Number9Dream by David Mitchell

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By the New York Times bestselling author of The Bone Clocks and Cloud Atlas | Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize

“A novel as accomplished as anything being written.”—Newsweek

Number9Dream is the international literary sensation from a writer with astonishing range and imaginative energy—an intoxicating ride through Tokyo’s dark underworlds and the even more mysterious landscapes of our collective dreams.

David Mitchell follows his eerily precocious, globe-striding first novel, Ghostwritten, with a work that is in its way even more ambitious. In outward form, Number9Dream is a Dickensian coming-of-age journey: Young dreamer Eiji Miyake, from remote rural Japan, thrust out on his own by his sister’s death and his mother’s breakdown, comes to Tokyo in pursuit of the father who abandoned him. Stumbling around this strange, awesome city, he trips over and crosses—through a hidden destiny or just monstrously bad luck—a number of its secret power centers. Suddenly, the riddle of his father’s identity becomes just one of the increasingly urgent questions Eiji must answer. Why is the line between the world of his experiences and the world of his dreams so blurry? Why do so many horrible things keep happening to him? What is it about the number 9? To answer these questions, and ultimately to come to terms with his inheritance, Eiji must somehow acquire an insight into the workings of history and fate that would be rare in anyone, much less in a boy from out of town with a price on his head and less than the cost of a Beatles disc to his name.

Praise for Number9Dream
“Delirious—a grand blur of overwhelming sensation.”—Entertainment Weekly
“To call Mitchell’s book a simple quest novel . . is like calling Don DeLillo’s Underworld the story of a missing baseball.”—The New York Times Book Review
Number9Dream, with its propulsive energy, its Joycean eruption of language and playfulness, represents further confirmation that David Mitchell should be counted among the top young novelists working today.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Mitchell’s new novel has been described as a cross between Don DeLillo and William Gibson, and although that’s a perfectly serviceable cocktail-party formula, it doesn’t do justice to this odd, fitfully compelling work.”—The New Yorker
“Leaping with ease from surrealist fables to a teenage coming-of-age story and then spinning back to Yakuza gangster battles and World War II–era kamikaze diaries, Mitchell is an aerial freestyle ski-jumper of fiction. Somehow, after performing feats of literary gymnastics, he manages to stick the landing.”—The Seattle Post-Intelligencer

From the Hardcover edition.

About David Mitchell

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David Mitchell is the author of the international bestseller The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, named a best book of the year by Time, The Washington Post, Financial Times, The New Yorker, The Globe and Mail, and The New York Times; Black Swan Green, which was selected as one of the 10 Best Books of the Year by Time; Cloud Atlas, which was a Man Booker Prize finalist; Number9Dream, which was short-listed for the Man Booker as well as the James Tait Black Memorial Prize; and Ghostwritten, awarded the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for best book by a writer under thirty-five and short-listed for the Guardian First Book Award. Hailed as "the novelist who's shown us fiction's future" by The Washington Post, Mitchell was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time in 2007. He lives in Ireland with his wife and two children.
Published December 18, 2007 by Random House. 416 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Number9Dream

Kirkus Reviews

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This hall of mirrors opens into a roistering, episodic tale that moves back and forth between Eiji’s childhood—where, spurned by the minister who supported his illegitimate twins financially but refused to see them or their mother, Eiji unwittingly sacrificed his sister Anju to the thunder god—an...

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The Guardian

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number9dream David Mitchell 422pp, Sceptre, £10 Buy it at a discount at BOL David Mitchell's first novel, Ghostwritten , was one of the most highly praised fiction debuts of recent times, and with unusual justice.

Mar 10 2001 | Read Full Review of Number9Dream

The Guardian

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number9dream David Mitchell Sceptre £10, pp419 Buy it at a discount at BOL There was a recent cinema advertisement for a mobile phone company in which every object in an urban landscape was represented only by the letters of its name.

Mar 11 2001 | Read Full Review of Number9Dream

BC Books

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David Mitchell's Number9dream is an American novel.

Sep 21 2005 | Read Full Review of Number9Dream

Entertainment Weekly

(David Mitchell writes, with typical neon voluptuousness, of a nightclub ''so thick with sweat, smoke, and sheer din you could swim up to the mirror-balls on the disco ceiling.'') Mitchell is a hardened intertextual wiseass, alluding to ''Blade Runner'' and Haruki Murakami novels, then winkin...

Mar 01 2002 | Read Full Review of Number9Dream

London Review of Books

The story appears to move forward when the café is flooded and Eiji helps a waitress to safety but this is another fantasy: Eiji is still in his seat.

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