As Eiji Miyake's 20th birthday nears, he sets out for the seething metropolis of Tokyo to find the father he has never met. There, he begins a thrilling journey where dreams, memories and reality collide as Eiji is caught up in a feverish succession of encounters by turn bizarre, hilarious, and shockingly dangerous. But until Eiji has fallen in love and exorcised his childhood demons, the belonging he craves will remain just beyond his grasp.
©2001 David Mitchell (P)2012 W F Howes Ltd
At times I thought this book was written for children and if a few details were omitted, and some swearing, could easily become a children's book.
The dialogue as stilted, wooden and unconvincing.
The characters were boring and loathsome.
The story was slow and dreary.
I could not wait for the book to end.
No I would not.
None at all.
Avoid at all cost.
I have been a fan and chose the book on the basis of past delights, God, it was dreary ! It is clever in the Author's mind, no doubt, but so flat and unlistenable to in the Hearer's listening. It drags its weary way through surreal fantasies that do nothing to draw the listener/reader in. I had to delete and stat another book when I realised I was finding excuses not to listen to it and hating the story when I did.
David Mitchell is one of those really versatile writers who do different styles for every book they write . This book cleverly combines more than 1 style within itself. Initially this is slightly confusing, I think particularly in audio, but once you've got going with it, it becomes much clearer and easier to follow. As with all his books, it's very well-written and is also well narrated. If you're looking for something a bit different, then this is definitely a good one to go for.
The story itself is a serious and complex interweaving of dream, reality, love, violence rejection and acceptance as the 20 year old hero finds himself and his past. Reading the story aloud presents the narrator with challenges found in few other works and William Rycroft could not have done the job better, as his vivacity, characterisation and clarity lifts this book from page to the reader. I know I shall come back to this book. If it is to the print rather than the audio version, Rycroft's voice will never be far from my mind.
"Nice, pleasant and in some parts grave"
As it is the first-fly review of this audiobook I will try to be consistent and precise.
First: the story. Comparing this creation to the rest of Mitchell's I would like to point out that in my opinion "Cloud Atlas" is in the lead. But "Number9Dream" can also be placed on my audiobookshelf. The plot is more simple, as well as the general idea, however, there are certainly some points which for me at least were thought-provoking. The story is full of unexpected twists so characteristic to Mitchell. What I did not like is the setting which is Japan; Japan is close to the author' heart and probably he has lived there for a long time, but his understanding and description of the country's life is totally different from Japanese authors (Murakami as an example) and I tend to trust locals more. For me Japan was too English, but it is just my personal opinion. Another deficiency in my view is action which sometimes, unfortunately, is created for entertainment only and without sense.
Second: performance. All in all the narration is good except some minor deficiencies. Sometimes while reading William Rycroft is too fast skipping from one piece of narration to the next and, bearing in mind that the story has quite a lot of sudden twists, it is confusing to understand what's happening. There is no change of voice in some dialogues which also slows down the general understanding of such parts of the book. But eventhough these inconsistencies the narrator felt the main topic of the story and gives no false impression of the book to listener. Thus derives the mark.
Summing up: although there are some drawbacks in general performance my marks are fives for the performance and the story and four overall for the setbacks.
Hope that this review will be of some help to future choosers. Enjoy the audiobook.
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