This was chosen for our book club and at first I was disappointed to be reading a book that I had already read but it didn’t take long before I remembered how fantastic it is. I LOVE David Mitchell and I think that this is one of his best books. What I particularly like is its completely different style; there are six different stories running through the book all based in different historical eras starting from the 19th century through to the post apocalyptic world. What completely surprised me the first time of reading it (and the second strangely) was the fact that each narrative starts and then finishes so abruptly that you think some pages might have fallen out of your book, but once you finish the sixth story it goes back to the original stories retelling them in reverse order. It works through lots of different genres such detective, 19th century journal, letters, sci-fi, etc. Parts of it are so funny but it is not just a lot of random stories thrown together as some critics suggest, it even encompasses themes like Nietzsche’s Will to Power. Some of the book group criticised to say it didn’t hang well together and I must say I did find the middle/final story about the post apolyptic world a bit hard going.
So the plot, that’s a bit difficult, it encompasses stories as Adam Ewing’s Pacific Journal, Luisa a possible cover up of the murder of a nuclear scientist, Timothy Cavendish’s hilarious attempts to break out of his old people’s home and a Blade Runner style story and about a robot slave in the future. It reminds us about the ‘progress’ of history how mankind may be destroying itself to the extent that we many go back to living in a primitive world.
So overall it is completely innovative and fantastic and funny, it is one of my favourite books ever.