Van has finished reading…The Thousand Autumns Of Jacob De Zoet by David Mitchell

30 Jan

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet By David Mitchell

I wonder why David Mitchell took the decision to break the majority of dialogue mid sentence. Immediacy perhaps? Maybe he decided to do it because he can. If I meet him I’ll ask him. In any case, whereas it warranted an almost religious rereading of early passages with dialogue, once the characters were ingrained in the mind it actually worked quite well. Or maybe it’s just that I came to expect it and therefore made a sort of mental allowance to take it in.

  What a motley collection of characters we have, and here I think is one of the book’s major strengths; Mitchell’s observant imagination. Though the cast is extensive, I never felt a character put a foot wrong, and the setting and machinations of the provincial Japanese court were finely drawn.

  Speaking of drawing, some nice illustrations to boot (except maybe for the first one, which made me wonder, so early in the tale, what gruesome places we were like to visit thereafter).

  A special mention to for the poetic prose sections, whose rhythm made me think of Night Train, but whose descriptions kept far far away from the cold, dark north.

  A very imaginative tale, with twists and turns aplenty to keep you turning the pages.


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