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number9dream

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  18,126 Ratings  ·  1,431 Reviews
David Mitchell follows his eerily precocious, globe-striding first novel, Ghostwritten, with a work that is in its way even more ambitious. In outward form, number9dream is a Dickensian coming-of-age journey: Young dreamer Eiji Miyake, from remote rural Japan, thrust out on his own by his sister’s death and his mother’s breakdown, comes to Tokyo in pursuit of the father wh ...more
Paperback, 401 pages
Published February 11th 2003 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published 2001)
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Emma Blyth Having written my MA dissertation on Mitchell's books, I found the Goatwriter pages to be amongst the most interesting due to their metafictional…moreHaving written my MA dissertation on Mitchell's books, I found the Goatwriter pages to be amongst the most interesting due to their metafictional nature.(less)

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s.penkevich
Dec 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: The life of the mind
Recommended to s.penkevich by: Ian "Marvin" Graye
'Maybe the meaning of life lies in looking for it.'
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
Bradley
I want to say, "It was me, it wasn't you," to this novel. She and I just didn't click. She's obviously got a lot going for her besides her perfect neck, including a horribly pretentious style and a vividly dramatic penchant for detail, but while I had a very good time with some of his other novels all lined up in a row like some Voltron Robot of literature, this one just seemed to go on and on with rambling and disjointed plot-lines that EVENTUALLY, like, at the END wrapped up into the Matrix-St ...more
Ian "Marvin" Graye
How Will I Know?

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
Mary
Apr 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2012
A story about a 20 year old boy-man looking for the dad he's never met. In theory. Yawn. It's like someone said to David Mitchell "Take this cliched plot, drop some acid and see what happens."

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
Steve
Nov 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
You know those compound German constructions, like schadenfreude, comprised of dissimilar single words? Well, I’ve got a new one that ought to exist if it doesn’t already. It’s schadenselbstungeduld, which translates roughly to “the sadness of your own impatience.” Maybe you can guess why I’m bringing this up. I’ve had a bad case of it since last month when I joined the ranks of several Goodreads friends who have read all five of the David Mitchell books. We’re now waiting long days, weeks, or, ...more
Vit Babenco
Apr 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eiji Miyake is looking for his father but he finds many different things…
Squeeze, squelch, squirt. Crocodiles scream, even underwater. The jaws unscissor and the monster thrashes off in spirals. Lao Tzu mimes applause, but I have already gone three minutes without air and the surface is impossibly distant. I kick feebly upwards. Nitrogen fizzes in my brain. Sluggishly I fly, and the ocean sings. Face submerged, searching for me from the stone whale, is my waitress, loyal to the last, hair stream
...more
Stephen M
Oct 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: The stylists not the substantists
Recommended to Stephen M by: Only Mitchell can keep me reading for 150 pages straight
A Study of Tales or
“Like watching a musician play his scales very, very well”


Source

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
Peter Boyle
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Do you ever set books aside for a special occasion? I like to keep certain novels on hold for holidays, so that when I reminisce about a particular vacation, I will also think about what I was reading at the time. I have very fond memories of devouring The Goldfinch on a visit to London a couple of years ago, and being so immersed in the story that I almost missed my plane. David Mitchell is one of my favourite writers and I had been saving number9dream for a while now. I took it with me on a tr ...more
tim
Aug 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Number9Dream, what is a relatively administered star-rating system compared to the joy I experience while reading you? Faults and all.

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
Shovelmonkey1
Jun 05, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who didn't like Cloud Atlas
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: nowt but the shiny cover and the cheap price
Mild Seven
Parliament
Cabin
Peace
Kent
Hope
Philip Morris
Marlborough Light

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
Darwin8u
Apr 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
“Reality is the page. Life is the word.”
― David Mitchell, number9dream

description

Ah! böwakawa poussé, poussé

Another book I'm going to have to chew on for a bit to really bend my mental tongue around. At first, I was a little disappointed in it. This is my last Mitchell book left to read (I am now a Mitchell completist) and I was hoping for just a little more PoMo juice to squeeze out of his second novel. Three dreams into it and I was afraid Mitchell was aping Murakami (Norwegian Wood, A Wild Sheep Chas
...more
Hannah
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
5 Stars - Phenomenal book!

This is the fourth David Mitchell book I’ve read, and none have disappointed. Every time I start a new book by this author I’m hesitant because I figure, by the law of averages, that one has to be a dud. I have not found that “one” yet, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I never found it.

This book is so beautifully written. It's strange and heart wrenching, funny and relatable. I have never known another author to compact so many emotions into one book and make the book a g
...more
·Karen·
Oct 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, brits
The devil has all the best tunes, and the fiendish Mr Mitchell is in cahoots with Old Nick for the best stories too. What worries me is what the deal involves? Selling your soul to Mephistopheles is a risky manoeuvre for sure. This, Mitchell's second novel and the last one that I had not read, is the story of one who is punished by the God of Thunder, by being given exactly what he asked for. Beware of what you wish for, as it may be granted. Having lost his twin sister in that deal, bereft of a ...more
Ian Laird
Revisionism: 27 August 2015
It’s a fine winter’s day in Sydney.

Earlier and somewhat dyspeptically, I threw my hands up about number9dream because I was confused. I found the story hard to follow and did not know what was real and what was fantasy.

With time it has occurred to me that I should give more mature consideration to the essence of the story: the fluttering distractions have fallen to the ground and the broader landscape has become clearer. The story is a boy’s search; ostensibly for his
...more
Jonathan Terrington
I apologise in advance if this seems more incoherent and rushed than anything I've written previously. I'm just so in awe of the bizarreness of number9dream that my thoughts are not settled on the book.

Okay what I want to know is what David Mitchell was taking when he wrote this...so I can join in with the elixir! Seriously this is a whacked out, crazy kind of book that's strangely compulsive reading but doesn't make a lot of sense in places. I must admit that the whole time I was reading it wen
...more
Marianne
Aug 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Dreams are shores where the ocean of spirit meets the land of matter. Beaches where the yet-to-be, the once-were, the will-never-be may walk amid the still-are”

number9dream is the second novel by British author, David Mitchell. Nineteen-year-old Eiji Miyake arrives in Tokyo looking for his father, a man he has never met, a man whose name he does not even know. He has a letter from a lawyer warning him not to try to find his father, so his first move is to stake out the lawyer’s office from a ca
...more
Matthew Quann
Jan 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: david-mitchell
Well, I suppose all of Mitchell's novels can't be absolute home runs! Reminiscent in many ways of a Haruki Murakami novel, "number9dream"'s propensity to shift between the real and the imagined burdens the novel with a frustrating format despite the compelling story that lies at the novel's core. Set in Japan, where Mitchell spent eight years of his life, "number9dream" follows Eiji Miyake as he goes on a quest to find his estranged biological father he has never met. The novel is divided into 9 ...more
Solistas
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Αρκετά διαφορετικό απ'το Ghostwritten, το δεύτερο βιβλίο του Mitchell είναι η coming of age ιστορία του 20χρόνου Eiji Miyake που μετακομίζει στο Τόκυο με σκοπό να βρει κ να γνωρίσει τον πατέρα του. Το number9dream είναι πρώτα κ κύρια μια ωδή στον Μουρακάμι κ ο Mitchell δεν το κρύβει. Αναφέρει ότι ο πρωταγωνιστής του έχει αφήσει μισό το Κουρδιστό Πουλί κ δεν ξέρει τι απέγινει ο τύπος που κατέβηκε στο πηγάδι χωρίς σχοινί, παίρνει τον τίτλο του βιβλίου του από τραγούδι του Λέννον κ βάζει τον μεγάλο ...more
JSou
Aug 04, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
REASONS I LOVED THIS BOOK:

-It is by David Mitchell
-It made me want to go have sushi & sake bombs
-It was surprisingly funny
-Not only did it remind me of Murakami, it referenced The Wind-up Bird Chronicle
-It had the word "knickerbockers"

I was rating this in my head as I went along (something I can't help but do since joining goodreads), and for the first part, I was liking it and thinking 3 stars. Once I hit the halfway point, the Mitchell I know and love emerged, bumping it up to a four. By t
...more
Cecily
Set in Japan in the present or perhaps the near future, with several versions of early bits of the plot. Is it real or is it a computer game - certainly he plays computer games? Some wonderful metaphors and some ludicrously contrived and awkward ones. Too much organised crime and mindless violence for my taste, with little of the beauty of his other books to provide balance or contrast. (Number 9 Dream is a Beatles song that plays at a disco in Black Swan Green (http://www.goodreads.com/review/s ...more
Liz S.
Sep 29, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: book-club, 2007
I probably shouldn't be giving this any stars because I didn't even finish it. This was a book club read and none of us got through it, not even the most die-hard David Mitchell fans. I guess this is proof positive that a knack for writing will not save your book if you have nothing particular to say. As one person in our group described it, reading this book is like watching a musician play his scales very, very well---but after a while, you just want to hear him play an actual song for a susta ...more
Maxwell
Oct 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, i-own-it
I didn't love this one. For a lot of the book it was a 2-star read but the last 2 chapters were particularly good. Still, this is not a book for the casual Mitchell reader. Though it is chronological and only follows 1 character, unlike a lot of his work, each chapter has it's own sort of narrative style that makes it a bit jarring to read at times. I liked our main character, even when I felt like I (as he) did not know where his story was going. It has lots to unpack but it's presented in a wa ...more
Deea
Feb 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: shortlist-mbp
This novel has an open ending, but there are clues regarding the possible developments of the story all over the last chapter. Although it has eight chapters and each has a name, the author ends the book with the ninth chapter which is simply called "Nine" and left empty. "The ninth dream begins after every ending", says David Mitchell, continuing the subtle insinuation that the story is to be continued in our imagination, but taking into account several clues from the last chapter: "Time may be ...more
Girish
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: booker
It is so much simpler to bury reality than it is to dispose of dreams

Writing a book and telling a story are obviously two very different projects especially for an author like Mr.Mitchell. And so, in what is probably the most straightforward plot of a boy in search of his father, the author packs a whole lot of freudian pyrotechnics that blur lines between plots, between genres and between reality.

Eiji Miyake reaches 'Tokyo' in search of his father. The Tokyo of Mitchell is a surreal place wit
...more
Madeleine
I am so torn over this book! But I figure that being this conflicted between ratings probably means that I should err on the side of the fewer stars. Still: My kingdom for a half-star option!

There are lots of things I liked. Eiji, the main character, remains likable even as he's shuttled between hell and back, like, five thousand times in 400 pages and disappointed by nearly everyone who matters to him. There's a chance that his blossoming relationship with Ai contributed to my increasing fondne
...more
Ashish
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant! Every book that I read by David Mitchell makes me a bigger fan of his writing. He is probably one of the most gifted authors who can weave incredible narratives while masterfully juggling a variety of styles; he makes his way through them seamlessly and beautifully, his stories take you on a journey across time and place, and the versatility of his style makes it seem unreal that the same author has written the various chapters. Much like Barnes, Mitchell seems to welcome the reader t ...more
James
Apr 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own-ebook
Spending New Year's away from home with less than a chapter left in my book – and no back-up book – was always going to be a stupid mistake. Luckily, when everybody else foolishly headed out for a New Year's Day walk in the rain I was able to raid my host's bookcase and grabbed a copy of David Mitchell's number9dream; I'd enjoyed Cloud Atlas enough to try something from earlier...

number9dream is the story of Eiji Miyake: a twenty year old Japanese lad from Yukashima who has arrived in Tokyo with
...more
Brad
I gave number9dream five stars way back when I first started rating books around here, but it was far enough removed from reading the book that I didn't feel I could write a review, so there is no chronicle of why I gave it five stars.

Since then I have read most of David Mitchell's stuff, but number9dream was my first, so it retains pride of place. I was turned onto it the winter I went home to Canada for Christmas because for some reason that year I decided I was going to read everything short
...more
Monique

No less than 5 amazing stars.

Originally posted here.

Nine things about number9dream

1. That was one helluva whirlwind read! Alternating between reality and fantasies-cum-dreams took me for a loop, but I'd gladly do it again. No one can do that to me and totally awe me like Mitchell just did.

2. Is this metafiction? Are there traces of metafiction in this novel? If the answer is yes to either question, then I think I could definitely get used to the genre.

3. "Maybe the meaning of life lies in l
...more
Lilith
Mar 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, english, shelf
Hay libros que suponen un auténtico reto. Cada uno de los lectores es víctima del suyo propio. Hay libros como Lolita que no están hechos para todo el mundo. Autores que se resisten por mucho que uno lo intente pero también otro tipo de barreras. El de Number9dream es el idioma. Pero no os asustéis antes de tiempo, David Mitchell asusta pero no tanto. Simplemente hay que tener cierto nivel y paciencia, paciencia para entender qué está pasando. Paciencia para avanzar mucho más lento que de costum ...more
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Part 9 7 111 Jan 14, 2018 01:37AM  
Reading Buddy Style: September 2014: number9dream-Ema 1 17 Aug 31, 2014 07:52AM  
Reading Buddy Style: BOTM for September 3 5 Aug 12, 2014 01:48PM  
What are the different narratives buried in each of the chapters? 4 133 Nov 28, 2013 12:07PM  
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David Mitchell was born in Southport, Merseyside, in England, raised in Malvern, Worcestershire, and educated at the University of Kent, studying for a degree in English and American Literature followed by an M.A. in Comparative Literature. He lived for a year in Sicily, then moved to Hiroshima, Japan, where he taught English to technical students for eight years, before returning to England. Afte ...more
“A book you finish reading is not the same book it was before you read it.” 248 likes
“Dreams are shores where the ocean of spirit meets the land of matter. Dreams are beaches where the yet-to-be, the once-were, the will-never-be may walk awhile with the still are.” 111 likes
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