Ghostwritten by David Mitchell

Ghostwritten is the debut novel of David Mitchell and it is the second of his that I have read.  I was eager to read Ghostwritten after having read Cloud Atlas several months ago.  Cloud Atlas is a brilliant novel;  Ghostwritten is good and a definite page-turner but not as good as Cloud Atlas.  Both novels are structured the same way: each ‘chapter’ is actually a short story unto its own, with different characters and plot lines.  Indeed you could flip to any chapter of the book and enjoy it on its own without the context of the rest of the novel.  The challenge for the reader is to try to connect together the various characters, events, and plot lines throughout the chapters.  At times Mitchell does this in an obvious way but mostly it is subtle and you have to stop and think about the connections and the themes running through the book.  It gives you an added dimension as a reader and I really enjoy it.  However if you are a slow reader or take awhile to get through a novel you might struggle with this as I did.  I think I managed to understand about 70% of the connections but some slipped away from me.  And I found myself  getting a bit lost in a couple chapters where a non-corporeal entity becomes the main character.  Before I sat down to write this review I confess to having gone to Ghostwritten’s Wikipedia page, where I discovered that I did not, in fact, get all of the connections between the chapters and characters. Happily this gives me an excuse to read this novel again.  It’s a lot like that movie Momento, which you really need to see a second time while nodding your head and murmuring, “I see, I see!”

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One thought on “Ghostwritten by David Mitchell

  1. Mike D says:

    Read Number-9 Dream next!

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