A Novel

Book - 2002
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Number9Dreamis 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,Number9Dreamis 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.
Publisher: New York : Random House, 2002
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780375507267
Branch Call Number: MITC
Characteristics: 400 p
Alternative Title: Number 9 dream
Number nine dream


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May 17, 2018

Very strange. Unlike any book I have ever read and liked before. But yes, I enjoyed this weird someone else said, an acid trip, but a good one. The 'Goatwriter' tangents were incredible pieces of writing.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 04, 2016

number9dream starts unlike any other Mitchell book; sure Mitchell has an eclectic style, but there's a certain feel to his books—the idea that regardless of subject or genre, all the stories are somehow tied together. number9dream didn't feel like a part of the Mitchell universe—it felt more like a poor attempt at Murakami minus the cats.

Yet, it is still David Mitchell. The writing is superb. In fact, relying less on tricks, number9dream relies more on great writing. The sentences and scenes Mitchell turns out are gorgeous. Sure, all of it feels like a horrible acid trip, but it's a riveting and beautiful acid trip.

GeoffAbel May 19, 2014

While it's another one of Mitchell's formula (how many different voices can I write in in one novel?), both the story and the writing are great. What else is there? It very much seems to be a tribute to Murakami.

Apr 18, 2014

This book takes a surreal look at modern day Japan. The book is definitely well written with delightful prose. Due to dream sequences it can be a bit difficult to stay on top of the story. Worth reading for anyone who is interested.

tomcrisp May 12, 2013

NUMBER9DREAM is a story set in and in every way a fantasia of modern Japan. With looks back to tradition, to WWII and to family history, it also follows narrator Eiji, a young man of the country exposed (in many senses) to the world of 21st-century Tokyo: living in a "capsule"; organized crime wars: vapid minds and consumerism. The theme may be "be careful what you wish for" or possibly, "when you find what you seek, it may not be where you were looking." This is a terrific book, always engaging and often challenging. Even in moments of impatience, I skipped no more than a few paragraphs of this rich work.

brianreynolds Jul 29, 2011

Some reviews (and the cover blurb) take pains trying to find a genre niche for David Mitchell's second novel. One could consider shelving it next to Don Quixote, imho. number9dream reads primarily like a quest. Eiji Miyake is not only focused on the Holy Grail of an absent parent, but on the tightrope that separates reality from dream, from wish or the surrealism of contemporary urban society, quests that may be particularly poignant to youth. Eiji's search is frantic. He, a fragile 19 year old with little education or athletic prowess from an unsophisticated village, fares well in the company of heroes like James Bond or Indiana Jones. Mitchell can tell a story.

He can also deal with complexity. But he writes with a clarity and sense of timing that makes sense out of chaos and grips my attention in spite of its exotic and intricate track across places I have never seen.

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