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By Antti on 03-09-14
An Engrossing Whirlwind
This was my third Mitchell, and I can honestly say that he really does know how to carry the narrative(s). While his debut is much closer to Cloud Atlas (the first book I read) than my personal favourite ”The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet”, the undersong of tension that he’s able to weave to his stories is already there, strong and commanding.
Although I prefer ”Jacob de Zoet” also in terms of how concentrated the narrative is – despite the fact that it, too, carries the story through with the aid of multiple narrators – ”Ghostwritten” is a thoroughly engrossing tale of transmigration, life, death and relationships in the middle of it. In other words, the little brother to ”Cloud Atlas”.
The challenge is immense. The book is divided into chapters that all follow a different character, their destinies and lives somehow interlinked, in fact in a very particular way, which one will realize when all is said and done. How does one then carry the story so that it stays fervent and interesting? I think Mitchell does an admirable job, although there are some stories that didn’t do it for me at all, the Hong Kong chapters for example. The mysteries of consciousness is the one topic with which Mitchell makes the most out of not only the story but his skill as a writer, and I think the theme works better here than it does in ”Cloud Atlas”, although it might be I’m mixing too much of the film with the book.
In retrospect, the intertextuality between this and ”Cloud Atlas” manages to deepen both works.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
By David Radford on 30-07-14
Very Poorly Read
What disappointed you about Ghostwritten?
I have listened to several books from Audible and have really enjoyed them and have been captivated. One of the things that has been consistent is the quality of the reader, they have all been excellent. It gives me no pleasure to say that the reading of this book was very poor, so much so that I could not listen after two minutes of the second story. There is no characterisation and the readers cadence is very similar no matter what the sense is of what he is reading. this is the first book I am returning.
Would you be willing to try another one of William Rycroft’s performances?
6 of 6 people found this review helpful