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Ghostwritten by David Mitchell

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Re: Ghostwritten by David Mitchell

Post Number:#16  Postby Gannon » 28 Nov 2012, 03:04

@DATo

I don't know how you will be able to hold out DATo but thanks, and I hope you can do it. You have no idea how much I want this movie to work and really do the novel justice. Very hard to get a take on it as the reviews I have seen range from terrible to epic. By the time it comes out over here, I think we will all have to read it again before our discussion. :D
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Re: Ghostwritten by David Mitchell

Post Number:#17  Postby DATo » 28 Nov 2012, 03:41

Gannon wrote:@DATo

I don't know how you will be able to hold out DATo but thanks, and I hope you can do it. You have no idea how much I want this movie to work and really do the novel justice. Very hard to get a take on it as the reviews I have seen range from terrible to epic. By the time it comes out over here, I think we will all have to read it again before our discussion. :D


Well, they say "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and I doubt that everyone, including the professional critics, are going to appreciate the same things. They took a huge risk in making this movie because it is not the type of novel which easily translates to cinema, but Tykwer and the Wachowskis made it anyway. I think they did it because they appreciate the artistic side of this story and also perhaps for the challenge. I'm betting that this movie will be good because it was a labor of love by people who think the way we do rather than a money making venture.

The movie The Red Violin was such a film. It was not a big hit and a lot of people are totally unaware of it, but those of us who DO like it absolutely love it. For pure entertainment it is my favorite movie of all time. I was involved in discussion about this movie (Red Violin) which took place some years ago at Internet Movie Database and involved probably a hundred posters from all over the world including many non-English speaking countries. The discussion went on for about two years and was extremely good. There were many enlightening and mature viewpoints discussed, arguments about interpretation, and detailed information extending even to the subtleties of the meaning of some Chinese words, but the movie-going community at large could care less about it I suppose. So personally I am not paying any serious attention to those who are negative on Cloud Atlas. With regard to art I have taken as my patron saint St. Thomas of Didymus who always insisted upon an examination with his own hands. In the final analysis we are each the only critics who matter with regard to what we like or dislike.

If you trust my judgement at all and have not seen The Red Violin you MUST !!!! You absolutely must. It is strictly a movie, it is not taken from a book, but oh what a book it would have made! The movie's story is written exactly like a Mitchell book. The first time I saw this movie I just sat there with my mouth hanging open as the ending credits were rolling in total shock at the magnitude of what I had just experienced.
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Re: Ghostwritten by David Mitchell

Post Number:#18  Postby Redlegs » 28 Nov 2012, 07:00

Fran, Gannon and DATo, you three are cracking me up. :D I have been following your ongoing Mitchell raves in various forums, and I think you have me sucked in. If my reading pile was not already so high, I would be racing off to acquire some of the aforesaid Mr Mitchell's works so I can find out what I have been missing out on. Maybe in 2013. Keep up the good work.
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Re: Ghostwritten by David Mitchell

Post Number:#19  Postby Fran » 28 Nov 2012, 07:07

Redlegs wrote:Fran, Gannon and DATo, you three are cracking me up. :D I have been following your ongoing Mitchell raves in various forums, and I think you have me sucked in. If my reading pile was not already so high, I would be racing off to acquire some of the aforesaid Mr Mitchell's works so I can find out what I have been missing out on. Maybe in 2013. Keep up the good work.


@Redlegs
You must not procrastinate ... stock up on Mitchell now & join our devotional musings :)

I have just given up on the slow returners in my local library & purchased my very own copy of Ghostwritten ... that will keep Mitchell in Corn Flakes while he works on his next offering for DATo :lol: :lol:
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Re: Ghostwritten by David Mitchell

Post Number:#20  Postby Gannon » 28 Nov 2012, 14:23

@DATo

I have never heard of "The Red Violin". I will watch it as soon as I can and let you know what I think. Sounds good, thanks for the recommendation. :D

@Redlegs

I don't think you will be disappointed. Hope you give them a go.

@Fran

OMG, you went out and bought a copy. THE SKY IS FALLING, THE SKY IS FALLING.... :lol:
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Re: Ghostwritten by David Mitchell

Post Number:#21  Postby Fran » 28 Nov 2012, 17:28

@Gannon
I sure did ... just could not wait any longer :lol:
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Re: Ghostwritten by David Mitchell

Post Number:#22  Postby DATo » 28 Nov 2012, 19:49

Redlegs,

I am going to suggest that you read Ghostwritten first. If I had it all to do over again I would. Ghostwritten is a good primer for the rest of Mitchell's books. But to be honest I don't think any book really prepares you for any other Mitchell book because each is so vastly different than the others. I must say that Ghostwritten has much of the same flavor of Cloud Atlas though.

Fran,

I am confident that you will consider this purchase as money very well spent. "Devotional musings" .... *LOL*

Gannon,

I can just about bet my life (I won't because I'm not done with it yet) that you will LOVE The Red Violin.
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Re: Ghostwritten by David Mitchell

Post Number:#23  Postby Redlegs » 29 Nov 2012, 04:49

Hi DATo,

Thanks for the tip. I will be in my local Dymocks some time tomorrow, so I will check it out.
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Re: Ghostwritten by David Mitchell

Post Number:#24  Postby DATo » 30 Nov 2012, 18:04

FINALLY !!! Finished Ghostwritten and I must say I was not prepared for that ending.
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Re: Ghostwritten by David Mitchell

Post Number:#25  Postby Fran » 01 Dec 2012, 05:51

@DATo/Gannon
I'm about 30% in & really liking it. Such beautiful writing .... just a quick thought, in the Tokyo chapter there is IMO the most beautifully written & emotive description of first love I have read in a long, long time. I won't quote the whole text but it begins "I remember her body wrapped inside my duffle-coat as we walked along, sharing the same umbrella. I remember spending the whole movie holding her hand. I remember ............ " Had to read the whole section out loud several times, just sheer beauty. Even, magazine reading, significant other was impressed. :wink:
I know Mitchell's wife is Japaneese & I wondered reading that paragraph if it might perhaps be somewhat autobiographical? Really would love to ask him that. :)
The best line so far (especially for you DATo :lol: ....) "The Americans are not a very bright race" - I damn near fell off the chair when I read that line! :lol:
Reading with YouTube & Google to hand for all the jazz pieces ... not to mention the Buddist references, all new to me.
Mitchell is really a treat for all the senses.
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Re: Ghostwritten by David Mitchell

Post Number:#26  Postby DATo » 01 Dec 2012, 06:57

Fran, / Gannon / Et Al

I am SO happy that you are enjoying the book as much as I did. Yes, I too have noticed that Mitchell is not particularly fond of the USA and after our previous political administration I can't say that I blame him much. Hopefully the new administration will change his views a bit ... I hope so ... we are not ALL bad eggs on this side of The Pond.

I have the book till Dec. 19 and I plan on vetting it thoroughly because I'm sure you will agree there is much to examine in this read. Your insight into the romantic scene you cited is one I had not considered in that light, but yes, definitely YES, it is an amazing thought to consider that Mitchell is writing from personal experience, and the phrasing does indeed suggest that there was something very special going on in Mitchell's mind when he wrote these words. It begs the question: Was a book of some kind involved in his proposal to his wife as well (Thousand Autumns)?

I too use Google and other net resources to examine the finer points of Mitchell's books of which I am not knowledgeable. I also find myself referring to Google Earth to see the actual places he describes. I shouldn't tell you this because you are not at this section of the book yet but part of the book takes place in Ireland and I found and Google Earth(ed) the Ireland places that he describes and walked its paths at ground level. Oh how I would LOVE to actually visit Ireland someday ... I consider people of Italian ancestry as Mediterranean-Irishmen at heart.

I had an epiphany of sorts regarding the story of Somni-451 in Cloud Atlas. I'd be interested in your views. I'll post it in the Cloud Atlas thread.
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Re: Ghostwritten by David Mitchell

Post Number:#27  Postby Fran » 03 Dec 2012, 18:24

OK guys I finished Ghostwritten and I certainly did not expect that ending. I agree with you DATo, I do wish I had read his books in order especially after noting how themes introduced in Ghostwritten (e.g Bullying & Consumerism) become quite central in Cloud Atlas and Black Swan Green.
Did you note the paraphrasing of Hobbes in "Okinawa" .... "We abdicate certain freedoms, and in return we get civilisation".
and "The comet will be here by Christmas" & General Brain "First, you're the head of a team to smash the temples to bits" seem to me obvious Biblical references. I loved the "I added writers to my list of people not to trust. They make things up" and "For a moment I had the odd sensation of being in a story that someone was writing ..." :!: :!:

@Gannon
The swans .... not too sure, the only though that came to me was perhaps the Yeats poem "Leda And The Swan" or there are many legends of fishermen marrying silkies (seal women) but I haven't heard any with swans. And there is of course the Legend of the Children of Lir turned into swans by their cruel step-mother.
Delighted to see another of my favourite Yeats poems The Lake Isle of Innisfree quoted not once but twice.

I loved the ".... lecturer, exposing his edudition like a flasher in Smolnogo Park", Buddha "outstaring the sun" and "Herod calling Thatcher a bit insensitive" :lol: but what about "The act of memory is an act of ghostwriting", now that's a thought to ponder.

Mitchell really is very egalitarian in his disparaging of races, we all get a lash, the Americans, the English, Mongolians, Chineese, Russians .... and even the Irish :shock:

Just remembered did you guys note the reference to "a birthmark shaped like a comet" in the London section?

Definitely a book that will have to be re-read ... loved it, loved it, loved it
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Re: Ghostwritten by David Mitchell

Post Number:#28  Postby DATo » 04 Dec 2012, 04:22

Fran,

"Herod calling Thatcher a bit insensitive" *LOL* .... yes, Mitchell does have a way with words.

Yes, I did immediately key on the comet birthmark. It was on Neil Brose's wife as I recall. The birthmark as well as the inclusion of Timothy Cavendish and Luisa Rey leads me to think of the two books as intertwined in the same timeline, thus further leading me to the thought that the ending of Cloud Atlas is the result of the comet mentioned in this story. In other words, the ending of Cloud Atlas is the result of the ending of Ghostwritten. Given that Ghostwritten was penned first this would make sense.

The novel makes mention of an old story involving three animals who discuss the fate of the world in several places. It is hard for me to remember when these animals appear but I distinctly remember a bat falling at the feet of Mo and a locust and a heron mentioned at other points in the novel. I am wondering if these animals and what is happening in the novel at the time they appear (or the people to whom they appear) give some insight to the meaning of the legend. I am currently rereading the book and paying particular note to find these points in the story that I might examine them more closely.

The idea of ten American marines extracting Mo from Ireland seemed a bit of a stretch. I would think the U.S.A. has enough political clout with the Brits to leave this task to them rather than causing a jursistictional broohaha by doing this themselves. Once again Mitch paints the Yanks in very nasty colors. *L*
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Re: Ghostwritten by David Mitchell

Post Number:#29  Postby Fran » 04 Dec 2012, 08:16

@DATo
You (and Gannon) will be pleased to know that today I got my mitts on Number9Dream but I am going to read "All That I Am" first - just to reboot the old braincells (Mitchell has the old synapses overheating somewhat!) :)

Agree with you on the ten Marines arriving on Cape Clear - a tad OTT not to talk of implausible. However, I don't think bringing the Brits into it would have been at all wise, even if we are now best buddies with our nearest neighbour. :wink:
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Re: Ghostwritten by David Mitchell

Post Number:#30  Postby DATo » 04 Dec 2012, 13:07

Fran wrote:@DATo
Agree with you on the ten Marines arriving on Cape Clear - a tad OTT not to talk of implausible. However, I don't think bringing the Brits into it would have been at all wise, even if we are now best buddies with our nearest neighbour. :wink:


I don't know what I was thinking when I wrote that my dear Fran. The Brits would never have succeeded in ousting 10 American marines .... but two Irish, like you and StephenKingman, could have done it with no extra help.
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