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The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet Audiobook

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

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Publisher's Summary

A Booker finalist and Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize winner, David Mitchell was called “prodigiously daring and imaginative” by Time and “a genius” by the New York Times Book Review.

The year is 1799, the place Dejima in Nagasaki Harbor, the “high-walled, fan-shaped artificial island” that is the Japanese Empire’s single port and sole window onto the world, designed to keep the West at bay; the farthest outpost of the war-ravaged Dutch East Indies Company; and a de facto prison for the dozen foreigners permitted to live and work there. To this place of devious merchants, deceitful interpreters, costly courtesans, earthquakes, and typhoons comes Jacob de Zoet, a devout and resourceful young clerk who has five years in the East to earn a fortune of sufficient size to win the hand of his wealthy fiancée back in Holland.

But Jacob’s original intentions are eclipsed after a chance encounter with Orito Aibagawa, the disfigured daughter of a samurai doctor and midwife to the city’s powerful magistrate. The borders between propriety, profit, and pleasure blur, until Jacob finds his vision clouded, one rash promise made and then fatefully broken. The consequences will extend beyond Jacob’s worst imaginings. As one cynical colleague asks, “Who ain’t a gambler in the glorious Orient, with his very life?”

©2010 David Mitchell (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

"It’s as difficult to put this novel down as it is to overestimate Mitchell’s virtually unparalleled mastery of dramatic construction, illuminating characterizations and insight into historical conflict and change. Comparisons to Tolstoy are inevitable, and right on the money." (Kirkus Reviews)

"Despite the audacious scope, the focus remains intimate; each fascinating character has the opportunity to share his or her story. Everything is patched together seamlessly and interwoven with clever wordplay and enlightening historical details on feudal Japan. First-rate literary fiction and a rousing good yarn, too." (Booklist)

“An achingly romantic story of forbidden love . . . [David] Mitchell’s incredible prose is on stunning display. . . . A novel of ideas, of longing, of good and evil and those who fall somewhere in between [that] confirms Mitchell as one of the more fascinating and fearless writers alive.” (Dave Eggers, The New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1876 )
5 star
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4.1 (1068 )
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Story
4.3 (1066 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Jana 12-06-10
    Jana 12-06-10 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    194
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    279
    47
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    10
    2
    Overall
    "A compelling story set in Japan starting in 1799"

    I think this book is was very a very good listen and can easily rate it 5 stars, but could see how this book might not be for everyone. The narrator is excellent in my view - I thought his accents were great - I have to assume that he is pronouncing the names correctly. It's a mystery to me why a listener would not like him. The story is very well told - for an apt review - read the B&N review which I think hits the mark, except I didn't think the title character was a pring. The story seemed very authentic to me and doesn't follow a predictable tract - it's more like what actual humans would do. For some reason, I can have a hard time getting into stories set it Asia, but once I did get into this book, I was hooked. Not my all time favorite, but am very glad I took a chance on it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula Ithaca, NY, United States 12-01-10
    Paula Ithaca, NY, United States 12-01-10 Member Since 2015
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    REVIEWS
    8
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    "Bewitching and enchanting"

    The depth of this book is amazing. Gripping and superbly crafted. The historical detail is impressive. This is a must - I couldn't stop listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ariel 10-31-10
    Ariel 10-31-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    10
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    "Outstanding in every way"

    This was an outstanding and wonderful audible experience- my favorite audible book to date. The work is brilliant and interesting and engrossing and beautiful, each narrator is perfect, and I did not want this book to ever end. Absolutely amazing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ms. 10-11-10
    Ms. 10-11-10

    another reader

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    28
    1
    Overall
    "Well written and narrated, engaging, and..."

    It contains some wise and odd, beautiful bits. Shows the possibilities of appreciation for a nation, culture and personality intrinsically different from one's own. Loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mariah huntington beach, CA, United States 10-10-10
    mariah huntington beach, CA, United States 10-10-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet"

    Gorgeous! By the final third I gave up listening to this tale in bits and pieces and just let myself enjoy an "all nighter" of brilliant story telling and artistry Both narrators are very gifted as well. I'm so glad I got to hear this performance. Thanks to Mitchell and crew for this winner!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon Lakeport, CA, United States 10-08-10
    Sharon Lakeport, CA, United States 10-08-10 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
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    "Poorly Narrated"

    I am sad to say that this is the most poorly narrated audiobook that I have ever heard. ALL of the characters have a strong British accent the japanese character. the Dutch characters everyone, it completely ruined the story for me. Spend your money on the book and you will be aple to cherish the words and create your own voice for these lovely characters

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terry Rapid CIty, SD, United States 09-30-10
    Terry Rapid CIty, SD, United States 09-30-10 Member Since 2010
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    3
    3
    Overall
    "Anal-retentive...literally"

    David Mitchell had problems during potty training...his love of describing bowel movements in this book is ridiculous. The story flip flopped all over the place and became boring during several parts. It was like the movie "Reds" with Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton: Way too long and tighter editing may have resulted in an interesting story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carrie Matteucci Hayward, CA 09-29-10
    Carrie Matteucci Hayward, CA 09-29-10 Member Since 2016

    I_LV_HP

    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
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    56
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    "Yacob desert is how it is pronounced"

    The writing of this book is awe inspiring. How he wove the story with all the different languages and idea's and people was a feat. I loved the story of the woman when she was sent to the "nunnery" . One of my favorite moments in the book was when the slave had his life narrated. I was glued to my headphones. The only negative thing about this book is there is nothing uplifting to cling onto and when I went to listen to it again I stopped because I felt a bit depressed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Molly Berkeley, CA, United States 09-23-10
    Molly Berkeley, CA, United States 09-23-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    11
    3
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    "Meg C."

    Best narrator, best story... I only have one hour and 45 minutes to go, and I am so sad that this wonderful book is almost over. The narrator, Jonathan Aris, is the new Frank Muller. I would listen to him read the phone book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tim booth 09-20-10
    tim booth 09-20-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    36
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    47
    5
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    Overall
    "Perfection"

    I feel like i have just discovered one of the greatest living novelists and can't wait to read more. Not a word is wasted. A high class read that rewards. Brilliantly read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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