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About the Book:
Number9Dream is the international literary sensation from a writer with astonishing range and imaginative energy—an intoxicating ride through Tokyo’s dark underworlds and the even more mysterious landscapes of our collective dreams.
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.
“[David Mitchell] performs a feat of seamless literary ventriloquism by utterly, and uncannily, inhabiting and anatomizing another culture. With his kaleidoscopic eyes affixed to the pulse of modern Japan, Mitchell writes like a dream, the kind you don’t want to end.”
“Funny, tender-hearted and horrifying, often all at once, [Number9Dream] refashions the rudiments of the coming-of-age novel into something completely original.”
“Mitchell’s new novel has been described as a cross between Don DeLillo and William Gibson, and although that’s a perfectly serviceable cocktail-party formula, it doesn’t do justice to this odd, fitfully compelling work.”
“Leaping with ease from surrealist fables to a teenage coming-of-age story and then spinning back to Yakuza gangster battles and World War II–era kamikaze diaries, Mitchell is an aerial freestyle ski-jumper of fiction. Somehow, after performing feats of literary gymnastics, he manages to stick the landing.”
“Mitchell’s stunning second novel is many things, all of them wonderful: a literary tale that plumbs Raymond Chandler, an exploration of the urban mindscape, a wide-eyed look at the world that’s not afraid to ask big questions. . . . Flexing his considerable stylistic muscle, he plays with form while hewing true to a tightly plotted tale that pulls you along, wondering where it will all end. . . . This is a terrific book.”
“David Mitchell melds fantasy and reality, past and present and hopes lost and found into a story of a young man who searches for his father but who, instead, finds himself. . . . It is a trip that those who love serious literary fiction ought not to miss.”