- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Sceptre; 2 edition (20 April 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0340739754
- ISBN-13: 978-0340739754
- Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.9 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (175 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,969 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Ghostwritten Paperback – 20 Apr 2000
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"What is real and what is not?": David Mitchell's first novel, Ghostwritten: A Novel in Nine Parts, plays with this question throughout its "parts". (That there are 10 sections is just part of the mystery of this book's schema.) Told through a range of voices, scattered across the globe--Tokyo, Hong Kong, Mongolia, Petersburg, London--Ghostwritten has been described as a "firework display, shooting off in a dozen different narrative directions" (Adam Lively).
Certainly, Mitchell offers his readers a vertiginous, sometimes seductive, display of persona and place. "Twenty million people live and work in Tokyo," he writes in "Okinawa", the first section in the novel. "It's so big that nobody really knows where it stops." That sense of the global extension of the (post)modern city, the networks-- cultural, technological, phantasmagoric--to which it gives rise, is one key to this story of a Japanese death cult devoted to purging the "unclean" (gas attacks on the metro). "No, in Tokyo you have to make your place inside your head": that's how this immense world gets smaller, more subjective, more mad, as the narrator, Mr Kobayashi, sheds his "old family of the skin" to join a new "family of the spirit". It's a common theme. "I'm this person, I'm this person, I'm that person, I'm that person too," chants the voice of "Hong Kong", in the second section of the book. "No wonder it's all such a fucking mess." Neal's talking about his world, his life as a Hong Kong trader--"he's a man of departments, compartments, apartments"--but he might also be describing the experience of reading Ghostwritten. At once loquacious and knowing, leisurely and frantic, Mitchell offers his readers a huge, but fragmentary, portmanteau which builds in the links between its parts--aching bodies, reality police, the "ghost" writer in the machine of contemporary life, its mad, comic, and cosmic voices--without quite convincing you that they really do come together. -- Vicky Lebeau
An astonishing debut. (Independent)
One of the best first novels I've read in a long time . . . I couldn't put it down. (AS Byatt Mail on Sunday)
A remarkable novel by a young writer of remarkable talent. (Observer)
The best first novel I have read in ages . . . it beguiles, informs, shocks and captivates. (William Boyd Daily Telegraph)
If you want to know what the distinctive literature of the 21st century will look like, begin here. (Boyd Tonkin Independent)
Fabulously atmospheric and wryly perceptive . . . a huge new talent. (Books of the Year Guardian)
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
There's a different character in each chapter so he adopts a different voice to reflect that character. You're inside the head of an old Chinese woman living up a mountain one minute, a disembodied lost spirit the next and a middle-aged genius scientist the next. It's really quite beautiful to read.
There are so many different subjects condensed into one book it's hard to say what it's about, other than the way chance affects our lives. We have the Tokyo subway attacks in one story; the history of China from the Japanese occupation through the cultural revolution through Deng Xiaoping's reforms in another.Then theories of quantum physics and a late night radio show. It's stuffed full. You never know what's coming next.
People who are looking for a conventional story won't like this, nor will people who want their characters to be fully developed. Not that the characters aren't well written. But we don't necessarily get a full picture of their lives, we just get a slice and you don't necessarily know everything about them. Anyone who doesn't like figuring things out for themselves won't like it either, because he leaves quite a lot to the reader's imagination. You have to put the story together yourself and that requires work.Read more ›
Like 'Cloud Atlas' and to some extent 'Black Swan Green', Ghostwritten takes the form of interconnected short stories (9 of them here) in which the connections aren't just linear (one story leading to another) but network, so that a small piece of information, speech or feeling in one of the earlier stories suddenly takes on greater significance in a later story. But you cannot judge each story individually because the book itself is definitely more than just a sum of its parts. Some people criticise Mitchell's books for not being "novels". I think this is a misplaced criticism. Surely the best novels don't just have a linear narrative with a defined beginning, middle and end. There must be a place for novels that reflect the reality of ideas, people and places connecting via spidery, tenuous networks. If some feel disappointed that the stories seem to end without much happening then I'm sorry, I don't know what to say other than you are missing something in the reading. These are novels about ideas (love, death, birth, the spirit, greed) as much as actions. I couldn't concieve of reading either 'Cloud Atlas' or 'Ghostwritten' in any other way than as a novel. I don't think the book would make any sense if I dipped in and read the stories individually.
The writing itself is masterly. I find it difficult to see Mitchell's influences but for some reason I keep feeling Ray Bradbury about here somewhere - I can't figure why though. I disagree that the characters have no depth as they have no time to develop.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great story overall, though I have to say I was a little tired by the end of meeting new characters and getting to know them over and over. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Fiona L MacKenzie
Very hard to get into, other friends said it was great read but not for me gave up at page 12Published 1 month ago by Tracy Watt
This was the third novel by Mitchell that I've read, after Cloud Atlas and Bone Clocks, and was my least favourite so far. Read morePublished 1 month ago by P Stratford
If you've read other David Mtchell books you know what to expect - a sequence of stories of different characters that are loosely connected by some strange mystical or other... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Damo Green
Compulsive reading, which one day I might understand. Well written, thought provoking,apposite. Interlinked episodes, but maybe more questions raised than answers given.Published 2 months ago by Dean John
Totally engaging, returned months later and immediately re-immersed in Mitchell's world of 'ghostwritten'. Thank you Martha Lane Fox for the BBC recommendation. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Grier Palmer
I read this after enjoying Cloud Atlas - also by David Mitchell. I can sense a pattern. Certainly for fans of modern fiction and when I read his other books I might realise the... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Peter Anderson