Ghostwritten by David Mitchell

GhostwrittenGhostwritten by David Mitchell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A 1-Star Review of a 5-Star Novel.

Attempting to even write an adequate review of a novel as grandiose as Ghostwritten is intimidating. It can lead you to drop pretentious words like grandiose into a sub one thousand word review in hope of compensating for a paucity of proper words. I’m primed for a great review but as a word-smith I'm feeling overwhelmed by the task at hand. Prepare for disappointment.

Unfortunately, I have to begin by admitting to a cheat. I did not actually read “Ghostwritten”. I listened to it as I drove to and from the office every day. The experience left me undecided as to whether or not being unable to flip back a page or two is truly a disadvantage. There were several occasions where I played a disk twice. Normally, I would not want to hear the same passages read back to me so soon after having heard them the first time. But I found that a second listen allowed for a greater appreciation for what I had heard. It allowed me to pick up subtleties that I had missed.

Back to point, on the surface “Ghostwritten” may appear as a disjointed collection of short stories. That’s primarily because it is. Yet each tale is woven into the others in ways that are not immediately obvious. Mitchell manages to create a full world where the parts are as inextricably connected as they are disjointed. Separate yet together, playing upon and dependent upon one another.


In the end the magic of “Ghostwritten” is not about getting caught up in the adventures of any particular protagonist. It is about getting caught up in a world where the connections that bind us are made real while the barriers that would divide us are swept away.

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