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David Mitchell’s electrifying debut novel takes readers on a mesmerizing trek across a world of human experience through a series of ingeniously linked narratives.
Oblivious to the bizarre ways in which their lives intersect, nine characters—a terrorist in Okinawa, a record-shop clerk in Tokyo, a money-laundering British financier in Hong Kong, an old woman running a tea shack in China, a transmigrating “noncorpum” entity seeking a human host in Mongolia, a gallery-attendant-cum-art-thief in Petersburg, a drummer in London, a female physicist in Ireland, and a radio deejay in New York—hurtle toward a shared destiny of astonishing impact. Like the book’s one non-human narrator, Mitchell latches onto his host characters and invades their lives with parasitic precision, making Ghostwritten a sprawling and brilliant literary relief map of the modern world.
“Mitchell . . . has a gift for fiction’s natural pleasures—intricate surprises, insidiously woven narratives, ingenious voices. . . .” —The New York Times Book Review
“A brave new book for a brave new world–fueled by a brilliant imagination and buoyed by beautifully descriptive writing.” —USA Today
“[Mitchell] has a gift for fiction’s natural pleasures—intricate surprises, insidiously woven narratives, ingenious voices.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Unlike so many of the chroniclers of the 21st-century pastiche—an industry dominated by ad men and feature-writers, not novelists—Mitchell has set out to craft actual characters, not archetypes. The result is a dazzling piece of work.” —The Washington Post
“Mitchell is a sly, inventive storyteller—and anything but predictable. . . . Inventive and mind-provoking.” —Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
“Ghostwritten is also elegantly composed, gracefully plotted and full of humor. . . . [It] recall[s] Tolstoy and Dostoevsky in its emotional scope and its ambitions. Like the great Russians, Mitchell makes us feel that more is at stake than individual lives, although it’s by individual lives that pain and loss are measured.” —Los Angeles Times
“Mitchell deftly sketches each character to such a compelling extent that you become totally immersed. . . .. His nine characters and their random but fateful interactions provide a playful, suspenseful foray into our ever-shrinking world.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Nine tales set in nine countries are intricately woven together in this impressive debut novel.” —Talk
“An intricately assembled Fabergé egg of a novel, full of sly and sometimes beautiful surprises. . . . In an era in which much literary fiction is characterized by unearned ironies and glib cynicism, it’s hard not to be impressed by the humanism that animates Mitchell’s book. . . . Worth a dozen of the morally anorexic novels that regularly come down the pipe.” —New York
“Gripping and innovative. . . . [Ghostwritten] serve[s] to illustrate the strange interconnectivity of the modern world and the improvisatory nature of fate.” —The New York Times
“Mitchell has written a testament to just how far a little nerve, a lot of talent, and an airplane will take you. . . . A novel that wends from Okinawa to Mongolia to Petersburg, as well as visiting the more traditional literary haunts of London and New York, has to be commended for its geographical audacity alone.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer
“A daring novel, uniquely structured and just as uniquely compelling.” —The Denver Post
“Ghostwritten is a marvelous puzzle. It takes time to figure together the disparate pieces, but patience in this case pays off handsomely. Once assembled, the story hums with significance. . . . [An] amazing first novel.” —The New York Observer
“David Mitchell’s first novel is a firework display. . . . The assurance and panache are truly remarkable. . . . This is a remarkable novel by a young writer of remarkable talent.” —The Observer (London)
“[Mitchell’s] detail boasts the quiet and proud precision which makes his Englishness no surprise.” —The Seattle Times
“This is one of the best first novels I’ve read for a long time. . . . I read a proof of this on a transatlantic flight. When I got off in Atlanta, I couldn’t put it down. I pulled my luggage in one hand along corridors and escalators, and held David Mitchell’s last chapter up to my nose with the other. I finished at the carousel. It seemed appropriate. And it’s even better the second time.” —A. S. Byatt