Jeremy Bailey's Reviews > Ghostwritten

Ghostwritten by David Mitchell
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M 50x66
's review
Oct 21, 2008

really liked it

My first David Mitchell book as well, though Andy speaks highly of all of them, I found the narrative and theme as suggestive but fleeting as the spectre in the title. Each chapter told a different narrative all linked loosely by either a character, event or supernatural element and all set in a different location and, I think, sometimes a different time period. This was one of those books for me that is astounding not for what its insights but for what it suggests. My favorite chapter concerns a disembodied entity in search of the meaning of an ancient fable he/she once heard as a child that uses the bodies of intrepid travelers and Mongolian shepherds to uncover the one reminder tying them to the physical realm. My least favorite concerned a lonely woman in love with an art thief who takes part in the theft of a masterpiece only to see the heist unravel. The disparity between these two chapters is Ghostwritten in a nutshell - ambitious, reaching, elegiac. And it was David's first novel.

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