Number9dream

Written by: David Mitchell

Number9dream Book Cover
David Mitchell follows his eerily precocious, globe-striding first novel, Ghostwritten, with a work that is in its way even more ambitious. In outward form, number9dream is a Dickensian coming-of-age journey: Young dreamer Eiji Miyake, from remote rural Japan, thrust out on his own by his sister’s death and his mother’s breakdown, comes to Tokyo in pursuit of the father who abandoned him. Stumbling around this strange, awesome city, he trips over and crosses—through a hidden destiny or just monstrously bad luck—a number of its secret power centers. Suddenly, the riddle of his father’s identity becomes just one of the increasingly urgent questions Eiji must answer. Why is the line between the world of his experiences and the world of his dreams so blurry? Why do so many horrible things keep happening to him? What is it about the number 9? To answer these questions, and ultimately to come to terms with his inheritance, Eiji must somehow acquire an insight into the workings of history and fate that would be rare in anyone, much less in a boy from out of town with a price on his head and less than the cost of a Beatles disc to his name.
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Number9dream Reviews

Meghan Fidler
Number9dream is infectious--I had trouble putting it down. David Mitchell has incredible story telling ability, and I admire the skill and fieldwork in a different country necessary to make this novel a reality.
I was disappointed with the Yakuza plot turn. The violence was as overwritten as the descriptions of the main protagonists first two cups of coffee. This additive in the story felt hackneyed, especially given the turn towards a kamakazi-ish diary entry later (this, however, deserves some Number9dream is infectious--I had trouble putting it down. David Mitchell has incredible story telling ability, and I admire the skill and fieldwork in a different country necessary to make this novel a reality.
I was disappointed with the Yakuza plot turn. The violence was as overwritten as the descriptions of the main protagonists first two cups of coffee. This additive in the story felt hackneyed, especially given the turn towards a kamakazi-ish diary entry later (this, however, deserves some accolades: Mitchell did his homework, knew the history and portrayed a side that is seldom discussed in war: a soldier who understands their role in a broader machine, a mechanism whose end does not match the net gain. I admire this frank discussion.)
I understand, however, the narrative coherence provided by cliche 'yakuza' gang violence blahblahaddsensationalismhere; and the story should not be discounted.
Filipa
I do not know what happened to me with this book.
Although I usually like these kind of stories, where magical realism is driving the plot, this time I wasn't able to enjoy this one. The main problem for me was definitely the writing. I felt bored, confused and half asleep while reading this.
I actually spent most of the book wishing to end this so that I could move on with my life. I must be honest - if this wasn't January's pick for the book club I am part of, I would probably would have given I do not know what happened to me with this book.
Although I usually like these kind of stories, where magical realism is driving the plot, this time I wasn't able to enjoy this one. The main problem for me was definitely the writing. I felt bored, confused and half asleep while reading this.
I actually spent most of the book wishing to end this so that I could move on with my life. I must be honest - if this wasn't January's pick for the book club I am part of, I would probably would have given up on page 100 because I wasn't keen on wasting another minute of my precious reading time with this book.
I feel kinda sorry I didn't like the book, but at this point in my life, it really was not an enjoyable reading. Which sucks as I wanted to read another book by this author and I now I am not so sure I will read it that soon.
Jon
I hung on for the entire 399 pages just to see if the ended of this book granted any kind of perspective. I couldn't be more wrong. Plodding through the last 50 pages is like reading 500 pages of the dictionary--it's the WORST part of the entire story. At this point, all the plots points have been tied up and Mitchell decides he's just going to drone on for another chapter. I was going to rate this book 2 stars, but after reading these last pages, I demoted it to one star and threw it into my ga I hung on for the entire 399 pages just to see if the ended of this book granted any kind of perspective. I couldn't be more wrong. Plodding through the last 50 pages is like reading 500 pages of the dictionary--it's the WORST part of the entire story. At this point, all the plots points have been tied up and Mitchell decides he's just going to drone on for another chapter. I was going to rate this book 2 stars, but after reading these last pages, I demoted it to one star and threw it into my garbage can. I don't care if this review ruined the ending for you. You can thank me later for saving you the better part of an evening.
Success Stories :: The Sweet Hereafter :: Running Dog :: Eastern Standard Tribe :: The Best American Essays 1988
Bart Reinalda
4.5 stars. When I first started number9dream, I could not believe that this was a Booker Prize finalist. I was so confused in that first chapter and had no idea what was going on, so much so that once I did catch on, I was not amused. "Just tell me what's real, what's really happening, so I can get on with this story," was my general thought in those first 50-60 pages.

But, of course, this is David Mitchell we're talking about and he most certainly will not let me, the reader, have things my way. 4.5 stars. When I first started number9dream, I could not believe that this was a Booker Prize finalist. I was so confused in that first chapter and had no idea what was going on, so much so that once I did catch on, I was not amused. "Just tell me what's real, what's really happening, so I can get on with this story," was my general thought in those first 50-60 pages.

But, of course, this is David Mitchell we're talking about and he most certainly will not let me, the reader, have things my way. Unlike with Ghostwritten, which zips along briskly between vignettes of different perspectives that cleverly give way to the bigger story, number9dream requires thoughtful patience and a certain amount of digging in to find the bigger story of Eiji Miyake. Of course, that makes the book all the more worthwhile in the end.

Because in the end, I really, really liked (dare I say loved?) number9dream. There are many things for which I admire David Mitchell: his creativity is unparalleled and his characters are wonderfully complex, but for me, it's all about his ability to narrate with a voice. A real voice, one that is so true and clear and believable, that it doesn't feel like I am reading Mitchell, but instead, Eiji Miyake is speaking inside of my head.

There is nothing misplaced, no phrase or thought or note or reaction or impulse of Eiji's that rings false. He is so hilariously and painfully human in his self-deprecating humor, his doubt, his naïveté, his difficult past, his cynicism, his innocence, his curiosity, and his subdued, introverted nature. He is not super smart with super sharp intuition, nor is he super talented in anything (aside from some highly original and sassy nicknames) like many other coming-of-age heroes tend to be. Yet he is still a lovable and noble soul that is easy to get behind as a reader, even in the parts where he could be so ridiculously blind. Eiji does not ultimately save the world and makes countless blunders along the way, but he is also not an intolerable idiot; he doesn't lean too far in either direction. In this way, I appreciate Mitchell's ability to write characters with personalities and voices that are not overwrought.

I wanted to give this book a full 5 stars by the time I finished, but I had to take a step back and remember how I started. The first chapter was weird and hard to follow, therefore hard to get into. The second was much better, but 100 pages in I still had no idea where this story was going and was still quite frustrated because of it. I had to force myself through the first third, bit by bit and chapter by chapter, until I found myself slowly taken in and absorbed by Mitchell's Tokyo and the life and times of Eiji Miyake.

It was almost like a trust exercise; at many points I stopped suspiciously and had to ask "Is this really happening? Or is David Mitchell going to snap me out of a dream sequence next paragraph?" Despite those many moments of suspended reality and odd coincidences and gruesome yakuza encounters, I loved this story. Funny and fresh and oh so creative, it was a job very well done.

Can't wait to read Cloud Atlas next.
Shannon Fields
At first, I wasn't too sure about this book. I am a David Mitchell fan but the beginning didn't grab my attention right away. Then I stopped worrying and trying to fit it into a conventional novel style in my head and decided to just go along for the ride. I enjoyed that ride immensely.

I listened to the audio version of this book. It was a good narrator.
Corey
Having now read all of David Mitchell's novels, number9dream is definitely not my favorite, perhaps my least favorite (although I really liked the first part of Thousand Autumns, the second half was boring and got me out of it) of his books. This isn't to say it's a bad book but it doesn't come close to reaching the heights of Cloud Atlas or Black Swan Green, itself another coming of age tale, but done masterfully and succinctly. number9dream weaves and bobs through a serious of vaguely unbeliev Having now read all of David Mitchell's novels, number9dream is definitely not my favorite, perhaps my least favorite (although I really liked the first part of Thousand Autumns, the second half was boring and got me out of it) of his books. This isn't to say it's a bad book but it doesn't come close to reaching the heights of Cloud Atlas or Black Swan Green, itself another coming of age tale, but done masterfully and succinctly. number9dream weaves and bobs through a serious of vaguely unbelievable coincidental scenarios, our protagonist rushed through a series of antiquated plot devices to keep the story moving, that is, when we aren't thrown without warning into a dream sequence, a fantasy, a journal entry, or a piece of a short story written by a character who doesn't even appear in the novel. That being said, those short stories were my favorite part of the whole book and I wish they had simply been collected and allowed to play as a piece rather than chopped up piecemeal throughout the fifth (?) section. The whole time, it just feels like Eiji is a character who things happen to, rather than a dynamic sort who makes things happen. It's only at the very end that he actually does something himself, although this may be part of the point given the coming-of-age storyline.
Now, the ending of the story was incredibly abrupt, confusing, and peculiar. If you haven't read the book and you want to then you may not want to keep reading...

By all accounts, the earthquake is not a dream. The parts leading up to it, as Eiji stumbles through his journey from Tokyo to his island home, are told in a sleep-deprived back-and-forth delirium that seems to differentiate reality from dream but by the time the typhoon hits and he's in the little garden shelter house and he's getting a blowjob while the witch lady watches (and this is supposed to not be a dream) I began second-guessing my assumptions. The basic fault I find here is that there isn't enough evidence to know what's real and what isn't, which would provide a satisfying ending. I'm all for ambiguous endings, sure, but to have him make this voyage only to wake up to a devastating news report and (as the book ends) cause him to race back to Tokyo is not very satisfying at all and seems to only indicate that Mitchell couldn't come up with a way to finish the story, so it keeps going, just off the page.
Marialyce
Well, my new favorite author let me down a bit with this one. This novel follows the actual plus the ethereal journey of the young man, Eiji, to find not only his biological father, but to find himself as well. Broken into nine chapters (which of course seeing that the number nine is mentioned on numerous occasions as well as be our concluding chapter which concludes as a blank), the book details Eilji's dealings with friends, family, and the tragic loss of his twin sister. In the Japanese cultu Well, my new favorite author let me down a bit with this one. This novel follows the actual plus the ethereal journey of the young man, Eiji, to find not only his biological father, but to find himself as well. Broken into nine chapters (which of course seeing that the number nine is mentioned on numerous occasions as well as be our concluding chapter which concludes as a blank), the book details Eilji's dealings with friends, family, and the tragic loss of his twin sister. In the Japanese culture in which this book is set the number nine is unlucky because its pronunciation resembles pain or trauma. It mixes the "fairy tale" qualities and stories of the young with the tragic comedy of Eiji's adult life as he struggles to make his way in what life has decided is his path.

There are, just as in life, many things that help Eiji cope with the tragedies of his life. Most prevalent of these is music and the eventual introduction of a love interest. Always trying to show us the reality of loss that oftentimes inhabits our mind, Mitchell tries to point out the way in which we all cope just like Eiji does. The ways may be different, but in all of us there is a mechanism which deals with tragedy and loss. In the search for his father, Eiji learns that sometimes what you seek, is not always going to bring you the pleasure of the find. So he is almost saying that one should always be careful of what you feel you need as oftentimes the journey is not worth the sacrifices you go through to be on that journey.

At the conclusion of the story, Eiji realizes that one must remain in the present or at least in a world where you are cognizant of its workings in order to find happiness even if it is a brief sort of happiness. One does see hope at the end for Eiji to become someone who ultimately has that shot at happiness.

My disappointment in this book was that there was so much disjointedness. I, who have previously read a number of Mitchell's books, oftentimes found this a tough go as I tried to "see" where I was in relationship to time and reality. The errant flipping between the real and the made up gave me a large sense of jumpiness and seemed to make the novel's flow interrupted and at times harsh.
Michael
After being enticed for the first time by reading Mitchell's most recent "1000 Autumns of Jacob De Zoet" I was compelled to go back and read all of the previous books from this gifted writer. I finally got back to his first one with Number9Dream. It was interesting to go backwards and see how he evolved as a writer as well as the evolution of his themes and plots. This was a very fine book but not as polished as his later writings would be.
The story involves a young 20 year old boy, Eiji Miyake, After being enticed for the first time by reading Mitchell's most recent "1000 Autumns of Jacob De Zoet" I was compelled to go back and read all of the previous books from this gifted writer. I finally got back to his first one with Number9Dream. It was interesting to go backwards and see how he evolved as a writer as well as the evolution of his themes and plots. This was a very fine book but not as polished as his later writings would be.
The story involves a young 20 year old boy, Eiji Miyake, from rural Japan arriving in Tokyo in a quest to learn the identity of and finally meet his father. His mother was an alcoholic protitute who abandoned Eiji and his twin sister to his grandmother's care. Along the way he has many strange encounters and frequently lapses into fantastical dreams related to his quest. Some of these involve Yakuza gangsters, who appear at inoportune times to thwart his almost encounters with his elusive father's identity. We keep getting teased every time it appears that Eiji will finally learn his father's identity. Eiji's fantastical dreams include stories that also seem to relate back to the writer's personal traits such as Mitchell's issues with stuttering as personified in the dream character of Goatwriter (Mitchell?). Interesting, in that one of Mitchell's previous bookss was titled GhostWritten. We also saw this stuttering characteristic in Mitchell's main character in Black Swan Green. He also mentions a Cloud Atlas during the story which later became what I consider to be Mitchell's finest book.
The number 9 seems to pop up everywhere in the story and I'm not sure what it's significance was meant to be other than it ties Eiji's dreams together with his guitar playing talents back to John Lennon's famous song.
Mitchell is one of the most inventive writers I've come across as he skillfully tackles different genres and ideas and his stories are always entertaining adventures.
Taka
4.5, actually--

I liked it a lot more than his magnum opus, Cloud Atlas, which was more gimmicky and less emotionally involving. Perhaps I'm also biased for anything Japanese.

David Mitchell's prose in this work manages to be elegant and humorous as well as Protean in crafting diverse narrative voices. The plot, too, was entertaining, compromised only by some detours - daydreams in the first chapter, the entire Goatwriter tales in Chapter 5, and random dreams in Chapter 8. I especially disliked th 4.5, actually--

I liked it a lot more than his magnum opus, Cloud Atlas, which was more gimmicky and less emotionally involving. Perhaps I'm also biased for anything Japanese.

David Mitchell's prose in this work manages to be elegant and humorous as well as Protean in crafting diverse narrative voices. The plot, too, was entertaining, compromised only by some detours - daydreams in the first chapter, the entire Goatwriter tales in Chapter 5, and random dreams in Chapter 8. I especially disliked the Study of Tales chapter (Ch. 5) for its inanity and pointlessness. It didn't add anything to the book - to use Suga's favorite expression - imho. The beginning, too was a bit slow and I needed patience to get through the first 50 pages or so. The plot thickens starting in Chapter 3 where Eiji meets the mysterious playboy Yuzu Daimon and picks up more and more speed until it crashes to a halt in Chapter 8 due to the stupid stories Eiji reads, and jump-starts with a grim and fascinating account of a Kaiten pilot during WWII and climaxes with Eiji getting a pizza order from his father.

Being a Tokyoite myself, I really enjoyed Mitchell's descriptions - both cartoonish and realistic - of Tokyo and its inhabitants. I thought Tokyo was well portrayed in all its quaintness and grotesqueness. Hats off to the author. I was also impressed by his depictions of Eiji and Anju's lives on Yakushima.

Overall, it was funny, surreal, engaging, and moving, minus some tedious parts that would've been better left out = 4.5.

Highly recommended.

Lucy
Eiji Miyake has lived on a small island for most of his life until he decides to move to Tokyo, to find his father. Somewhat unfortunately, his father is someone who does not want to be found. Flickering between fantasies and reality, Eiji ambles his way through the big city, struggling with work, rent and the dodgier side of town.
Then he meets Ai.

At first, it's a difficult book to read. We start in the Jupiter Cafe, with Eiji preparing to approach his father's lawyer. He carries off on multiple Eiji Miyake has lived on a small island for most of his life until he decides to move to Tokyo, to find his father. Somewhat unfortunately, his father is someone who does not want to be found. Flickering between fantasies and reality, Eiji ambles his way through the big city, struggling with work, rent and the dodgier side of town.
Then he meets Ai.

At first, it's a difficult book to read. We start in the Jupiter Cafe, with Eiji preparing to approach his father's lawyer. He carries off on multiple tangents, leaving you to believe that Tokyo floods, he kills the lawyer or he watches a Russian movie, although he never really leaves the Cafe. This does happen within the book at multiple times. If not that he does this drifiting off into parts of his past.

Reading the blurb, I thought this'd be either a straight A to B father hunt or a straight A to B love story. It is neither of these things. In fact, it's not even these two mushed together. There are many scenes which don't relate to either of these things. It's Eiji coming to terms with himself.

I adored this book, and was never bored. The only star missing was due to the ending. I kinda lost what was happening and got a little confused. At times, I also found Eiji annoyingly gullible considering the circumstances.

Didn't quite top Cloud Atlas for me, but was still incredibly good. 4/5
Robert
David Mitchell is incredible. After this, I can't wait to read everything he has written. Clearly, Cloud Atlas is not a fluke. number9dream is a mind-boggling trip and hallucinogenic roller-coaster with a heavy nod to Murakami - and possibly John Lennon. It is also a poetic discourse on meaning, reality and the importance of family. Not to mention a beautiful romp through Tokyo and modern Japan.
It was a challenge at first to tell what was dream and what was real in this book, but as that got cl David Mitchell is incredible. After this, I can't wait to read everything he has written. Clearly, Cloud Atlas is not a fluke. number9dream is a mind-boggling trip and hallucinogenic roller-coaster with a heavy nod to Murakami - and possibly John Lennon. It is also a poetic discourse on meaning, reality and the importance of family. Not to mention a beautiful romp through Tokyo and modern Japan.
It was a challenge at first to tell what was dream and what was real in this book, but as that got clearer so did become clear that this was deliberate. The diversions into the fantastic dreams of the protagonist could be skipped easily enough, but they are so delightful you won't want to. I've never seen anyone write dreams with such a strong sense of their symbolic reality and their non-sequitur nature - it is incredible a waking mind can conceive of such things.
though the book was long at 500 pages, it was never tedious, and always engaging. I wanted to skim, but didn't. Mitchell's use of language is gorgeous and inventive, and his mastery of the craft of story-telling is clear.
I just became a fan.
Riona
This is my third David Mitchell novel, and unfortunately it's my least favorite so far. Unlike his other works I've read, this is more conventional in that it's only really told from one point of view (aside from a few letters woven into the text here and there) and has a fairly linear narrative. What makes it a David Mitchell novel is the unique perspective that the protagonist, Eiji Miyake, tells the story from.

Eiji is a naive twenty year old from rural Japan, looking for the father he never This is my third David Mitchell novel, and unfortunately it's my least favorite so far. Unlike his other works I've read, this is more conventional in that it's only really told from one point of view (aside from a few letters woven into the text here and there) and has a fairly linear narrative. What makes it a David Mitchell novel is the unique perspective that the protagonist, Eiji Miyake, tells the story from.

Eiji is a naive twenty year old from rural Japan, looking for the father he never knew in big city Tokyo. Eiji's overactive imagination and lack of regular sleeping habits make it difficult for him--and us, the readers--to tell what are dreams and what is reality, as he finds love, works in a deathly hot chain pizza joint, gets mixed up with the Yakuza, and attempts to reconcile with his estranged mother, all while stumbling around Tokyo without a yen in his wallet.

It's obvious that David Mitchell is an extremely gifted writer, but this fell short for me. It just felt really long and tedious at times (and it's less than 500 pages). Without Mitchell's beautiful prose, this would have been a two-star read for me.
Hackmops
I can scarcely begin to say what a painful experience it has been to read this novel. Mitchell is a pretentious bore who uses pseudo-mysticism and pop culture to make no real points whatsoever about life. He also occasionally gets his facts wrong, such as when the music prodigy says that all string players "including, technically, pianists" have some propensity or other. Funny, but my music instructors always told me that the piano, despite its strings, is technically a percussion instrument bec I can scarcely begin to say what a painful experience it has been to read this novel. Mitchell is a pretentious bore who uses pseudo-mysticism and pop culture to make no real points whatsoever about life. He also occasionally gets his facts wrong, such as when the music prodigy says that all string players "including, technically, pianists" have some propensity or other. Funny, but my music instructors always told me that the piano, despite its strings, is technically a percussion instrument because something is being struck with mallets. The dry, icy prose is also an enormous turn-off, making the characters lack warmth and believability (indeed, the various aunts and uncles of the protagonist are given ludicrous names as metaphor, which leaves them blank to the reader).

It seems to me that Mr. Mitchell really didn't need to live in Japan for 8 years in order to read Murakami, an author who is by and large mediocre and who Mr. Mitchell resembles on many levels, though as nothing more than a pale imitation.

An abominable waste of time.

Gwen
It was really hard for me to give a rating for this one. On the one hand, this book left me a little confused. The plot was, at times, convoluted. The scenes involving the yakuzas were over-the-top. The Goatwriter interlude didn't totally work for me (I thought the commentary was interesting in itself, but its connection to the rest of the novel was tenuous at best). And the added layer of never fully knowing what was dream and what was reality grew taxing.

And yet, I could not put it down. David It was really hard for me to give a rating for this one. On the one hand, this book left me a little confused. The plot was, at times, convoluted. The scenes involving the yakuzas were over-the-top. The Goatwriter interlude didn't totally work for me (I thought the commentary was interesting in itself, but its connection to the rest of the novel was tenuous at best). And the added layer of never fully knowing what was dream and what was reality grew taxing.

And yet, I could not put it down. David Mitchell's storytelling ability kept me glued to the page despite my frustrations with the plot. I'm as equally impressed with his characterization as I am with his knack for jumping flawlessly between different genres/writing styles.

A solid three stars. Not my favorite David Mitchell, but the issues I had with the plot were redeemed by sheer readability.
Masanaka Takashima
I enjoyed this book very much, but it hasn't touched me in my deeper layers. Everything but Goatwriter's part seems to happen and flow on the surface. I enjoyed the dizziness of feeling lots of deja vu everywhere in the book. Apart from obvious Haruki Murakami and The Beetles/Lennon/Yoko, Ogai Mori's Sansho the Bailif, Jean-Luc Godard's Keep Your Right Up, Kinji Fukasaku and so on seem to be implied or used. I am sure that 1990's Tokyo is depicted very well. Anyway, if you read this, I bet you'l I enjoyed this book very much, but it hasn't touched me in my deeper layers. Everything but Goatwriter's part seems to happen and flow on the surface. I enjoyed the dizziness of feeling lots of deja vu everywhere in the book. Apart from obvious Haruki Murakami and The Beetles/Lennon/Yoko, Ogai Mori's Sansho the Bailif, Jean-Luc Godard's Keep Your Right Up, Kinji Fukasaku and so on seem to be implied or used. I am sure that 1990's Tokyo is depicted very well. Anyway, if you read this, I bet you'll find your gems on the way. I encountered the line that made me nod twice: "Dreams are shores where the ocean of spirit meets the land of matter. Dreams are beaches where the yet-to-be, the once-were, the will-never-be may walk awhile with the still-are."
Alex Turner
This was a strange one for me, it's not the usual style of fiction I read. When I started it, I made it about 50 pages in before checking out for about a month. I finally decided to come back to it and got totally hooked. The characters quest to find his father and the strange journey it leads him on it Tokyo was fascinating.

It held that thread of fascinating events and moments right up until the last page, where the final part of the ending just left me irritated and rolling my eyes. I might be This was a strange one for me, it's not the usual style of fiction I read. When I started it, I made it about 50 pages in before checking out for about a month. I finally decided to come back to it and got totally hooked. The characters quest to find his father and the strange journey it leads him on it Tokyo was fascinating.

It held that thread of fascinating events and moments right up until the last page, where the final part of the ending just left me irritated and rolling my eyes. I might be missing some significance or something but it was just a really blah way to end it.

I would recommend this book regardless of my complaining. I put it up there with Stonemouth which I read earlier this year.
Lisa Ahn
I love David Mitchell's books, especially Bone Clocks, but this novel was a bit too disjointed for me. Even at the end, I couldn't fit the pieces together or fill in the gaps.

I liked Eiji as a character, and the writing is gorgeous, the setting memorable. I'm not sure how the yakuza violence, the Goatwriter, and the kaiten diary fit together with everything else (other than a vague idea of interlocking stories, coincidences, fate?). There are lots of repeated motifs, words, ideas -- they appear I love David Mitchell's books, especially Bone Clocks, but this novel was a bit too disjointed for me. Even at the end, I couldn't fit the pieces together or fill in the gaps.

I liked Eiji as a character, and the writing is gorgeous, the setting memorable. I'm not sure how the yakuza violence, the Goatwriter, and the kaiten diary fit together with everything else (other than a vague idea of interlocking stories, coincidences, fate?). There are lots of repeated motifs, words, ideas -- they appear both in Eiji's dreams and his waking life. Usually, I like piecing together the puzzles of Mitchell's books, but this one felt too labored . . . closer to an intellectual magic trick.
Verity Earl
Very nice. Perhaps not the best of his work (I'm still in love with Jacob de Zoet), but there are two reasons why Mitchell is fast becoming my favorite author. One, once you start reading, it's almost impossible to put it down. And not in a gimmicky, murder mystery kind of way. And two, each book he writes is very unique. He has the amazing talent of being able to make the characters come alive with completely different voices, personalities, and writing styles. It's really quite fascinating. He Very nice. Perhaps not the best of his work (I'm still in love with Jacob de Zoet), but there are two reasons why Mitchell is fast becoming my favorite author. One, once you start reading, it's almost impossible to put it down. And not in a gimmicky, murder mystery kind of way. And two, each book he writes is very unique. He has the amazing talent of being able to make the characters come alive with completely different voices, personalities, and writing styles. It's really quite fascinating. He's very talented.
Andrew Tibbetts
David Mitchell is the novelist whose NEXT book I'm most excited about. What will he do next? He's such an architectural virtuoso- the complicated forms his novels take are a palpable delight. But the meat of the material is strong, too. It's not empty filigree. This book is especially powerful. It has a very simple plot- a young man from a rural Japanese island comes to Tokyo to look for his birth father. No matter how outrageous the literary hijinks it performs, the book never betrays the fierc David Mitchell is the novelist whose NEXT book I'm most excited about. What will he do next? He's such an architectural virtuoso- the complicated forms his novels take are a palpable delight. But the meat of the material is strong, too. It's not empty filigree. This book is especially powerful. It has a very simple plot- a young man from a rural Japanese island comes to Tokyo to look for his birth father. No matter how outrageous the literary hijinks it performs, the book never betrays the fierce longing for love and family that fuels it. It will wring your heart while it dazzles your mind.
Cees Everaert
De Tweede roman van Mitchell is de vijfde van zijn hand die ik las. Misschien wel zijn beste. Coming of age in Tokio in zes weken. Een jongeman die zijn zusje verloor, zijn vader zoekt, de liefde en zijn moeder vindt. Met uitstapjes in stijlfiguren en sferen van het Japan van de vorige en begin deze eeuw zoals je van Mitchell gewend bent dat hij verschillende stijlen in zijn verhalen toepast. Een boek om bij te lachen en waarbij soms een enorme kilte om het hart slaat. Geweldige leeservaring wee De Tweede roman van Mitchell is de vijfde van zijn hand die ik las. Misschien wel zijn beste. Coming of age in Tokio in zes weken. Een jongeman die zijn zusje verloor, zijn vader zoekt, de liefde en zijn moeder vindt. Met uitstapjes in stijlfiguren en sferen van het Japan van de vorige en begin deze eeuw zoals je van Mitchell gewend bent dat hij verschillende stijlen in zijn verhalen toepast. Een boek om bij te lachen en waarbij soms een enorme kilte om het hart slaat. Geweldige leeservaring weer!
Trish
It took me a while to get into this story, in fact I almost gave up on it! Now that I have finished it I am so glad I didn't. The writing is amazing, the story takes unexpected twists and turns, and as the lead character Eiji Miyaki overcomes challenge after challenge (often more because of good luck than clever management), I grew to like him, and care about what happened to him, more and more. A wonderful book that I will be recommending to anyone who wants a unique 'coming of age' story to re It took me a while to get into this story, in fact I almost gave up on it! Now that I have finished it I am so glad I didn't. The writing is amazing, the story takes unexpected twists and turns, and as the lead character Eiji Miyaki overcomes challenge after challenge (often more because of good luck than clever management), I grew to like him, and care about what happened to him, more and more. A wonderful book that I will be recommending to anyone who wants a unique 'coming of age' story to read.
Diana
Mitchell seamlessly weaves dreams, daydreams, and real life events to tell the story of Eiji Mikyake's search for his father and attempt to come to terms with his sister's death. There are a lot of mad-cap adventures, crazy characters, and over the top incidents in the book, but somehow it all works. Eiji is a very likeable character and he made the book for me. I was definitely sad to finish the story.
Marlo
I love you, David Mitchell. To me you're like Haruki Murakami, only better. I definitely saw similarities with this and "Kafka on the Shore", though this one is a lot less mystical. I loved most of the characters, and the stories-within-stories (Mitchell's specialty). The only thing I couldn't grasp was the over-the-top Yakuza violence. I suppose he is trying to jar you, but it's not really clear to me why it's there.
George Ilsley
This author is one of favorites. He is inventive, creative, incredibly talented. Novels about dreams are hard to pull off and this one mostly transcends the format. One storyline (the "goatwriter") I could have done without (since I skipped chunks of it, I suppose I did do without). The gravitational tug of the star power leaking over from "Cloud Atlas" helped pull me through this earlier work. Obsessed fans of Cloud Atlas take note: the words "cloud atlas" appear in number9dream.
Paul
While it's such a transparent ripoff of Murakami that Mitchell should literally be distributing royalty checks, number9dream nonetheless might be my favorite Mitchell novel. Cloud Atlas is more impressive on a first reading and I think is rightly the most popular of his works, but number9dream is slightly better imo, with a uniquely joyous energy and inventiveness, particularly in terms of the prose (Mitchell's best).
Martha
Another fantastic book from David Mitchell. This one is told by 20-year-old Eiji Miyake as he begins the search for his father in Tokyo. Mitchell uses day dreams, diaries, letters, short stories, phone calls and more to tell the story. I suppose you would call it a coming of age tale, but it is like no other story in that category. Mitchell gives Eiji such a terrific voice and he paints such a vivid picture of Tokyo and the characters that live there. I highly recommend it!
Sangeeta
4.5, even. It's a delight of a book, more like a Mitchell-Murakami love child than a pure David Mitchell outing. A couple of sections felt a bit "constructed" - Goatwriter, and the War diary - but for the most part, the dreamlike quality of the book held it together far better than say, Cloud Atlas.

Must add that I enjoy reading Mitchell's interviews quite a bit - he's genuinely insightful, dreadfully self-aware, and so democratic about reading, pop culture, etc.
Suzanne
David Mitchell is undeniably some kind of genius, a virtuoso, and this book is an amazing feat of imagination and skill. His writing is very entertaining on the sentence level. It is also, at times, moving. But occasionally I found myself wanting to skip over the dream interludes, fantasies, WWII diaries, etc., and get on with the story at hand, that of a young man, Eiji Miyake, who is trying to find his father. This is perhaps more my failing as a reader, than Mitchell's as a writer.
Nick
David Mitchell is frustrating. Parts of the book are fantastic, but I feel the characters don't really carry the weight of the superstructure he imposes on them. I wanted to like this more, as it's definitely a more earnest book than Cloud Atlas. But I couldn't shake the feeling that the characters were mere vessels for linking together whatever Mitchell otherwise wanted to write about.
Katrine Solvaag
It has been too long since a book has absolutely blown away my mind. The entire book is masterfully created and each sentence so beautifully sculpted, it almost pains me to now return to the real world and it's blatant normality. It's everything I could ever inspire to write myself one day. I am still in shock from the ending. Thank you so much for this incredible piece of art!
Sabrina
Maybe closer to a 4.5, but I couldn't bring myself to only mark it 4 stars here. This book is brilliant. I would have loved to have read this and analyzed it to death in school. It begs to be thought upon.

The closest feeling to a Murakami novel without having been penned by Murakami himself.
Justin Lau
Speaking as someone who grew up in Japan, this is the best novel written in English that's set in contemporary Japan. Remarkably observant for a foreigner and thoroughly entertaining. Bravo, David Mitchell.
Neil Gilbert
A beautifully written story filled with interesting characters and unlikely situations. Memorable for it's topsy-turvy dreamscapes that melt into ambitious daydreams and leak into the pulsing streets of Tokyo. It's too bad I had to wake up from this book.
Lucy Robinson
Breathtaking, fearless, brave. Word for word some of the finest writing I've had the privilege of witnessing in a long time. Mitchell's imagery and narration is so good it makes me ache with pleasure and (as an author) envy. The book will stay with me for some time.
Kara
I can't remember the last time I was this angry with a book's ending. I read the last word, kept pressing my Nook for more pages that didn't exist, then yelled. I'm going to need to take a break before I can write a calm, rational review.
Rachael
I really enjoyed this book what a rollercoaster ride! I felt really involved...potential spolier below....

but I felt really shocked at the ending and was slightly unsatisfied after enjoying the character so much.
Jerome Gagnon
I love everything from Murakami, and love the fact that this book is what I've found to be the closest... it actually refer Wind up bird chronicle in it! The main character is really interesting to follow through his life experience. Loved it!
Sally Green
I love the opening part of this book - I think one of the most amazing openings I've read. Inspirational!

As ever, David Mitchell's writing throughout is jaw-droppingly beautiful.
Dantonio Banderas
Great book, but I'm going to punch David Mitchell in the face for reasons that will become evident to you should you read this book.
Saxamaholly
I always love David Mitchell's books. This one was very different from some of his others, but still very enjoyable. Kind of whimsical. Don't expect Cloud Atlas!
Carla H.
It took me a while to read this. It was kind of like popcorn popping; here's something, there's something. In the end, though I enjoyed the book, it was just a little too gimmicky to be excellent.
Lynai
4.5 stars. Do we believe in dreams? Fate? Coincidence? Ah, David Mitchell, you still have to disappoint me.
Anne Jensen
Onto number two in my Mitchell re-read session. This novel is most often topping my Mitchell chart. I just love it. Will I find reason to revise my position during this fourth read-through?
Michael Messner
What's not to love about a book with the title of my favorite John Lennon song? I believe, yes I believe (that I will read more books by David Mitchell); More I cannot say; what more can I say?
Daniel
Really really enjoyed reading this. I was almost sad that it had to end.
Daniel Burton-Rose
The yakuza are too clever by half, and the Goatwriter episodes an irritating take-off on Murakami's irritating Sheepman, but the rest of it's imaginative.
Nicole
One star deduction for the sickeningly violent yet somehow cartoony yakuza bits.
Taehoon Jun
A poignant, magical journey of a boy grieving for his sister while looking for his father in the midst of existential quandaries. But rest assured, in Mitchell's typical, "Everything is connected" theme, Mitchell constructs worlds upon dreams upon words. As of yet, I am unable to arrange in words the chaos of ideas that Mitchell has planted within me. More than a review, this is simply a reference, for both you and myself, of the moments that have left their mark on me.

"For two days my sister wa A poignant, magical journey of a boy grieving for his sister while looking for his father in the midst of existential quandaries. But rest assured, in Mitchell's typical, "Everything is connected" theme, Mitchell constructs worlds upon dreams upon words. As of yet, I am unable to arrange in words the chaos of ideas that Mitchell has planted within me. More than a review, this is simply a reference, for both you and myself, of the moments that have left their mark on me.

"For two days my sister was classed as missing, but nobody was cruel enough to tell me not to give up hope. True, tourists go missing on Yakushima all the time, and often turn up – or get rescued – a day or two later. But locals are never so stupid, not even local eleven-year-olds – we all knew knew Anju had drowned. No goodbye, just gone. My grandmother had aged ten years by the following morning, and looked at me as if she scarcely knew me. There was no big scene when I left that day. I remember her at the kitchen table, telling me that if I hadn’t gone to Kagoshima, her granddaughter would still be alive. Which I thought – and think – is only too true. Being surrounded by Anju’s clothes and toys and books was unbearable, so I walked to Uncle Orange’s farmhouse and my aunt cleared a corner for me to sleep in. Officer Kuma called round the evening after to tell me that the search for Anju’s body had been called off. My Orange cousins are all older girls, and they decided I needed nursing through my grief – they kept saying it was okay to cry, that they understood how I felt, that Anju dying wasn’t my fault, that I had always been a good brother. Sympathy was also unbearable. I had swapped my sister for one never to be repeated goal. So I ran away. Running away on Yakushima is simple – you leave before the old women stir and the fog goes home seawards, tread quietly through the weatherboarded alleyways, cross the coast road, skirt the tea-fields and orange orchards, set a farm dog barking, enter the forest and start climbing.
After the head of the thunder god vanishes into the ocean, I skirt the ridge above my grandmother’s house. No light is on. An autumn morning, when rain is always ten minutes away. I climb. Waterfalls without names, waxy leaves, berries in jade pools. I climb. Boughs sag, ferns fan, roots trip. I climb. I eat peanuts and oranges, to make sure I can disappear high and deep enough. Leech on my leg, creeping silence, day clots into grey afternoon, no sense of time. I climb. A graveyard of trees, a womb of trees, a war of trees. Sweat cools. I climb. Way up here, everything is covered in moss. Moss vivid as grief, muffling as snow, furry as tarantula legs. Sleep here, and moss covers you too. My legs stiffen and wobble so I sit down, and here comes the foggy moon through a forest skylight. I am cold, and huddle in my blanket, niched in an ancient shipwreck of a cedar. I am not afraid. You have to value yourself to be afraid. Yet for the first time in three days, I want something. I want the forest lord to turn me into a cedar. The very oldest islanders say that if you are in the interior mountains on the night when the forest lord counts his trees, he includes you in the number and turns you into a tree. Animals call, darkness swarms, cold nips my toes. I remember Anju. Despite the cold, I fall asleep. Despite my tiredness, I wake up. A white fox picks its way along a fallen trunk. It stops, turns its head, and recognizes me with more-than-human eyes. Mist hangs in the spaces between my boughs, and birds nest in what was my ear. I want to thank the forest lord, but I have no mouth now. Never mind. Never mind anything, ever again. When I wake, stiff, not a tree but a snot-dribbling boy again, throat tight with a cold, I sob and sob and sob and sob and sob and sob.

“Seems strange for a kaiten pilot to be afraid of losing a game.” The accusation was dressed up as a joke, but jokes are usually other things in disguise. I think Abe is jealous of the territory Kusakabe refuses to share. Without a word Kusakabe put his book down and set up the chessboard. He destroyed Abe like you would destroy a six-year-old. He took about ten seconds per move. Abe took longer to move, his face grew grimmer, but he could not bring himself to resign. Kusakabe promoted a pawn to a queen three times while Abe’s king waited in a corner for the inevitable. When Abe had his king knocked over, he joked: “I only hope your final mission is as great a success as your chess playing.” Kusakabe replied, “The Americans are formidable opponents, Lieutenant.” Goto and I were afraid these insults could only lead to violence, but Abe calmly put the chessmen away. “The Americans are an effete race of cowards. Without his gun, the Yankee is nothing.” Kusakabe folded the board. “We have lost this war by swallowing our own propaganda. It poisons our faculties.” Abe lost control, grabbed the chessboard and flung it across the cabin. “Then exactly why are you here Kaiten pilot?” Kusakabe stared back defiantly at our superior officer. “The meaning of my sacrifice is to help Tokyo negotiate a less humiliating surrender.” Abe hissed with rage. ”Surrender? That word is anathema to the Yamato-damashii spirit! We liberated Malaya in ten weeks! We bombed Darwin! We blasted the British from the Bay of Bengal! Our crusade created a co-prosperity of sphere unrivaled in the east since Genghis Khan! Eight corners united under one roof!” Kusakabe was neither angry nor bowed. “A great pity the Yamato-damashii spirit never figured out how to stop the roof from collapsing in on us.” Abe shouted hoarsely. “Your words disgrace the insignia on your uniform! They insult your squadron! If we were on Otsushima I would report you for seditious thought! We are talking about good and evil! The divine will made manifest!” Kusakabe glared back. “We are talking about bomb tonnage. I wish to sink an enemy carrier, but not for you, Lieutenant, not for the regiment, not for the bluebloods or the clowns in Tokyo, but because the fewer planes the Americans have raining bombs on Japan, the greater the chances my sisters will survive this stupid bloody war.” Abe struck Kusakabe’s face with his right hand, twice, hard, then hooked him with his left. Kusakabe staggered but did not fall, and said, “An excellent line of reasoning, if I may say so, Lieutenant.”

"“Tsukiyama, I want to introduce you to my wife.” For once, he was quite serious. He wedded her on our final weekend leave. ”If she wants to remarry after my death,” he said, more to himself than to me, “she has my blessing. She may have more than one husband, but I will only ever have one wife.” Goto then asked me why I volunteered for special attack forces. It may strike you as odd that we never discussed this topic at Otsushima or even Nara, but our minds were too involved in the “how” to see the ”why.” My answer was, and is, that I believe the kaiten project is the reason I was born."

"Live my life for me, Takara, and I will die your death for you.
Live long, little brother."

"‘Mr Raizo: could you tell me what my grandfather wants?’
‘Another blunt question.’ The admiral downs the rest of his cognac. The jewel in his tie-clasp glimmers ocean-trench blue. ‘I will tell you this. Growing old is an unwinnable campaign. During this war we witness ugly scenes. Truths mutate to whims. Faith becomes cynical transactions between liars. Sacrifices turn out to be needless excesses. Heroes become old farts, and young farts become heroes. Ethics become logos on sports clothing. You ask what your grandfather wants? I shall tell you. He wants what you want. No more, no less.’
A coven of wives blowhole wild laughter.
‘Uh, which is?’
Admiral Raizo stands. Butler is already here with his cane. ‘Meaning'."

"Hurry, slowcoach!’ Mrs Comb fluttered from rock to rock, while Pithecanthropus waded against the tea-tinted current over the clattery dinner plates. So it was that Mrs Comb reached the sacred pool first. A second later she noticed Goatwriter’s respectable spectacles lying on the marble rock. Third, she saw the body of her best and dearest floating in the water. ‘Sir! Sir! Whatever’s to do!’ She flew forth across the pool without noticing the upwards waterfall or the glove of silence muffling. On her fifth flap she reached Goatwriter’s head. Pithecanthropus’s sixth sense told him that the sacred pool was death, and roared a warning – but no sound carried, and he could only watch in despair as his beloved slipped, dipped a tip of her wing and slapped lifeless into the water alongside Goatwriter. In seven bounds Pithecanthropus was atop the marble rock, where his body tore with eight howls of mute grief. He pounded the rock until his fists bled. And suddenly, our early ancestor was calm. He picked the sticky burrs from his hair, and climbed the rock face until the overhang browed. He counted to nine, which was as high as Goatwriter could teach him, and dived for the spot between the bodies of his friends. A beautiful dive, a perfect ten. No thought bothered his head as Pithecanthropus entered the sacred pool. Serenity was never a word he knew, but serenity was what he felt."

"The cemetery hammers and saws with insects. The trees stir and the afternoon stews. An ancient October recipe. The Miyake family corner of the enclosure is one of the best tended – my grandmother still comes, every morning, to clean, weed, sweep, and change the wildflowers. I bow before the main grey gravestone, and walk around the side to the smaller black stone erected for Anju. It is inscribed with the death-name the priest chose for her, but I think that is just a way for them to palm more money from grieving mourners. My sister is still Anju Miyake. I pour mineral water over her. I put the bunch of flowers in the holder, together with those our grandmother arranged there. I wish I knew the names of flowers. Clustered white stars, pink comet-tails, crimson semiquaver berries. I offer her a champagne bomb, and unwrap one for myself. Then I light the incense. ‘This,’ I tell her, ‘is a present from our mother. She gave me the money, and I bought it from a temple near Miyazaki station.’ I take out my three flat stones and build her a pyramid. Then I sit on the step and press my ear against the polished stone, tight, to see if I can hear anything. The sea breathes peacefully over the edge of the land. I want to kiss the tombstone, so I do, and only a dark bird with rose eyes witnesses. I lean back and think about nothing in particular until the champagne bomb explodes. So little lasts. Mountains, classic songs, real friendship. Mist rolls down from Mt Miyanoura, dimming the sun, turning the blue sea beery. I brought our great-uncle’s kaiten journal to read parts to Anju, because they both died under the sea. But I think Anju will hear clearly if I just read quietly to myself, here or wherever. I don’t have to say anything about what happened in Tokyo. Being is louder than saying, for her, for me, for us."
Martha Bullen
I'm reading David Mitchell's books backwards. (Well, not exactly, but I started with his later works.) Given his penchant for playing with concepts of time and space, I think he'd appreciate that approach. I began with The Bone Clocks, and was so smitten by his writing and world creation that I've been slowly working my way through the rest of his captivating, ambitious novels.

Number 9 Dream is Mitchell's second book, and it, of course, features brilliant writing, a mashup of numerous competing I'm reading David Mitchell's books backwards. (Well, not exactly, but I started with his later works.) Given his penchant for playing with concepts of time and space, I think he'd appreciate that approach. I began with The Bone Clocks, and was so smitten by his writing and world creation that I've been slowly working my way through the rest of his captivating, ambitious novels.

Number 9 Dream is Mitchell's second book, and it, of course, features brilliant writing, a mashup of numerous competing genres, plots and characters, musings on the meaning of life, dreams and reality and lyrical descriptions of inner and outer worlds. In this case, the novel charts young Eiji Miyake's journey from rural Japan to the dark heart of Tokyo, where he is in search of the father who abandoned him (he also has a missing mother, but he is not looking for her.) The plot unspools from there and careens from one dream or nightmarish scene to another like a crazed video game in the arcade Eiji likes to visit to escape his current life.

I read this book in the limbo of a transatlantic airplane, and that seemed appropriate, since it plunges readers on a dizzying journey from one jarring world to another. Some of these scenes play out like a hallucinogenic fever dream. The book pitch might have been "Lewis Carroll meets Timothy Leary."

Number 9 Dream features numerous father figures, from the terrifying leader of a Yakuza crime syndicate to Eiji’s elusive birth father and his "virtual father," John Lennon. Somehow this audacious novel knits together a variety of worlds and literary styles, from Bladerunner style science fiction to a coming of age story interlaced with myths, legends, tales of ancient gods and modern computer viruses. This mind-bending novel shows us the process of David Mitchell stepping into his full literary gifts, so it's well worth reading.

Here are some samples of this remarkable, unclassifiable book. I loved the immersive descriptions of Tokyo:

“Toyko is a model of that serial big-bang theory of the universe. It explodes at five P.M. and people matter is hurled to the suburbs, but by five A.M. the people-matter gravity reasserts itself, and everything surges back toward the center, where mass densens for the next explosion.”

“I like riding the train every day from Kita Senju to Ueno: I like the incline where it dives below the ground and becomes a submarine. I like the way submarines pass by at different speeds, so you can fool yourself you are going backward. I like the glimpses of commuters in parallel windows — two stories being remembered at the same time.... I like the muffled clunking. Tokyo is one massive machine made of smaller components....I like how you can study reflected faces so deeply you can almost leaf through their memories.”

And the poetic descriptions:

“I listen to the street fill up with evening.”

“Words from Marino could be the voice of darkness itself.”

“The aspirin moon was dissolving in the lukewarm morning.”

‘The last moths of autumn swirl around a stuttering light.”

“The fortress-gray mountain faces, the green river snaking out of the gorge, the hanging bridge, mishmash of roofs and power lines, port, timber yards, school soccer ground, gravel pit, Uncle Orange’s tea fields, whalestone, the long island of Tanegashima where they launch satellites, glockenspiel clouds, the envelope where the sea seals the sky.”

“I wonder if I will meet him in a dream one of these nights. Time may be what stops everything happening at once, but rules are different asleep.”

“Leaving a place is weird, returning is weirder. In eight weeks nothing has changed on the island, it seems, but nothing is the same. The bridge, the crushed-velvet mountains, the prison gray escarpments. A book you finish reading is not the same book it was before you read it.”

So there you have it .... more than 9 reasons to read Number 9 Dream.
Destiny Tai
Number Nine Dream, by David Mitchell, is a perplexing book. Though what the main character, Eiji Miyake, is looking for is obvious, everything else that happens in the middle is hard to understand. For example, the beginning drags quite a bit, and ninety percent of the book is just about Eiji’s mundane life and his seemingly random dreams. Personally, it wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read, but if you’re into coming of age fictional books about people in their twenties who lack character develop Number Nine Dream, by David Mitchell, is a perplexing book. Though what the main character, Eiji Miyake, is looking for is obvious, everything else that happens in the middle is hard to understand. For example, the beginning drags quite a bit, and ninety percent of the book is just about Eiji’s mundane life and his seemingly random dreams. Personally, it wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read, but if you’re into coming of age fictional books about people in their twenties who lack character development, this is a book for you. If you also like books that confuse you, this is for you. Eiji Miyake’s journey is quite different compared to any other person’s journey, in a bad way, where he happens to witness many events that he probably shouldn’t have, but if you’re interested to see what this unlucky character has in mind, I would definitely recommend it.
Though the plot is about twenty- year- old Eiji Miyake trying to find his father who abandoned him in Tokyo and the many obstacles that he meets on his way, it is difficult to establish a connection between the actual plot and what Mitchell is writing about half the time. One moment Eiji is sitting in a cafe peacefully contemplating his life, and the next moment there’s a flood, until you realize that he is actually jumping between the reality and his dreams. Everything goes into a state of disarray whenever Eiji starts dreaming, and he jumps back to reality it just causes more confusion. In the beginning, the dreams may seem like incomplete short stories that are irrelevant to the plot, but in the end, you’ll start to realize that it has something to do with Eiji’s journey to finding his father.
As Eiji’s journey continues, he encounters many unfortunate events that would make anyone wonder if he just had terrible luck or if Mitchell thought that Eiji’s life was just too dull. His character development is almost nonexistent throughout his journey, and everything that happens to him is just too much for him to bear, which is why he suffers so much in his eight week journey. Tokyo does not treat him well, and he ends up in places where he probably shouldn’t be and ends up getting involved with people he should have avoided. He is an ill-fated and boring character, on top of the fact that he has a disorganized thought process, which makes him just about the most miserable character ever.
It would be best suited for adults because of the content included in Eiji’s journey, such as violence that will disturb younger readers. It is definitely confusing, as you should know by now, and I would recommend reading parts of it twice just to fully understand it. I found this book quite hard to forget because of its unique and bewildering writing style, but the characters honestly could have been a lot better.
Gillian Elliott
First of all, I should declare myself as a fan of David Mitchell, or at least Cloud Atlas, which is probably one of my all time favourite books. I've seen him give a talk where he came over very well, intelligent, modest, and down to earth and listened with pleasure to Bone Clocks and Slade House serialised on the radio.

Number9dream is really very good, although the first chapter got my back up, by playing with dream sequences and not really getting going with the action. But get used to this, First of all, I should declare myself as a fan of David Mitchell, or at least Cloud Atlas, which is probably one of my all time favourite books. I've seen him give a talk where he came over very well, intelligent, modest, and down to earth and listened with pleasure to Bone Clocks and Slade House serialised on the radio.

Number9dream is really very good, although the first chapter got my back up, by playing with dream sequences and not really getting going with the action. But get used to this, (the dream sequences), as there will be quite a few of these throughout, and after a while you enjoy having the rug pulled out from under when you realise once again that it's not "real".

Most of the story takes place in modern day Tokyo, where the young and naive Eiji Miyake has arrived from one of the most remote islands, come to try and find his father, who he has never met. The father doesn't want to be found, and has put many obstacles in his way, Eiji being the result of an affair with a long forgotten mistress. The story then is a classic quest in structure.

Tokyo is seen through the eyes of this outsider, who is living on a shoestring, and struggling to see the city dwellers as more than drones, swimming with the current of getting to work and getting home again. The characters he does meet, prove to be somewhat of a cautionary tale, but he quickly realises who he can trust, between the heroes and villains.

The book has many sides, and themes, it is playful in structure, with an old war diary and a collection of modern myths popping up, as well as the more expected letters from Eiji's absent, alcoholic mother. He is also haunted by the memory of his twin sister, whose death he feels somehow responsible for.

I'm afraid I missed the references to the number 9 throughout, which means at some point I'll have to re-read it ! It is very similar in style to Marukami, so if you like him, I think you'll enjoy this very much as well.
Alex Rich
I would love to go for a drink with Eiji Miyake. I feel like we have very similar traits and would get on like a house on fire! Although admittedly his life is far more dramatic than mine...

David Mitchell is definitely one of my favourite authors. Ghostwritten and Cloud Atlas had me transfixed. Slade House was a great little horror story. Black Swan Green was very affecting (albeit a bit too awkwardly real for me too manage, if that makes any sense...). Now I've read number9dream and I can than I would love to go for a drink with Eiji Miyake. I feel like we have very similar traits and would get on like a house on fire! Although admittedly his life is far more dramatic than mine...

David Mitchell is definitely one of my favourite authors. Ghostwritten and Cloud Atlas had me transfixed. Slade House was a great little horror story. Black Swan Green was very affecting (albeit a bit too awkwardly real for me too manage, if that makes any sense...). Now I've read number9dream and I can thankfully say I loved just as much as those listed above! The plot seemed to me like Catcher in the Rye written by Haruki Murukami with a dash of David Lynch, which to me is no bad thing. Written in Mitchell's style of 'a novel disguised as short stories', means there's a huge range of emotions that this novel brings you. You can go from feeling horrified and frightened in one chapter only to be amused and bewildered in the next. One thing I have a bit of a guilty love for even if it contradicts my view on the world, is shiny, metropolitan Japan. David Mitchell manages to describe this very real place like it's some kind of fantasy land filled with an eccentric cast-of-characters, which drift in and out of the story and always manage to surprise you with their actions.

Second to Cloud Atlas, I think this my favourite David Mitchell book out of the ones I've read. I now only have two of his left to discover: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob DeZoet and The Bone Clocks. If they manage to be about half as good as number9dream is then I shan't be disappointed!
Matthew Pritt
number9dream is the story of Eiji Miyake coming to Tokyo to find his father who abandoned him, his mother, and his twin sister before Eiji ever got to meet him. It's a straightforward premise, but the book is anything but straightforward.

Unlike many of Mitchell's other works, there is just one main character, but Mitchell experiments with styles and content throughout the book. In a way, this reinforces one of the main themes about the nature of the search for meaning (when you find meaning, you number9dream is the story of Eiji Miyake coming to Tokyo to find his father who abandoned him, his mother, and his twin sister before Eiji ever got to meet him. It's a straightforward premise, but the book is anything but straightforward.

Unlike many of Mitchell's other works, there is just one main character, but Mitchell experiments with styles and content throughout the book. In a way, this reinforces one of the main themes about the nature of the search for meaning (when you find meaning, you immediately begin a search for a different meaning). But the wild swings in tone and content lends the book an uneven quality. Mitchell's books are always so varied, that there are naturally some sections that will resonate better with readers and some that won't, but having it all occur with the same narrator made it more jarring to me.

MILD SPOILER ALERT:
I wish that Eiji had found his father early on in the book, instead of in the penultimate chapter. Much of the book involves failed attempts to find is father's identity, but it seems to me that it would have fit the themes better for the act of finding his father to be what leads him in search of different meanings, leading ultimately to his trip to Anju's grave at the end of the book. It was an interesting journey for sure, and extremely well-written, but I think a slight re-ordering of events would have fit better thematically.
Aaron
Really good. I can see how the book might turn people off, with the first part interweaving fantasy and reality a bit too much for some folks liking. But I dunno, it was pretty easy for me to get into/enjoy right away. Like a high-brow Calvin as Spaceman Spiff treatment.

Tonally, it does go a bit off, with the whole Yakuza thing in the middle. Which I enjoyed, but the whole time I was all "this is going on a bit long for a fantasy." And it looks like it was real? Wow. I thought the part of him ac Really good. I can see how the book might turn people off, with the first part interweaving fantasy and reality a bit too much for some folks liking. But I dunno, it was pretty easy for me to get into/enjoy right away. Like a high-brow Calvin as Spaceman Spiff treatment.

Tonally, it does go a bit off, with the whole Yakuza thing in the middle. Which I enjoyed, but the whole time I was all "this is going on a bit long for a fantasy." And it looks like it was real? Wow. I thought the part of him actually meeting his father and putting together that he had met him over the phone already, as well as eventually meeting his mother was really good too.

The ending on a tertiary, unrelated climax reminded me of a David Foster Wallace ending. In the DFW ending, it's just a bunch of perspectives leading up to a climax that we never actually see described, but we already know what happens afterwards. But in this one, it's just a harsh cutoff that tells you "actually, you already know the important part. The story is done."

I haven't read a ton of David Mitchell (this is the second book I've read), but I was initially a little reluctant when I realized it was a white dude writing about a Japanese man in Japan. I guess he lives in Hiroshima though, so that makes it better? I dunno, still leaves me a little weirded. Regardless, it's really good.
Dan Graser
number9dream seems to occupy an unusual place in David Mitchell's output, despite being a finalist for the Booker Prize. Following on the great promise and success of his debut novel, "Ghostwritten," this work here occupies the transition between that novel and his world-famous, "Cloud Atlas."

Set in Japan with a somewhat blank and generally reticent protagonist, numerous reviewers and critiques have noted many similarities in this work to that of Japanese author Haruki Murakami. This comparison number9dream seems to occupy an unusual place in David Mitchell's output, despite being a finalist for the Booker Prize. Following on the great promise and success of his debut novel, "Ghostwritten," this work here occupies the transition between that novel and his world-famous, "Cloud Atlas."

Set in Japan with a somewhat blank and generally reticent protagonist, numerous reviewers and critiques have noted many similarities in this work to that of Japanese author Haruki Murakami. This comparison is certainly warranted especially with regards to Murakami's "Norwegian Wood," and, "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle," which contain numerous parallels.

While there is some use of Mitchell's trademark fractured narrative style, it isn't done in a mystical way across centuries as found in many of his other works, here it normally consists of the intervention of the dreamworld and the ripe subconscious of Eiji Miyake his main character. This us of the dreamworld again parallels many similar devices found in the works of Murakami.

While certainly a coming of age tale, it's quite impossible by the end of the work to tell if that has really even happened for Miyake. Featuring horrific interjections into the yakuza underworld of Tokyo, bizarrely benign romance, and somewhat clichéd family drama; this is an enjoyable read though not his most potent material.
John Yao
I read Cloud Atlas. Few books will ever equal what I believe is one of the greatest novels of the 21st century. Then I read The Bone Clocks, which, naturally, paled in comparison to Cloud Atlas. It had many similar characteristics, but the multiple elements just didn't click together. So now I turned to David Mitchell's other books, not trying to find an equal to Cloud Atlas, but hoping to discover what so many love about this author's oeuvre. What I find in number9dream is an excellent early no I read Cloud Atlas. Few books will ever equal what I believe is one of the greatest novels of the 21st century. Then I read The Bone Clocks, which, naturally, paled in comparison to Cloud Atlas. It had many similar characteristics, but the multiple elements just didn't click together. So now I turned to David Mitchell's other books, not trying to find an equal to Cloud Atlas, but hoping to discover what so many love about this author's oeuvre. What I find in number9dream is an excellent early novel from Mitchell containing all his hallmarks (multiple stories, multiple styles). It reads like an early work from a great master - not fully there yet, but all the pieces are in place. But the book also deserves to be understood on its own. Each chapter is its only short story, its own dream, and the shift from one to the next makes the novel one large continuous dream. The way Mitchell leaves you guessing what is real and what is not is done well - chapter 8 is especially done well. An excellent book, an excellent adventure, a book worth reading.
One final note: the ending caught me off guard and I'm still not quite sure how to process it's effect on the novel. All I can say is that without it the novel is one color; with it, it is a different color.
Emily
I'm no Murakami expert, but number9dream felt like it was trying too much to be a Murakami for me to completely fall in love with it. It particularly echoed the two books I do know-- Kafka on the Shore and Norwegian Wood-- from the themes, plot lines, and even the Beatles/Lennon book title that I just couldn't help but wish Mitchell had found his own voice by the time he wrote this book. It was also a little hard to get through this book after enjoying Cloud Atlas so much, a book in which Mitche I'm no Murakami expert, but number9dream felt like it was trying too much to be a Murakami for me to completely fall in love with it. It particularly echoed the two books I do know-- Kafka on the Shore and Norwegian Wood-- from the themes, plot lines, and even the Beatles/Lennon book title that I just couldn't help but wish Mitchell had found his own voice by the time he wrote this book. It was also a little hard to get through this book after enjoying Cloud Atlas so much, a book in which Mitchell clearly plays with themes similar to other authors but does so in a way all his own and in a manner that allows everything to tie neatly together without feeling the need to state how every piece weaves together (which, annoyingly, he did in number9dream).

All of that said, the book was entertaining and Mitchell is truly a talented writer. I'm glad to have experienced number9dream, if only for context when I read more of Mitchell's work-- it's nice to have the perspective of how much his style evolved in the three years between this book and Cloud Atlas. That said, I will queue up his later works before circling back around to his first novel; I'm craving more of the David Mitchell that is great in his own right, not the one trying to fashion a story in the style of someone else.
Alyssa
I liked this a lot when it stuck to the main plot line/narrative and explored relationships between the main characters. I struggled to get through the parts that turned all jiberrishy and fantastical (a little too inception-esque for me) and I did not like the additional narratives woven into the main one. I could have done with 100 less pages.
In saying that, Mitchell is obviously a brilliant writer. I also liked how this paid tribute (explicitly too, at one point) to Norwegian Wood by Murakam I liked this a lot when it stuck to the main plot line/narrative and explored relationships between the main characters. I struggled to get through the parts that turned all jiberrishy and fantastical (a little too inception-esque for me) and I did not like the additional narratives woven into the main one. I could have done with 100 less pages.
In saying that, Mitchell is obviously a brilliant writer. I also liked how this paid tribute (explicitly too, at one point) to Norwegian Wood by Murakami, and the author in general. I feel like number9dream could have been, like Norwegian Wood, a strong coming of age novel, had it not strayed so far from its core narrative and turned to surrealism and phenomenological blabbering as often as it did. But I guess David Mitchell was never going to write that book.... cos it's him we're talking about.
I would rather have read 300 more pages of Eiji's daily life or conversations with Ai or memories of Anju than have read any of his absurd dreams or any sentence from the nonsensical Goatwriter section or any of his great uncle's diary entries.
And yeah, I know those bits are all intentional and clever. I just don't like them.
Jason McKinney
Well, shit... This was problematic. I would consider myself a Mitchellite (I've now read all of his novels and think he's a genius), but this was a mess. Mitchell's prose is as great as ever and this seems so authentic that you would be forgiven for thinking this was written by an actual Japanese writer. However, this happens to be problem #1: this reads so much like Murakami that it's less of an homage and feels more like a copy. I kept forgetting as I read that Mitchell even wrote this.

My #2 p Well, shit... This was problematic. I would consider myself a Mitchellite (I've now read all of his novels and think he's a genius), but this was a mess. Mitchell's prose is as great as ever and this seems so authentic that you would be forgiven for thinking this was written by an actual Japanese writer. However, this happens to be problem #1: this reads so much like Murakami that it's less of an homage and feels more like a copy. I kept forgetting as I read that Mitchell even wrote this.

My #2 problem is that there's just too much plot. Yes, even more than Cloud Atlas or Ghostwritten. Maybe even more than both of those combined. The plot is broken into nine sections, but then each of those have two or three tangents within each one. After awhile, it's just too much. You can only care about so many yakuza, kamikazes and pimply geeks.

Not surprisingly, there were several points during this that I figured I would give it two stars, but, by the end, even with all of the problems, I still liked it enough to do three. It's my second least favorite Mitchell (after Slade House), but he's such a damn good writer that I guess I just couldn't resist.
Lindsay K
I was excited to read Number9dream after the fantastic Ghostwritten. The novel is about 20-year-old Eiji Miyake, who leaves his home island for Tokyo to find his birth father, whose identity is a secret. Mitchell revisits themes of the meaning of life and the thin line between reality and dreams, each chapter highlighting a different medium of escapism and alternate reality: fantasies, memories, virtual reality, stories, magic and dreams. What starts out as a simple task of finding his father tu I was excited to read Number9dream after the fantastic Ghostwritten. The novel is about 20-year-old Eiji Miyake, who leaves his home island for Tokyo to find his birth father, whose identity is a secret. Mitchell revisits themes of the meaning of life and the thin line between reality and dreams, each chapter highlighting a different medium of escapism and alternate reality: fantasies, memories, virtual reality, stories, magic and dreams. What starts out as a simple task of finding his father turns into a multilayered quest involving violent yakuza, sex hotels, and a pianist with a perfect neck. During one of Eiji's dreams, John Lennon (composer of the titular song) tells him, "The meaning of the ninth dream begins after all meanings appear to be dead and gone." The downside to this novel is Mitchell's overt imitation of Murakami, which he never quite achieves. While Mitchell naturally has a somewhat similar voice to Murakami, his striving to more closely imitate it detracts from the book. However, it is still an excellent novel and worth a read.
Jieyu
Generally speaking, It's an imaginative and bold novel. However, I found the author trying to express so many things in a nutshell but ending up not able to elucidate any of them. Maybe it's because it touches so many long lasting puzzles that human beings are trying to unravel. Compared with another book I read this summer also named after a john Lennon song, Norwegian wood, I'd say #9dream is much more sophisticated, equally thought provoking, but not as moving when I finished the last sentenc Generally speaking, It's an imaginative and bold novel. However, I found the author trying to express so many things in a nutshell but ending up not able to elucidate any of them. Maybe it's because it touches so many long lasting puzzles that human beings are trying to unravel. Compared with another book I read this summer also named after a john Lennon song, Norwegian wood, I'd say #9dream is much more sophisticated, equally thought provoking, but not as moving when I finished the last sentence as when I closed the Norwegian wood book. The ending is unexpected, yet satisfying for a reader who is obsessed with complexity and too cynical to accept a well sorted out happy ending. For someone keen on this style of writing, I'd recommend reading a second or even a third time as you prefer, but honestly for me it fails to strongly and explicitly address the questions I'm after, only to impose a weak notion of what the author is trying to convey in the end.
Brian Tringali
By going back and reading this novel, I have completed the Mitchell cycle -- for now. Written in 2001, this is the author's exploration of dreams and their hidden meanings. Like real dreams, there is sometimes confusion about what is real and what is not -- at least for a bit. But dreams also help move the narrative in unusual and creative ways. And there is a larger story being created.
Mitchell writes about Japan in a great deal in his work. He understands the culture from a Japanese perspecti By going back and reading this novel, I have completed the Mitchell cycle -- for now. Written in 2001, this is the author's exploration of dreams and their hidden meanings. Like real dreams, there is sometimes confusion about what is real and what is not -- at least for a bit. But dreams also help move the narrative in unusual and creative ways. And there is a larger story being created.
Mitchell writes about Japan in a great deal in his work. He understands the culture from a Japanese perspective, so you find yourself making comparisons to Japanese authors. But some of his work merely carries that perspective along the way and applies it to different places and times -- or multiple time periods which is often the case with his work.
I view Mitchell as one of the most gifted writers of our time. This novel does nothing to dissuade me of that opinion. And this may be the closest of his work to an action adventure. It should be appealing to a broader range of readers.
Eric
Yet again, David Mitchell manages to astound. And it didn’t take his now trademark interwoven narratives to do so this time. On several occasions I felt out of sorts upon setting this book down, having found myself so wrapped up in the simultaneously mundane and hard-to-believe (yet so believable) events in Eiji Miyake’s life. And at other times, the writing itself was so stunning it threw me off from the story. However, I did have some qualms with this one. I usually find an open-ended conclusi Yet again, David Mitchell manages to astound. And it didn’t take his now trademark interwoven narratives to do so this time. On several occasions I felt out of sorts upon setting this book down, having found myself so wrapped up in the simultaneously mundane and hard-to-believe (yet so believable) events in Eiji Miyake’s life. And at other times, the writing itself was so stunning it threw me off from the story. However, I did have some qualms with this one. I usually find an open-ended conclusion to be interesting, but I think this one left too much unfinished plot. I would have liked to have seen the story go just a bit further. Also, the stories of Mrs. Sasaki’s sister felt like a needless diversion. I didn’t get the point of them and found my interest waning during those parts. Ultimately, I find it difficult to give this book a proper rating for these reasons. These conflicted feelings almost seem intentional in a David Mitchell novel. Also, Buntaro is a true hero.
Elbabasic
I am conflicted, at times I enjoyed this book, at others I was irritated. It has a lot going on, it mixes between being a purposely dramatic and unusual novel, while also following very traditional themes. There are stories within stories which seem superfluous--to me as if overexcited, you felt the need to express every idea, plots are developed which seem unrelated and have, at first glance, only indirect purpose and especially, for me, tactless descriptions, all of which I disliked. At the sa I am conflicted, at times I enjoyed this book, at others I was irritated. It has a lot going on, it mixes between being a purposely dramatic and unusual novel, while also following very traditional themes. There are stories within stories which seem superfluous--to me as if overexcited, you felt the need to express every idea, plots are developed which seem unrelated and have, at first glance, only indirect purpose and especially, for me, tactless descriptions, all of which I disliked. At the same time the overall affect of this strange mixture does match the storyline, main character thoughts, and Tokyo setting, all are strange, mixed up and create an unusual collection of impressions which leave my overall feeling still positive. It does not try to be enjoyed by creating easy wins, i.e. clearly positive endings, which I prefer too.
Caroline
This book is WEIRD. I read it mostly because I really loved the Bone Clocks and the friend who recommended The Bone Clocks recommended all of his books. And it was definitely an interesting book, that's for sure, and original. Part of my problem, maybe, is that I into read blurbs, so didn't know what to expect and was quite confused initially. I also found myself thinking that I didn't really care what happened to Eilji. However, my friend convinced me to persevere, and a third of the way in I w This book is WEIRD. I read it mostly because I really loved the Bone Clocks and the friend who recommended The Bone Clocks recommended all of his books. And it was definitely an interesting book, that's for sure, and original. Part of my problem, maybe, is that I into read blurbs, so didn't know what to expect and was quite confused initially. I also found myself thinking that I didn't really care what happened to Eilji. However, my friend convinced me to persevere, and a third of the way in I was still struggling to figure out where the line between fantasy and reality was at times. I did eventually start to really like the characters and care about them, and found the story very interesting, but mostly just hated all the fantasy bits. I also would have removed at least two side stories completely.
Julie
This has been the most surreal Mitchell book I've read (listened to) so far, but it's his second novel. As usual, the language is gorgeous and poetic, and the settings and characters are vivid. Normally, I'd give DM 5 stars just because, but in this case, over-the-top violence put me off. This one is set in a Japanese world and I loved the descriptions and the contrast between the rural and urban settings. The characters are very interesting, and the blur between reality, dream, and imagination This has been the most surreal Mitchell book I've read (listened to) so far, but it's his second novel. As usual, the language is gorgeous and poetic, and the settings and characters are vivid. Normally, I'd give DM 5 stars just because, but in this case, over-the-top violence put me off. This one is set in a Japanese world and I loved the descriptions and the contrast between the rural and urban settings. The characters are very interesting, and the blur between reality, dream, and imagination is beautiful and challenging. While the main character is more active hero than witness, elements of picaresque, coming of age, and books within books will nearly always get my vote. Unless you really like Mitchell (as I do), you might want to read a real review before diving in.
Liedzeit
Eiji Mijake, a young man from some boring province come to Tokyo in search of his father. Father had abandoned mother. Mother was not really nice either. In the beginning, our hero gets a letter from her where she tells him that she once tried to kill him when he was a baby. Twin sister has killed herself.
Now the search for father is adventurous. Possibly at least some of it he is only dreaming? I do not know. We have a lot of Yakuza stuff in here a waitress with a beautiful neck Elje falls in l Eiji Mijake, a young man from some boring province come to Tokyo in search of his father. Father had abandoned mother. Mother was not really nice either. In the beginning, our hero gets a letter from her where she tells him that she once tried to kill him when he was a baby. Twin sister has killed herself.
Now the search for father is adventurous. Possibly at least some of it he is only dreaming? I do not know. We have a lot of Yakuza stuff in here a waitress with a beautiful neck Elje falls in love with. A high-class hacker friend who ends up being hired by the Americans.
Nice writing, but very boring. I just do not care for the guy.
Critics have complained that it is all but a plagiarism of Haruki Murakami. Maybe. Number 9 instead of Norwegian Wood. Not really original in any case.
Kelly Pickett
Number 9 Dream was a delight to read. I became a big fan of David Mitchell's writing after reading his best known novel Cloud Atlas, which absolutely blew my mind. Number 9 Dream is very much a proto-Mitchell coming into his own style.

There are echoes of Haruki Murakami in how the narrative blurs dreams, reality and magic. The protagonist, Eiji Miyake is a passive, sensitive and likable young man who comes to Tokyo to find his estranged father, only to find himself utterly overwhelmed by the pa Number 9 Dream was a delight to read. I became a big fan of David Mitchell's writing after reading his best known novel Cloud Atlas, which absolutely blew my mind. Number 9 Dream is very much a proto-Mitchell coming into his own style.

There are echoes of Haruki Murakami in how the narrative blurs dreams, reality and magic. The protagonist, Eiji Miyake is a passive, sensitive and likable young man who comes to Tokyo to find his estranged father, only to find himself utterly overwhelmed by the pace, freneticism and underlying cruelty of the city. Mitchell's Japan is beautifully crafted, moving you from quiet island towns to Tokyo's expansive hypercolour, powerlines and endless highrises.
Andrea
I found this book to be very well written and a great story, but I just wasn't engaged by it. It was so heavy in meaningless details that I found it difficult to keep myself reading it. The storyline was so outrageous that I found it uninteresting- one of the themes is clearly blurring the lines of reality but it was still a little out there. I was expecting at any moment for it to be revealed that Eiji was in fact the one in the mental hospital. This book has the feel of a Murakami novel but wi I found this book to be very well written and a great story, but I just wasn't engaged by it. It was so heavy in meaningless details that I found it difficult to keep myself reading it. The storyline was so outrageous that I found it uninteresting- one of the themes is clearly blurring the lines of reality but it was still a little out there. I was expecting at any moment for it to be revealed that Eiji was in fact the one in the mental hospital. This book has the feel of a Murakami novel but without the depth (even before Mitchell began with all the allusions to Murakami's novels). Stylistically this deserved a 4/5, but again I am just not feeling this one.
Christopher McCready
Everything is connected. Everything is pretend. Everything is real. That is this book in a nutshell.
Eiji Miyake is a young man lost trying both to cope with the death of his sister and a search for his mysteriously well connected but anonymous father. Along the way he meets a not-girlfriend, a decent landlord, and has a series of jobs that life seems to want him to do.
This book plays with life and toys with our ability to separate dreams and day dreams from reality. It shows how even the small Everything is connected. Everything is pretend. Everything is real. That is this book in a nutshell.
Eiji Miyake is a young man lost trying both to cope with the death of his sister and a search for his mysteriously well connected but anonymous father. Along the way he meets a not-girlfriend, a decent landlord, and has a series of jobs that life seems to want him to do.
This book plays with life and toys with our ability to separate dreams and day dreams from reality. It shows how even the smallest connections in life can have big impacts. Reading this almost convinces you that you are just daydreaming the entire book up on a sleepy Saturday morning.
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