GhostwrittenGhostwritten by David Mitchell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So cruising along in this book, somewhere near the end of the beginning, thinking, "hey, it's kinda like #9 dream" only more disjoint & hard to follow when, SUDDENLY, he blew my mind and tied everything together. cool. It's too much to ask that this twist isn't spoiled often in the reviews, so be careful how much you read online. I recommend against reading even the book jacket. Instead, just go get it.

Oh BTW an epic movie on Cloud Atlas is coming (has somebody mentioned that already).  It seems frankly too big to succeed, but I'll be sure to go.


Whew, 2/3 now and enjoying a burst of joy at the individual moves Mitchell makes. I want to say there's something very special about these books, but there's a middle missing.  I don't much miss it, but it isn't there.  It's plot of some kind.  There's plenty of action but no particular thread of continuity.  Not because Mitchell can't do it though. In fact, hiding behind the kaleidoscope is a Grand Strategy. It will all be revealed to hang together at once at the end, in a giant rogue wave of coherence. Along the way, you can see the web of cables gathering: it will be Check and Mate in one move after a midgame of mindless (seeming!) wandering. If he were a girl he'd have only a regular body, but the mind of a tiger and perfect skin. If he were a musician, it would be a grand symphony and each individual note played perfectly buy with only a barely perceptible melody.  Which brings me to the notes.

Lots of sentences are individually quotable.  I'll give you one, here, where the present story's hero Marco has just encountered a conceited, biddable, beddable woman in a London falafel shop. The sentences are individually beautiful, sad, or maybe laugh out loud funny.  They're so good that it would be possible to read the book over a year's time, just ingesting a page or two to adore the prose.

So you can enjoy Mitchell with a microscope or a telescope.  Right in front of your nose at normal magnification, in the mid-game, perhaps it's just ok, but each separate story is still interesting.   This is what Italo Calvino was trying to do.

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