October 5, 2010
Recently Read - The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet
I finally finished it. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, by David Mitchell. I took my time, which is what you have to do to truly appreciate a David Mitchell novel. They are not fast reads. For the first 150-200 pages, I found myself just trying to keep up. He writes such vivid details, and I wanted to be able to picture everything, so I'd re-read sections to fully form the image in my head. I also had to keep up with all the characters, which I find difficult when the names are difficult. Since the characters are primarily Dutch or Japanese, this was definitely the case.
Once I got there, though, with a detailed image in my head of this place and these characters, I was hooked. I literally didn't want to put it down. It's so different from anything else I've read, and it's intriguing. I was fascinated and couldn't wait to see where it went. I felt the same way about Cloud Atlas, although that's the only comparison you could make between the two books. They are extremely different, but both tremendously good.
If you want to read more about it, here's the NY Times review.