This was a book chosen by my book club and I don't think I would have finished it had it not been for Audible books. I did not like many parts of this novel but listening to it helped get me through these spots. Furthermore, having the book read aloud was extremely helpful since there were many foreign names.Finally, it was wonderful since I could listen to it and do my knitting.
They did a good job of creating recognizably different voices, which fit the text well.
I enjoyed learning about Japan's early contacts with the west (Holland), in the context of a novel about adventure, some mystic elements, and a love story.
Exotic, complex, colorful
River of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh
I appreciated having a female narrator for the parts of the book focused on the one female character. While Jonathan Aris did a good job with all the voices, making it easy to tell them apart, it wouldn't have been the same if he had told Orito's story.
After putting this one down months ago to start the next book club selection even though I was only halfway through, I finally finished it on audio. With all the character names, the lapse I'm sure took away from the story, but I'm excited to have finished it. I really enjoyed some parts of this book, while I thought others dragged, but overall Mitchell is a great writer of historical fiction who takes you to another place and time with a colorful array of characters. I'm not usually fond of books where babies are killed, but somehow in this strange but interesting book it works!
If you plan on listening this book as background noise while you drive or work, don't do it!! This book demands your full attention!! It gives a lot of details and a great understanding of the environment. As soon as you get closer to the end, you don't want it to end!! The narration was good, but there was a little difficulty with the pronunciation of some words; but still, it is a great story!!
This was one of the best books I listened to or read in 2011. It was unique, pretty fast moving, had unusual and interesting characters, and did an excellent job of drawing the reader into it's world. It is a long book, but I didn't want it to end. I look forward to listening to more David Mitchell books.
Say something about yourself!
The best thing about this book is probably it's title. A nice story, interesting characters and landscape do make for a pleasant read but there is little soul here. I won't remember much of this novel, except it's promising title.
I wanted to "read" more by the author of "Cloud Atlas" so I picked this at random. It's a splendid display of craftsmanship. David Mitchell's grasp of japanese culture is on display as is his artistic touch with words on paper.
Here he stirs beautiful words into complex sentences into well wrought phrases into beautifully descriptive paragraphs, into this wonderful book.
I just discovered a new favorite writer.
Mitchell begins well and tells a spell-binding tale of multiple characters. The twists and turns of the plot are excellent. Then, it seems as if he lets the readers down with an ending that is somewhat meaningless. Still, overall, a good read.