The narrators do a wonderful job with the many voices and characters, making this a much better listen than reading it alone. Great fun, and fascinating history is learned too.
I loved "Cloud Atlas" and thought it was the best book I've listened to in years. I could not wait to listen to Thousand Autumns...but perhaps this book is best read in hardcopy. I could not keep the names and characters straight. All of the names, of course, were very foreign to me - Japanese and Dutch, pronounced with an accent. I had to start over once I realized that Yakob Dessert was the title character. Duh! :-P
There were not many likable characters in this book. While I felt that Mitchell set up a very scary scenario, it fell flat after that. I was happy and relieved when the British showed up! Names I understood and could keep track of!
At the end, chunks of time passes without plot or narrative. Uh.. What happened? Nothing worthy of mentioning in 11 years? Or more?
I was disappointed, not Mitchell's best effort or the best book to hear either.
No one can argue that David Mitchell can write well. But I would make a strong argument that all his prose accounts for next to nothing in this story of love that isn't convincing, friendships that have no foundation and history that is more focused on grossing out than informing and entertaining. Skip it. Want old Japan? Read (or listen to) James Clavell.
Can't figure out how this one made the NY Times Best Sellers list. I gave it about a 3.5 hour listen and decided to cut my losses. It drones on and on and I was never able to figure out where it might be going. I rarely chuck a book yet this one was too dull, the names to difficult to remember, the plot too muddy, and the accents to absurd to bother with.
The historical setting of this novel is facinating and well researched. I really felt enmeshed in the time period. Unfortunately the story lacks momentum and/or maybe the portrayal of the difficulties of early 19th century life was a little too realistic for me. The naration is fine but the large cast of foreign names made it a bit difficult to follow as an audio book. My interest stalled out after listening to the first of three parts and I switched over to another book.
I'm not sure what couldn't catch my attention, but I simply couldn't get attached to the story. It was dull.
Exceptionally well-written historic fiction given first-rate narration. I had read the book before I listened to the audio; the performances effectively augment and clarify Mitchell's prose. Comic, romantic and epic.
Sorry, despite the reviews and desire to not quit this book, I just can't subject myself to this loooooong, book of seemly endless babble with no clear direction in sight. I rarely quit a book but this is one that life is too short to waste my time. Buyer beware!