Like the song by John Lennon which inspired the title of this novel, David Mitchell plays with the fusion of dreams and reality as he sends the reader spiraling through the chimerical passages of Number9dream. This second novel is a departure from the multi-storied structure of Ghostwritten, instead closely following one character. However, it is anything but a simple linear plot and Mitchell shows once again that he can dazzle and dance throug...more
Whitney Houston sings, “How will I know if he really loves me?”
Pop Music asks some of the most probing questions we can imagine.
Many of them are secular versions of Spirituals, Gospel Music or Hymns.
How will I know if He really loves me?
How will I know if He really exists?
How will I know if He’s really there?
What would I say if he insists?
(Sorry, that last one slipped in from my review of "Glee: How to Plot an Episode in 70 Words".)
To which the tabloid press add:
How could I tell...more
I don't completely understand everything you revealed with my mind awake, but your echo resonates lucidly through my dreamtime. You say: "Time may be what stops everything happening at once, but rules are different asleep." How I know this to be true, yet could never prove.
Fantasies and dreams. Cause and effect. Repeated conclusions reveal nothing where conclusi...more
“Like watching a musician play his scales very, very well”
The tension between style and substance dominates a significant portion of the David Mitchell conversation. Fairly consistently Mitchell’s writing falls into the style side of this writing dichotomy. As with anything, it's an issue of taste for anyone who has dipped their hand into the creative writing pot. It splits writers of all different stripes, in genre, literature or otherwise with geniuses on both sides....more
And what happens is a lot.
The first chapter had me scratching my head. Wait no, I'll be honest, it wasn't that civilized. It had me kicking my feet and sighing and slamming down my coffee cup and internally screeching what the eff is going on here?! Not much later I realized, oh, ohhhh, this is what's goin...more
This is a coming of age tale set in Japan. A boy sets off to Tokyo to find the father he has never known. It contains all the Mitchell elements, but just not quite at the same level of his later novels. I have not read his first novel, Ghostwritten, yet so I don't know if it is similar in that respect. However, it is still a very well written and enjoyable book...though I'll admit the plot gets a tad frustrating....more
Tokyo is an overwhelming, perplexing, and generally strange place to Eiji Miyake, who has arrived in the city on a mission: to find his long-lost father. Eiji, a dreamer whose imaginings are often nearly seamlessly intertwined with reality, finds himself caught in something even bigger and more mind-boggling than he ever thought possible. From vivid daydreams in a crowded coffee shop to dangerous encounters with Tokyo’s dark underground, every corner h...more
That's the number of different cigarette brands cited and smoked in this novel. Frankly, it's a good job that this book only covers 8 weeks in the life of narrator and protagonist, Eeji Miyake, because he's unlikely to live for too much longer.
Follow Miyake as he smokes, gurns, fantasises and bull-shits his way around Tokyo trying to find his long-lost Pops and enjoy the literary games and jousting word-smithery that accompanie...more
I have always been one to look for meaning in everything I do. Call me an idealist or a fool, I NEED to know that there is more, so much more. David Mitchell's book has given me hope to believe that there still is meaning in today's world. As the naive narrator, a youth from the country, journeys into the heart of the fast-paced, overwhelming Tokyo, he learns more about himself...more
It wasn't until recently that I read his follow up, number9dream (2001), I'm not sure why I waited so long, since, I, myself, had pointed out that he had en...more
this book demonstrates one of the things i love most about mitchell--his ability to write in a number of different voices convincingly within the same novel (hardboiled/cyberpunk/actiony, the weird and whimsical goatwriter stories, the diary of a japanese soldier in WW2), which he accomplishes here without sacrificing the clarity and honesty of his narrator's voice. eiji miyake is one of the most likeable protagonists...more
So after all that intrigue, naturally I had to read it, too.
It's not *really* sci-fi but kind of reads that way. It's not my usual cup of tea - though it never says exactly what year it takes place, the twenty-third cent...more
Yet this is not the first time that Mitchell has revealed his Asiatic inspired Wonderland: his debut Ghostwritten published in 1999 received the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for writers aged thirty-five and under. Ghostwritten was praised not only for its intricate plots, but also for...more
It is, apparently, common for children who have never known a parent to weave fantasies about who they might be. Eiji Mayake is no exception, and as his twentieth birthday nears, he sets out for Tokyo to discover his identity through the only clue he has, the name of a lawyer. He is obsessed with John Lennon (which is one reason for the title) and his only skills are guitar playing and fruit picking, neither in much demand in the big city.
Rollercoaster ride of a novel; many if not all of the nine chapters have dual...more
First, it is...more
David Mitchell's second novel, Number9Dream, tells the story of Eiji Miyake, a young man negotiating a hypermodern and dangerous Tokyo to meet for the first time his secretive and powerful father. Naïve and fresh from the Japanese countryside, Eiji encounters every obstacle imaginable in his quest, from his father's--and in-laws'--reluctance for the enco...more
Eiji Miyake, now 20 years old has left his sleepy island town and has come to Tokyo in search of his father. Eiji's only connection is a lawyer working at the large Pan Opticon building. The digre...more
David Mitchell is quite a genius and in my opinion one of the best contemporary writers the Commonwealth has to offer. He should be awarded a Man Booker in stead of just being long and short...more
As N9D was labeled a coming-of-age story, I could only associate the fantastic tone of the goatwriter passages with a regression to childhood comforts and imagin...more
David Mitchell was born in Southport, Merseyside, in England, raised in Malvern, Worcestershire, and educated at the University of Kent. He received a degree in English and American Literature, followed by an M.A. in Comparative Literature.
He lived for a year in Sicily, then...more