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12 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen The North, South, East, and West line, 19. Mai 2001
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: Ghostwritten (Taschenbuch)
This is David Mitchell's debut novel, and it has received some lively reviews. It's an ambitious book, which goes from East to West. Ghostwritten seems to follow an Edward Rutherfurd format: nine individual stories that are subtly linked. It's like the Six Degrees of Separation or the Kevin Bacon game, whereby everybody on the planet is linked much more closely to each other than we would have ever imagined. Half the fun of Ghostwritten is trying to spot references from all the other stories. Despite having such seemingly random stories, Ghostwritten does follow quite a strict chronology. There's also a slight element of the ballad in these pleasing repetitions and hooks.
Ghostwritten is very much a book of the nineties. It starts of as a thriller, with a story based on the Japanese Aum cult that released Sarin gas in the underground. This is fairly faithful to the real life events, but by having this part narrated by a devotee of His Serendipity, we don't actually get to see the whole folly of the actual cult leader Asahara. The experimental Sarin gas attack in the Nagano Prefecture did happen, there were links to Korea and Russia, and Ashara's wife did denounce AUM to a certain degree. And then we're whisked off to Tokyo for a very sweet love story, accompanied by some nice jazz. David Mitchell must like John Coltrane. From there, we're summoned to Hong Kong to see a British trader embroiled in some kind of unbearable Barings disaster, and you start to wonder whether David Mitchell has watched too much CNN. The action then shifts to a Holy Mountain in China, and Mitchell covers the Cultural Revolution very well. It was Mao who said that "the more books you read, the more stupid you get", and Mitchell brings the pointless destruction wrought by the Red Guard and their subsequent exclusion poignantly to life.
We then whisk off to the plains of outer Mongolia, and inhabit the gers along with parasitic backpackers and a restless, disembodied, spiritual entity, who hops from body to body. This kind of device is very tempting for a first time novelist, but Mitchell acquits himself well in this story of a wandering spirit. Mitchell is very subtle here as he explores what it might be like to be a Tibetan Lama's spirit, ceaselessly trying to identity itself as it strives to find a final home. Then we're off to St. Petersburg, for a tale of art fraud and gangsters. The next destination is London, and the next host is a ghostwriter. I must admit that I found most of the references to writers and the art of ghostwriting to be quite bland: I don't think there's anything too profound to be discovered from someone who can string two sentences together to write a novel for Naomi Campbell, and I don't think there's anything mystical about the process. 'Ghostwritten' is just a nice, inclusive metaphor for the whole book, and that's where David Mitchell should have left it.
The ghostwriter himself is an engaging chap, and the actual ghost story is quite compelling. The ghostwriter's observations about the various characters of the London tube systems are very witty and ring true. His band is called 'The Music of Chance', and this fits in very well with the themes of the novel. To what extent is life dependent on fate or chance? 'The Music of Chance' is also the title of a novel and film by Paul Auster, and indicates Mitchell's subtle employment of intertextuality, as the Ghostwriter is involved in a night of gambling, just like the characters in Auster's novel. David Mitchell has also created a very believable womaniser in the shape of the ghostwriter. Then we're shipped further westward, to Clear Island off Eire. This is the story of Mo, a scientist who knows a little too much about quantum cognition for her own good. I'm afraid that Mitchell's female characters did not wholly convince me, and the tone of 'Clear Island' seems more Oirish than Irish. One bit of intertextuality I didn't like was the playing of Procul Harum's 'A Lighter Shade of Pale' in the church - I think that was done to far greater comic effect in 'The Commitments'. 'Clear Island' seems less authentic than the other sections, and might have been more interesting if Mitchell had gone into quantum physics in more depth, or maybe mentioned that one of Planck's sons was executed for trying to assassinate Hitler. However, the bit about the wind generator was excellent. The final section concerns the birth of an SF AI; its intriguing debate with another disembodied spirit, and its confessions to a shock jock who loves jazz. I loved the bit about Freddie Mercury, and David Mitchell does have great wit. David Mitchell's prose is also quite lyrical, and is a delight to read. However, the final question about this sparkling debut is this: does it really go round in a circle like a certain London tube line?
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3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Round as a Wheel - in which the Real Buddhist ..., 27. Januar 2013
miki101.Michaela "Jai yen" (VR/Italy) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Ghostwritten (Taschenbuch)
... will always believe.
You can also say "What goes around comes around"... just like a certain Metro Line in London.
All the 10 (!) Chapters but 9 places are based on someones perception of "Ghost".

In "Okinawa" it is the purification of the ghosts - as in souls - by a young "pure one", a member of the Fellowship of the New Earth who made that coward gas attack in the Metro of Tokio. Now, hiding out on an island at the large of Okinawa, he makes a telefone call for help...
Which will arrive in "Tokyo" at the rare-discs-shop where young Satoru is working. He is a hobby saxophonist who meets the first real love of his life just in this shop - where the ghosts of all those defunct Jazz players are looming. And she invites him to her home...
Which is in "Hongkong" where we also meet a money-launderer for some Russian mobsters. His wife has left him for England to divorce. He himself remaines in the common flat where the ghost of a little girl is seeking company. His maid - a Tibetan-born but Hongkong-raised "one-of-a-kind" type is sucking all the money and life out of him - until he meets his destiny precisely under the Big Bright Buddha statue on Lantau Island...
The most gripping story of all - that is my opinion - is "Holy Mountain", the tale of a Tibetan woman getting old in the shadow of The Holy Mountain. Over and over again her small tea & noodle shack will be destroyed but she rebuilts it all the times. Because she has a ghost in a tree to whom she speaks and who answers, giving her hope and advice. And at the - for her lucky - end there will some connection to the story before...
In "Mongolia" a non-entity - a ghost - has the possibilities to transfer him-herself from one person to another - until there will be an harsh decision to make for him/her. And we will find intruding, annoying backpackers and some very dangerous Mongolian mobster with relations to...
"Petersburg", where a gang of forgers and robbers of famous paitings try to make a fortune in the "Eremitage" to finally emigrate. But fate has other plans...
By case one of the paintings has made its way to "London" right into the flat of the divorced wife of the Hongkong money launderer. And here we come to know the real ghost-writer, doubling as a drummer in a band. And ghosts are looming there and want to be described in the biografy our hero is writing for an old Ex-spook...
And he will save the life of the heroine of "Clear Island" - the last hideout for a woman with brains - a brilliant physicist, a genius in the matter of nuclear spin, reseached by the USA army for her inventions. But first she's able to take the Transsib where she writes down all her knowledge passing through China, Mongolia, Russia after she had met ghosts yet known to us in Hongkong...
And in "Night Train" a DJ in New York has a very strange conversation with the "ghost" of a Super AI to be invented only in the next Century respectively Millenium. And this strange entity saves the world from atomic destruction by the Western and Eastern blocs - and the reader will meet for the first time Luisa Rey from the later novel Cloud Atlas. (Sceptre)...
And in "Underground" the circle will close itself. We will be a part of "Quasar" the young follower of the AUM sect, minutes before the Sarin Gas attack in the Tokyo Metro to purify the souls and ghosts of the Impure...

This debut novel is one of the best I have ever read in my life!
Here the genius of David Mitchell - which peaks years later in Cloud Atlas - is clearly showing.
An outstanding masterpiece which is also very witty and rich of cultural hints.
To read all in a piece - like I did it.
Word of a true book-lover.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Amazing book, 26. November 2013
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If you loved Cloud Atlas, you will love this book... and even if you haven't read any of David Mitchell's other work, I can extend an unqualified recommendation.

Mitchell weaves from crime to sci fi to fantasy effortlessly. A truly amazing book.
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Ghostwritten von David Mitchell (Taschenbuch - 20. April 2000)
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