I'm away from home at the moment, and have a book I need to read for review, so with regret (and not wanting to travel with two hefty hardbacks) I've had to set this aside until I return. It's a measure of the book that I can't wait to get back into it.
Mitchell is one of my favorite contemporary novelists, and Thousand Autumns ... doesn't disappoint. It's a mesmering window into a truly fascinating period - the dawn of the modern age - and a snapshot of the intersection of two radically different cultures - feudal Japan in and around Nagasaki, and a corrupt outpost of the Dutch East India Company in 1799. Mitchell is a brilliant, cunning engineer of narrative hooks - it's difficult to imagine a more compulsive, page-turning narrative - but he's also a great writer of character, and on a line by line basis the writing is quite beautiful. When he mentions a bat, "chased by its own furry turbulence", he hooks an image into my mind that I think will stay with me forever.
That book is indeed superb -- glad you're liking it too.ReplyDelete
This is one of the novels chosen for discussion at Fife's Readers' Day in November. J David Simmons chose it for the session he will be leading on - sounds like there will be plenty for the group to discuss.ReplyDelete
You'd probably like James Clavell's work, especially Shogun. Shogun has some of the best worldbuilding I've ever seen; comparable to that of Revelation Space.
The European Union's new space shuttle looks disturbingly like the Nostalgia for Infinity:
The EU-Shuttle looks a bit like Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's Fireball XL5:ReplyDelete
Mitchell really is one of the masters of the craft. Haven't got this particular book yet but I finished both Cloud Atlas and Ghostwritten in a couple of days.ReplyDelete
I remember the EU space shuttle design on another website under the headline 'The Future of Supersonic Flight'. Weird.
This book sounds lyrical/descriptive rather than technical. Not heard of it before.ReplyDelete
Lev: the trouble with these hypersonic concepts as that they pop up about once a decade and then die a slow death. The man behind the latest splurge is Alan Bond, who was the originator of the HOTOL concept way back in the eighties.ReplyDelete
Madeleine: I can't recommend Mitchell enough. And no, it's in no way technical! It's basically just a big, gorgeous, intensely realised historical novel.
shusaku endo; the samurai (no swordfights - but one of the most beautiful opening pages in any novel i've read)ReplyDelete
(reading your relevation space books now; brilliant stuff)
REVELATION space, it is!ReplyDelete