David Mitchell writes in a really masterful style of writing with an excellent command of the English language. This story is split into different interlacing parables. There are six different testaments that span several centuries each one breaks a period of time and space. The stories are very interesting but I found as the stories went by nearer to second half of the book I was not fully immersed into the story. So if it lacks in anything this novel is some gripping and immersing element, sometimes I found I did not care enough for the characters due to the changing of testaments, where in one straight testament you would build the audience and glue and bond them to certain characters. But then again that was probably the authors set out task to write in this way, a technique used by Italo Calvino, actually this story written in a similar fashion to one I have read called Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino.
I loved the character Timothy Cavendish a very English old school character had very funny insight into the world. I loved his take on the underground and London.
"Over an hour later London shunted itself southwards, taking the Curse of the Brother Hoggins with it. Commuters, these hapless souls who enter a lottery of death twice daily on Britain's decrepit railways, packed the dirty train. Aeroplanes circled in holding patterns over Heathrow, densely as gnats over a summer puddle. Too much matter in this ruddy city."
"Three or four times only in my youth did I glimpse the Joyous Isles, before they were lost to fogs, depressions, cold fronts, ill winds, and contrary tides … I mistook them for adulthood. Assuming they were a fixed feature in my life’s voyage, I neglected to record their latitude, their longitude, their approach. Young ruddy fool. What wouldn’t I give now for a never-changing map of the ever-constant ineffable? To possess, as it were, an atlas of clouds."
"He who would do battle with the many-headed hydra of human nature must pay a world of pain & his family must pay it along with him! & only as you gasp your dying breath shall you understand, your life amounted to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean!” Yet what is any ocean but a multitude of drops?"
"Faith, the least exclusive club on Earth, has the craftiest doorman. Every time I’ve stepped through its wide-open doorway, I find myself stepping out on the street again."
“We—by whom I mean anyone over sixty—commit two offences just by existing. One is Lack of Velocity. We drive too slowly, walk too slowly, talk too slowly. The world will do business with dictators, perverts, and drug barons of all stripes, but being slowed down it cannot abide. Our second offence is being Everyman’s memento mori. The world can only get comfy in shiny-eyed denial if we are out of sight.”