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The Thousand Autumns Of Jacob De Zoet (2010)

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (2010)

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4 of 5 Votes: 5
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1400065453 (ISBN13: 9781400065455)
Random House

About book The Thousand Autumns Of Jacob De Zoet (2010)

Am I the only one who had to restart this novel three times? It is set in a very unfamiliar place (the artificial island of Dejima, off Nagasaki) in an unfamiliar time (late 18th century), and filled with characters from all kinds of places, with all kinds of stations in life--in short, a bit hard to follow. But third time was a charm: this historical novel eventually took off and became a rollicking adventure story that drew me along with it. Sure, it's still odd (there is one long improbable plot thread in the middle that reminded me of Atwood's Handmaid's Tale!), and it's a big, bustling, active book, whereas I usually like purer, cleaner, even quieter books. I was having a hard time telling for a while whether it was a soap opera disguised as a literary novel (so many historical novels strike me that way) but there were enough unhappy endings to calm my fears on that count. In the final analysis I would say I recommend it: it does become absorbing in terms of the plot and characters, and David Mitchell is undeniably a cut above most historical novelists (or any novelists, for that matter). I still like Black Swan Green a lot better, but that's more in line with my usual taste in novels. I guess what I would say, seemingly tautologically, is that if you like this sort of novel you will love this novel. I am not sure of the point of all of the first 168 pages, it sets the scene but perhaps too much, with too many minor characters to keep track of and understand the significance of later. The complicated plot/business dealings explained in dialect and a bit too cryptically meant I didn't always understand exactly what was happening, even on rereading. But after Part 1 it really takes off, is much more absorbing, and I couldn't put it down and didn't want it to end. But I don't know how to rate it. It's better than a lot of 3's but less overall than some 4's???

Do You like book The Thousand Autumns Of Jacob De Zoet (2010)?

Not at all what I expected, but still wonderful. I'm a sucker for this guy's stuff.

Hard to get started, but worth the effort if you like Mitchell.

I found this novel hard to get into and then hard to put down.

David HOW?!

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