Wednesday, July 06, 2005

What little time I had to read in Toronto I devoted to Ghostwritten by David Mitchell. I inherited this book from a previous roommate who hadn't liked it very much and it's been sitting in my to-be-read bookcase for years. I've picked it up a few times but have always put it down after only reading the back cover and the reviews page. But ever since reading and absolutely loving Mitchell's Cloud Atlas I've been looking for a good opportunity to give it a try. It's somewhat similar to that book in that each chapter is almost a short story in and of itself, but where the connections in Cloud Atlas were brief and tenuous, propelling us forward in time and through genres, those in Ghostwritten become ever more intricate and dependent on the actions of the characters in the preceding chapters. In one chapter the main character is a non-corporeal spirit who moves from mind to mind which is pretty close to what we as readers do in each chapter, each switch moving us closer and closer to the final ending. When I finished the book in the middle of my flight home I couldn't settle on anything else. I tried bits and pieces of the books I had in my bag under the seat but nothing felt right coming after it. What I really wanted was to immediately start his second book but I hadn't brought it with me. I hate not having the book I want immediately at my fingertips.

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