Thousand Autumns

David Mitchell at Skylight books (Los Angeles,...
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Book club is tonight — I actually believe that I have not been to book club since A. S. Byatt‘s Possession was the topic, and that was right after it was published. 1990.

Tonight’s subject: David Mitchell‘s The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. I am halfway through — had chosen to read it before Liz invited me back to book club two days ago.

This is not a pastoral book, nor a post-modern item with all of the conflict bred out of it and putting fancy word-play above plot in importance. We have story, and we have characters. These are major compliments for me. Another compliment: I haven’t thrown it out yet.

Jacob belongs to two worlds: Dutch and Japanese. He is exiled from one and can never belong to the other. Add to this some culture clashes and a monastery full of crazy monks, and you’ve got yourself a proper book.