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Publisher's Summary

Number9Dream is the international literary sensation from a writer with astonishing range and imaginative energy - an intoxicating ride through Tokyo's dark underworlds and the even more mysterious landscapes of our collective dreams. David Mitchell follows his eerily precocious, globe-striding first novel, Ghostwritten, with a work that is in its way even more ambitious.

In outward form, Number9Dream is a Dickensian coming-of-age journey: Young dreamer Eiji Miyake, from remote rural Japan, thrust out on his own by his sister's death and his mother's breakdown, comes to Tokyo in pursuit of the father who abandoned him. Stumbling around this strange, awesome city, he trips over and crosses - through a hidden destiny or just monstrously bad luck - a number of its secret power centers.

Suddenly, the riddle of his father's identity becomes just one of the increasingly urgent questions Eiji must answer. Why is the line between the world of his experiences and the world of his dreams so blurry? Why do so many horrible things keep happening to him? What is it about the number 9? To answer these questions, and ultimately to come to terms with his inheritance, Eiji must somehow acquire an insight into the workings of history and fate that would be rare in anyone, much less in a boy from out of town with a price on his head and less than the cost of a Beatles disc to his name.

©2001 David Mitchell (P)2012 W.F. Howes

What members say

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  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 06-03-13

Ah! böwakawa poussé, poussé

Number 9
Number Nine
# 9
# Nine

Another Mitchell book I'm going to have to chew on for a bit to really bend my mental tongue around. At first, I was a little disappointed in it. This is my last Mitchell book left to read (I am now a Mitchell completist) and I was hoping for just a little more PoMo juice to squeeze out of his second novel. Three dreams into it and I was afraid Mitchell was aping Murakami (Norwegian Wood, A Wild Sheep Chase) and Joyce (Finnegans Wake) a bit too much in his persuit of a dreamy father-quest novel.

By the end, however, Mitchell salvaged the novel. It still seemed a little too packaged, too sterile, too neat and measured. Don't get me wrong, I liked it and obviously (I've now read ALL of Mitchell) I like how Mitchell writes, but I'm not sure #9Dream is even close to being top shelf for me of Mitchell's novels.

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • ML
  • Queensland Australia
  • 04-19-15

Another great listening experience

It took me longer (than with previous David Mitchell books) to become truly engaged with Number9dream - there were parts I resisted liking. As the story unfolded though, I began to care about Eiji and his fate and it became another book to savour. I may come back to it again in the future - to see what I missed the first time. The reading was excellently performed. Shame he did not also record Black Swan Green....

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding storytelling

Number9Dream starts abruptly and takes you on a fast paced trip through many different scenarios. I have found that you need to really stick with the author as his beginnings have at first confused me a bit. The thing is, the more I read, the more I become immersed in the story, the more I love his writing. I don't normally gush about an author, but David Mitchell is by far one of the best modern writers out there. His stories are so complex, layered and full of meaning. Do not pass up the chance to listen! Once you give Mr. Mitchell a chance you will become hooked!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Toby
  • Portsmouth, NH, United States
  • 10-08-14

Brilliant, beautiful, moving and the Best Read

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely. Why? Because the author is a genius. The prose is ripping and the descriptions evocative and real. I am there.

What other book might you compare Number9Dream to and why?

Only other books by David Mitchell. He s unique. I suppose Murikami comes to mind a bit.

Which scene was your favorite?

I cannot name but one. There are, quite simply, too many and almost all. I suppose, overall, the way Tokyo is described is poignant. The scene in the 9 of Spades private club was memorable.

If you could take any character from Number9Dream out to dinner, who would it be and why?

The main character. AG. I cannot spell the name as I am half blind and only listen, so not sure of how to spell it.

Any additional comments?

I only wish this novel had been longer. The ending begs for a sequel.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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wait for it, wait for it.....

Great towards the ending, if you can get that far. I almost quit listening while it was going on and on about him looking for his father. After he meets the Dymond character it gets better and better. The ending left me somewhat disappointed, I wanted more closure.

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  • Story

Very good but not Mitchell's best

Would you listen to Number9Dream again? Why?

I might but probably not.<br/>I did love the narrators voice so sometimes I re-listen just for that

Who was your favorite character and why?

There is really one main character

Have you listened to any of William Rycroft’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I haven't but I will look for them.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. Too long

Any additional comments?

Generally I love David Mitchell. The plot of this book jumps around a lot, which can be fine, but I didn't feel like they hung together. Or that the various themes really needed each other. <br/>It was interesting to have the Japanese setting.

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Good story. Wrong setting.

I've enjoyed two books by David Mitchell: Cloud Atlas and The Bone Clocks. As this novel is highly critically acclaimed, I figured it would also be just as good.

The main plot of the story is about Eiji Miyake, a young 19 year old Japanese man who is searching for the father he never knew or met. Eiji also has a wild imagination and he tends to come up with incredible and outlandish scenarios (James Bond type action scenes, battles with crime bosses, etc.) that are occurring (or going to occur) during his search for his father. Of course, the line between reality and the imagined reality is blurred and we are left to wonder what is actually happening.

The word that comes to mind in describing this book is jarring. I use that word because of the setting that David Mitchell chose for the story. It's set in Japan and the main protagonist is a 19-year old Japanese man. Yet the tone of the book is very, very English. The cultural references, the manner of speaking, the societal perspective are all so very English. And obviously David Mitchell is an Englishman. So that's why I simply had a hard time rectifying what I was listening to and trying to mesh that with the setting of the story. Additionally, the narrator uses a variety of English, Irish, and Scottish accents for various characters in the story. Again, this is in JAPAN!!! It just doesn't sound right.

If this story was set in London, it would be fantastic. Here's the thing: David Mitchell is a very good writer. His descriptive prose is beautiful and the stories he tells branch out into so many areas of literature.The fact that David Mitchell chose to try and write a story about a Japanese man and the Japanese culture, yet ended up with something so very English just doesn't work.

I cannot recommend this book.

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Not Mitchell's best.

Not Mitchell's best. Could be half as long to make a coherent and compelling story. Narrator is good with voices.

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  • D
  • 08-03-16

I just love David Mitchell....

Even though this isn't his best book, I still enjoyed every minute. The narrator's English accent--for Japanese characters--just seemed to fit. David Mitchell gets the words right: he brings his characters to life, paints the scenes where they live, and makes me feel their pain. I have been spacing out his books so that I had the anticipation of the next experience, but I think I'm going to order the last one I haven't read, Slade House, because I want to stay immersed in his world.

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  • Colin
  • Knoxville, Tunisia
  • 06-25-16

Excellent narrator / genius novelist

The narrator here captures the full range of this incandescent novel. Readers of Cloud Atlas and Bone Clocks will find much to love in the author's earlier work. But here the reader makes it come to life even with a long work and a complex plot.