Nori's Reviews > The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
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's review
Apr 10, 2011

really liked it

Mitchell is not one of the most beautiful writers I've read recently, but he is one of the more compelling. My friend gave me "Cloud Atlas" as a birthday gift last year, and I tore through its onion of interwoven stories almost despite myself; the experience (and the NPR story I heard with Mitchell) made "The Thousand Autumns" a must.

This is a higher 4-star review than most of mine -- Mitchell does everything right but one. His plot is gripping, and interwoven back upon itself. His characters believable and sympathetic. His faithfulness to the historical period exacting. His penchant for languages and their interplay as pleasing to witness almost as much as in Patchett's "Bel Canto." The period he chooses fascinating. I loved this book on all of these accounts.

The one thing he is not is a poet. And that's the minus one star. Too harsh? I read this slowly to savor it, but I didn't finish it with a sense of epiphany, inevitably beautiful consummation, and desperation that I must now find a new book to take its place, and that the task will be impossible -- the hallmarks of what gets 5 stars from me.

Also, I don't like standing ovations.

Damn kids get off my lawn.

Read this despite me, please.

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