Even more dazzling than Ghostwritten
If anything more amazing than his debut, Ghostwritten, this Booker-shortlisted fantasia confirms the Hiroshima-based Mitchell as the most prodigally gifted of young British novelists . . . an extraordinary literary cabaret of dreams, visions and pastiches, from video-game rides and gangster rumbles to suicide submariners. Endlessly ingenious and hugely enjoyable - but oddly moving as well. A rich showcase for 21st-century fiction.
I haven't enjoyed a novel so much in ages; wild, bristling with strangeness
A clever, contemporary reworking of classic videogame/quest themes . . . This videogame is made not of zeros and ones, however, but of dream fragments and poetry . . . the beautiful, snake-like narrative twists and tangles around leitmotifs borrowed from action films, manga, anime, SF, fantasy, old detective novels, mob stories, coming-of-age romances, cyberpunk, epic quests and war stories . . . Mitchell rolls around in implausibility, takes some incredible literary liberties, and - yes - gets away with it.
It's a measure of the precocity of David Mitchell's talent that this novel, the author's second book, is nearly a rare example of a satisfying "anti-novel". This experimentation with narrative form is usually reserved for authors with comfortably established book sales and secure reputations. It is told dexterously . . . The book progresses through quick changes of style and texture. This fixes one's attention on the delights of Mitchell's prose. Almost without realising it, you find that you have fallen for Eiji, and that his plight has registered at a deep level.
Resounds to the same marvellous chatter of voices that marked out Ghostwritten, his outstanding first novel
David Mitchell's second novel was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and it's not hard to see why. The narrative has a langorous, dream-like quality - the result of being structured around Eiji's fantasies. Mitchell writes well in a range of different moods and styles: funny, poignant, humdrum, violent. Most strikingly of all, he depicts Tokyo as a bewildering labyrinth, which provides the perfect backdrop to the desultory wanderings of Eiji's mind.
Captures aspects of modern Japan with a compelling authenticity and beauty
Even more dazzling than GHOSTWRITTEN.
A delirious mix of thriller, tragedy, fantasy, video games and a portrait of uneasy modern Japan . . . A deserving Booker nominee.
This Booker-shortlisted fantasia confirms the Hiroshima-based Mitchell as the most prodigally gifted of young British novelists ... an extraordinary literary cabaret of dreams, visions and pastiches, from video-game rides and gangster rumbles to suicide submariners.