For some reason I have been approaching David Mitchell backwards. I started with Cloud Atlas but then went to The Bone Clocks and have worked backward from there. This wasn’t intentional, normally I’m a stickler for reading in chronological order but The Bone Clocks lead me to A Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet because of a character crossover, Black Swan Green grabbed me next and then due to stock availability I skipped Number9dream (for now) and went to Mitchell’s first novel.
Ghostwritten is highly accomplished for a first novel and having read all his other books you can see the germination of the bigger, grander, utterly amazing things to come. The structure shares a lot with Cloud Atlas and The Bone Clocks but on a much smaller time scale until the penultimate chapter. The story is about 9 separate characters (not all of them corporeal). There aren’t the major jumps in time or genre as in Mitchell’s later works just slight ones and the connections between each character and their story is not always as apparent but he does tie everything together in a way you will never imagine. None of which stops this being any less wonderful. After all it is David Mitchell.
Mitchell takes us from the Sarin Gas attack in Tokyo to the finance district of Hong Kong, across the Mongolian plains to St Petersburg and on to London and a remote island off the coast of Ireland. Each story and life intersects, influences and impacts upon the other, but not always in linear ways. And the end is quite simply (and possibly literally) divine.
Classification: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
Format: Paperback (197mm x 132mm x 28mm)
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Publish Date: 20-Apr-2000
Country of Publication: United Kingdom