enjoyed the beginning of Number9Dream too. In fact I wrote a post about it but immediately deleted it because I thought it gave too much away. I thought his wry assessments of the waitresses and others in the cafe and other such daydreams in the early chapters of the book were very humorous.