[REVIEW] Number9Dream by David Mitchell

Saturday, May 12, 2012

by David Mitchell
Genre: japanese culture, contemporary, magical realism
Publication date: February 11th 2003
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Pages: 416 (paperback)
Purchase this book | Goodreads


SYNOPSIS: 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.

This book in a nutshell: A fast paced Murakami.
I honestly do not know what to feel about this book.
A friend of mine lent me this back when I was sick and dying (im exaggerating here), and I was engrossed from start to finish.
The story's pacing confused me at first, but I figured it out after the first two chapters. It was weird, unique, and complex; in a somewhat Murakami fashion. It worked well, but it seemed too forced in some parts.
I applaud Mitchel's ability to write in a number of different voices within the same novel (the yakuza scenes, the weird goatwriter stories, the diary of a japanese soldier in WW2), which he accomplishes without sacrificing his narrator's own voice.
After I finished this book and set it down beside me, I found myself thinking and pondering about my life, the book, the lives of others, etc. This carried on for days and weeks before I finally realized that Mitchell turned me into an emotional sap. In a good way.
I guess the best thing about this book is that it gets stuck in your head and it actually makes you think.

I absolutely enjoyed this book, and I'm planning on buying more of Mitchell's books.

Do not read this if:
you don't like books with weird pacing
you hate Murakami

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