Number9Dream

Number9Dream

by David Mitchell
3.9 26

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Overview

Number9Dream by David Mitchell

By the New York Times bestselling author of The Bone Clocks and Cloud Atlas | Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize

“A novel as accomplished as anything being written.”Newsweek

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.

Praise for Number9Dream
 
“Delirious—a grand blur of overwhelming sensation.”Entertainment Weekly
 
“To call Mitchell’s book a simple quest novel . . is like calling Don DeLillo’s Underworld the story of a missing baseball.”The New York Times Book Review
 
Number9Dream, with its propulsive energy, its Joycean eruption of language and playfulness, represents further confirmation that David Mitchell should be counted among the top young novelists working today.”San Francisco Chronicle
 
“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.”The New Yorker
 
“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.”The Seattle Post-Intelligencer


From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781588362155
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/18/2007
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 21,117
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

David Mitchell is the award-winning and bestselling author of The Bone Clocks, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, Black Swan Green, Cloud Atlas, Number9Dream, and Ghostwritten. Twice shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Mitchell was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time in 2007. With KA Yoshida, Mitchell translated from the Japanese the internationally bestselling memoir The Reason I Jump. He lives in Ireland with his wife and two children.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Number9Dream 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
“Dreams are shores where the ocean of spirit meets the land of matter. Beaches where the yet-to-be, the once-were, the will-never-be may walk amid the still-are” number9dream is the second novel by British author, David Mitchell. Nineteen-year-old Eiji Miyake arrives in Tokyo looking for his father, a man he has never met, a man whose name he does not even know. He has a letter from a lawyer warning him not to try to find his father, so his first move is to stake out the lawyer’s office from a café opposite, the Jupiter Café, where works a girl with the most beautiful neck in the world. So begins another foray into the world of David Mitchell, one that takes the reader on an interesting (and occasionally, slightly bizarre) journey. As Eiji moves from the café to the Lost Property Office of Ueno station to a game parlour to an unfinished development on reclaimed land to a safe house to a video shop to a pizza shop to a mountain retreat, he also moves in and out of danger and encounters quite a cast of (often quirky) individuals. Claude Debussy and John Lennon play significant roles, as do the Yakuza organised crime syndicate, an overabundance of cigarettes, some seriously weird pizza recipes, a cat, an absent mother and a dead twin sister. Mitchell manages to seamlessly include the journal of a WW2 Kaiten pilot, scenes from a surreal black and white movie, a fantastic tale starring a stuttering goatwriter, a hen and a Pithecanthropus, an account of sex slavery and organ theft, and, of course, quite a few dreams. The number nine and its elements, unsurprisingly, feature heavily but in quite a subtle way. As with all of Mitchell’s novels, there are characters who appear in earlier and later books. Mitchell’s characters, for all their oddities, are appealing; their dialogue and Eiji’s inner monologue provide plenty of humour; and they manage to express some insightful observations: “Weird. All these people like my mother paying counsellors and clinics to reattach them to reality; all these people like me paying Sony and Sega to reattach us to unreality” and “Maybe the truest difference between people is exactly this: how they see why they are here” also “Maybe the meaning of life lies in looking for it”. The (perhaps) abrupt ending that leaves things very much “up in the air” may not be to every reader’s taste, but the characters, plot and prose more than compensate, especially the delightful feast of rhyme, alliteration and incredibly clever wordplay of the goatwriter piece. An excellent read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best book i've ever read! It has everything needful to be no1 bestseller! GREAT! I can stronly recommend #9dream!
Anonymous 7 days ago
I stopped reading part way in. Too jumbled. A "modern" book where I can't tell what the point is. But then I came back to it. Gradually a story sorted itself out, one that kept me going to the end. The end itself is an irksome cliffhanger.
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Excellent characterization. Universal themes. Conflicts with which all can identify. Challenging enough that it does not give you everything in one reading.
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FocoProject More than 1 year ago
There are books that hook you, grip you and will not let you go until you finish them and this one is one of those, falling in the category of Mitchell¿s Cloud Atlas and Atwood¿s Oryx & Crake, and though thematically they are different, they all have that engrossing quality to them. Needless to say, I am quickly becoming a David Mitchell fan, who has batted two out of two for me with amazing skill.

Like Cloud Atlas, Number 9 Dream was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize, unlike Cloud Atlas, this book is a lot more accessible, with a straight forward storyline that does employ a number of flashbacks and side stories to set itself up, but done in a way that is easy to follow and rather entertaining.

Based in japan, Number 9 Dream tells the story of Eiji Miyake, a young man of twenty with an overactive imagination that is determined to find his father, whom he has never met, in Tokyo. Having suffered enough as far as his family life goes, Eiji is sure that finding his father will be the first step to a better life, or at least a life that he will have an easier time understanding. However, what the young aspiring soccer player and country boy does not know, is that in his search for father, he will be tugged into the ruthless underbelly of Tokyo in a way that will change his life forever, not to mention his point of view in the meaning of family.

Mitchell impresses, with a voice that is clearly in control, characters that are unique, believable and interesting, though they may or may not be likable. Throughout the novel the author does a magnificent job balancing, suspense, thrills, fantasies and humor. If anything, this book ended up reminding me of my experience reading Catche in the Rye, and that is a tremendous compliment.

There is one minor plot point which I found too convenient and given the complexity and the multiple layers that Mitchell operates in, it sticks out like a sore thumb, which is unfortunate because it could have easily been changed to make it less obvious (for those wondering, I am speaking of Suga¿s gift). Outside of that, this is a fully entertaining read that keeps you hooked through the entirety of the read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the first book by David Mitchell I've read, and I know I'm going to read Ghostwritten and all that may follow. This chronicles Eiji Miyake and his twisted life. Mitchell did a great job intertwining many different stories within one book, while holding your attention the WHOLE way through. Spectacular reveries, mini-stories, and journals fill the pages along with Eiji's own life story. You won't regret reading this.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fantastic, in all senses of the word. As in Ghostwritten, Mitchell's smooth metaphors and unique observations constantly make you stop and think. This novel, like his first, hints at "a world within the world," as Delillo would say, and probably cannot be understood in a single reading. But it can be enjoyed for its touching and powerful story, with or without grasping the eerie subtext. His many allusions to Murakami are a bit more overt than in Ghostwritten -- he even has his lead character reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, with a key reference to a situation in that novel, and he uses the title of a John Lennon song for this book, as Murakami did with Norwegian Wood. Share this with friends. I can't wait for his next one.