The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

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Sceptre, 2010 - Deshima (Nagasaki-shi, Japan) - 469 pages
159 Reviews


David Mitchell's novels have captivated critics and readers alike, as his Man Booker shortlistings and Richard & Judy Book of the Year award attest. Now he has written a masterpiece. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is the kind of book that comes along once in a decade - enthralling in its storytelling, imagination and scope.

Set at a turning point in history on a tiny island attached to mainland Japan, David Mitchell's tale of power, passion and integrity transports us to a world that is at once exotic and familiar: an extraordinary place and an era when news from abroad took months to arrive, yet when people behaved as they always do - loving, lusting and yearning, cheating, fighting and killing.

Bringing to vivid life a tectonic shift between East and West, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is dramatic, funny, heartbreaking, enlightening and thought-provoking. Reading it is an unforgettable experience.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - snash - LibraryThing

Whatever the book might lack in believable plot and characters (which is only a little), it makes up for in atmosphere, historical accuracy, and intrigue. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - pbjwelch - LibraryThing

An interesting factitional account of life in the Dutch trading post of Dejima (located in Nagasaki, Japan) in the late 1700s--its geography, purpose, inhabitants, daily life, etc. all well imagined ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Born in 1969, David Mitchell grew up in Worcestershire. After graduating from Kent University, he taught English in Japan, where he wrote his first novel, Ghostwritten. Published in 1999, it was awarded the Mail on Sunday John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. His second novel, number9dream, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and in 2003, David Mitchell was selected as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists. His third novel, Cloud Atlas, was shortlisted for six awards including the Man Booker Prize, and adapted for film in 2012. It was followed by Black Swan Green, shortlisted for the Costa Novel of the Year Award, and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, which was a No. 1 Sunday Times bestseller. Both were also longlisted for the Booker.

In 2013, The Reason I Jump: One Boy's Voice From the Silence of Autism by Naoki Higashida was published in a translation from the Japanese by David Mitchell and KA Yoshida. It was an immediate bestseller in the UK and later in the US as well.

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