Fascinating and horrifying all at once. I think I would have enjoyed this even more if I'd read the little "author interview" at the end before startiFascinating and horrifying all at once. I think I would have enjoyed this even more if I'd read the little "author interview" at the end before starting the book, even if it had meant some spoilers... I had no idea Adam Johnson had actually visited North Korea and interviewed people, etc. I particularly enjoyed the themes around "stories" and their significance, regardless of truthfulness......more
This book was so much more awesome than I imagined it to be. I am sort of "late" to the whole zombie obsession, and I actually was feeling like it wasThis book was so much more awesome than I imagined it to be. I am sort of "late" to the whole zombie obsession, and I actually was feeling like it was an annoying fad, and you still won't catch me dead (or undead) at a zombie flashmob... but this book is a perfect specimen of post-apocalyptic fiction. At the end, I still wanted to know more!!...more
i picked this up a while ago, then put it down, then recently picked it up again on my trip to NYC thinking that i wanted to have something with a noni picked this up a while ago, then put it down, then recently picked it up again on my trip to NYC thinking that i wanted to have something with a non-trashy cover to read on the airplane. but i digress. this book is spectacularly depressing, but very moving, and the art is stunning. there are so many pages i want to blow up and hang on my wall....more
number9dream was nearly as awesome as cloud atlas--and still a 5 star novel.
this book demonstrates one of the things i love most about mitchell--hisnumber9dream was nearly as awesome as cloud atlas--and still a 5 star novel.
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 i've ever met!!
i love how mitchell messes around with fantasy/dreamery/memory/fiction/reality, so much that in the end i still can't necessarily sort out what was really "real." eiji starts out as a self-consciously unreliable narrator, tacitly admitting he's led the reader on by presenting his fantasies as fact. but in the end, it's unclear whether he might be the subject of someone else's fantasy... he acknowledges that he's imagined himself to be the dream of the real eiji miyake... but does acknowledging that make it untrue?? once you realize you're dreaming, is it still a dream? the dream/fiction/fantasy sequences are laced with double-edged clues about imagination and reality ("How do you smuggle daydreams into reality?" "My imagination is my worst enemy--no, that is not true, but the comfort it gives me is never warmer than tepid.") ... i sensed even more crazy existential shit lurking beneath the surface (the lost property office? anyone?) but i can't figure it out without going all High School English right now, and i stopped reading this book with a pen after page 50 or so because it was just getting too insane.
much has been made of the comparison between mitchell and murakami, particularly in this book (#9 Dream/Norweigian Wood, etc.), and people have pegged it as "murakami lite" or a "murakami wannabe" sort of thing. i tend to like mitchell's books MORE than murakami--it's like, similar themes, but less abstruse and oppressive. i also think mitchell's writing style is so much more colorful and pleasing than murakami's, down to individual words. my boat is particularly floated by "mandolineering gondoliers" and "zombie spawn abseil to earth" (the NYT calls mitchell's prose "comically overripe"--but funnily enough, that review is titled "Zombie Spawn Descend to Earth"...) and i was totally tickled by the linguistic-schtick in the goatwriter tales: "I daresay you had another writing dream, sir, like the time you dreamed you wrote Les Miserables. You very nearly took Victor Hugo to court for flagellism."
i have decided that mitchell should write some children's stories. he has a tongue-in-cheek way with words and sounds that rings of Carroll, Seuss, and Snicket: "Don't you dare clomp your mucky mudluggers on my clean carpet!" and "the tracks end in this m-mulch m-mound of Stiltonic stench" ... and it should come as no surprise that i got a good giggle out of this one: "'An unwashed rodent?' verified Goatwriter. 'Bigger than a mouse? Aha! We m-may conclude, thusly, that the thief is a d-dirty little rat! We m-must apprehend this scallywag and teach him a thing or two about copyright law!'"...more
a wonderful book. i love reading about california. i think my favorite essay was the one about sacramento. it was funny to finish the last essay abouta wonderful book. i love reading about california. i think my favorite essay was the one about sacramento. it was funny to finish the last essay about why she left new york and could never go back, then to read on the back cover that "Ms. Didion lives in New York City."
Well that was bleak, sheesh. Beautifully written though. I tend to dislike books where you think from the beginning "oh man, this is not going to endWell that was bleak, sheesh. Beautifully written though. I tend to dislike books where you think from the beginning "oh man, this is not going to end well," but not this time.
I love this quote from the beginning of a long interview with Joan Didion:
You have said that writing is a hostile act; I have always wanted to ask you why.
It's hostile in that you're trying to make somebody see something the way you see it, trying to impose your idea, your picture. It's hostile to try to wrench around someone else's mind that way. Quite often you want to tell somebody your dream, your nightmare. Well, nobody wants to hear about someone else's dream, good or bad; nobody wants to walk around with it. The writer is always tricking the reader into listening to the dream.