4.05 (28,012 ratings by Goodreads)
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Winner of the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize.

A magnificent achievement and an engrossing experience, David Mitchell's first novel announced the arrival of one of the most exciting writers of the twenty-first century.

An apocalyptic cult member carries out a gas attack on a rush-hour metro, but what links him to a jazz buff in downtown Tokyo? Or to a Mongolian gangster, a woman on a holy mountain who talks to a tree, and a late night New York DJ?

Set at the fugitive edges of Asia and Europe, Ghostwritten weaves together a host of characters, their interconnected destinies determined by the inescapable forces of cause and effect.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 448 pages
  • 130 x 196 x 32mm | 305g
  • Sceptre
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 2nd edition
  • None
  • 9780340739754
  • 2,471

Review Text

A woman on a holy mountain talks to a tree - and the tree talks back - unaware of the effect the financial irregularities of a burnt-out lawyer will have on her life.
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Review quote

An astonishing debut. * Independent * One of the best first novels I've read in a long time . . . I couldn't put it down. -- AS Byatt * Mail on Sunday * A remarkable novel by a young writer of remarkable talent. * Observer * The best first novel I have read in ages . . . it beguiles, informs, shocks and captivates. -- William Boyd * Daily Telegraph * If you want to know what the distinctive literature of the 21st century will look like, begin here. -- Boyd Tonkin * Independent * Fabulously atmospheric and wryly perceptive . . . a huge new talent. -- Books of the Year * Guardian *
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About David Mitchell

David Mitchell is the author of the novels Ghostwritten, number9dream, Cloud Atlas, Black Swan Green, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, The Bone Clocks, Slade House and Utopia Avenue. He has been shortlisted twice for the Booker Prize, won the John Llewellyn Rhys, Geoffrey Faber Memorial and South Bank Show Literature Prizes among others, and been named a Granta Best Young British Novelist. In 2018, he won the Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence, given in recognition of a writer's entire body of work.

In addition, David Mitchell together with KA Yoshida has translated from Japanese two books by Naoki Higashida - The Reason I Jump: One Boy's Voice from the Silence of Autism and Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight: A Young Man's Voice from the Silence of Autism.

He lives with in Ireland with his family.
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Rating details

28,012 ratings
4.05 out of 5 stars
5 34% (9,457)
4 43% (12,185)
3 18% (4,999)
2 4% (1,101)
1 1% (270)

Our customer reviews

For the casual reader, it's best to think of Ghostwritten as a collection of short stories. Yes, the stories are all interrelated and come together somewhat towards the end, but if you think going into it that it's one big story with just one big narrative, you might find the book challenging. Just as you get into one story, it ends and you're moved on to the next one, which can throw the pacing off for some people - which is why it's much nicer to think of it as a few short stories, with a number of linking elements that overall make up a greater narrative. As for the stories themselves, they're very diverse and extremely well-written. It's almost as if several different authors worked on the book, rather than David Mitchell, which is a testament to his talent as a writer. This also means that anyone looking for a particular genre or type of story may find themselves a little short here, because it goes from a cult expose to a romance story to a spiritual journey to crime. I'd say it's perfect for the reader who likes to sample a bit of everything, and if that's what you're looking for, then Ghostwritten is for you. Also, note, the connections between the stories aren't all obvious, which in my opinion makes it better - it doesn't seem forced or in-your-face that way. There's something nice about reading the book, going online to see what you missed and then re-reading the novel to try and catch everything. Great more
by Nicholas Wong
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