number9dream (review)

number9dream by David Mitchell

Eiji Miyake is just turning twenty, has a mentally unstable mother, a dead twin and an absent father. He travels to Tokyo with the idea that finding his paternal lineage will somehow fill in the gaps, but (as we all find out during our twenties) discovers that it's not all as it's supposed to be. Capsule living, hacking, Yakuza violence, a little romance and a few double bluffs all feature on his way to working out where his lineage really begins.

The only downside to reading this came when Mitchell decided to insert two really random selections of exterior text (a short story and then a war journal) that had absolutely nothing to do with the storyline aside from the character whittling away boredom. Which in turn, was boring. But I liked his style, which is similar to both William Gibson and Ryu Murakami: lots of movement (or obsessive lack of movement in places) and detail, and you get a clear idea of the city and culture around the character, as well as an idea of the insides of their head. Popular opinion states that Ghostwritten is his finest work so far, so I'll definitely be reading that at some point in the future.