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Ghostwritten, David Mitchell (1999)

I enjoyed this, but it’s uneven. Like Robert Altman and (sometimes) Jim Jarmusch, Mitchell likes to get one narrative rolling, then leave it behind and start an apparently unrelated one, only to show you, further on, that the first and second are actually parts of a whole. Then he introduces a third, fourth, and so on, each time providing a little jolt of pleasure when you recognize how each fits into the whole scheme. That’s fun, but here a lot of the connections seem arbitrary to me — maybe I’m missing something? That’s entirely possible — and some of the sections are a little formulaic, which is my nice way of saying boring. The author of the wonderful Cloud Atlas is hereby forgiven this early ho-hummer. (I haven’t read the new one everyone was chattering about a couple months ago.)

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