I apologise in advance if this seems more incoherent and rushed than anything I've written previously. I'm just so weirded out by the bizarreness of number9dream
that my thoughts are not settled on the book.
Okay what I want to know is what David Mitchell was taking when he wrote this... Seriously this is a whacked out, crazy kind of book that's strangely compulsive reading but doesn't make a lot of sense in places. I must admit that the whole time I was reading it went like this:
First few chapters: Interesting, like the little anecdotal stories, don't see what they have to do with anything
Around 100 pages: Hang on the protagonist did what? What's he doing in that weird hotel (this was the part that I personally hated the most)
Around 200 pages in: Still doesn't make a lot of sense, but it's gripping reading
300 pages in: I still don't get it...
400 pages in: Done, I still don't get it, it's like a roller coaster ride on hallucinogens (not that I know what hallucinogens are like), fun but you don't know what ride you were on exactly
This was my second try at David Mitchell and I must say that this was as far from my usual reading as anything I have read. It was very, very different to Cloud Atlas. Where I saw some interesting ideas in Cloud Atlas, a kind of depth (personally) beyond the stylistic choice of writing, number9dream
was more about the stylistic choices and fun entertaining tale than any depth. I think I'll have to try the other three David Mitchell books I have waiting to read rather than mull over this.
The plot of this is 'boy tries to find father in city, never having met Dad.' Yes the plot has been done to death but the way it is done is what matters and I think Mitchell was trying to write this book in a way to show that sometimes in life dreams turn out in the end to be disappointing failures and not how we think they should turn out. I think his encouragement is that that doesn't matter, that it is the process of trying to find our dream and who we meet that counts. Along the way through this story Mitchell throws in other little stories (humorous stories about religion which I found quite amusing), references to John Lenon, a diary of a human torpedo, sci-fi technologies and a whole plot involving the Yakuza.
On the whole a bizarre and zany novel with lots of quirkiness, but still highly entertaining. It was also a very fast read, much faster than Cloud Atlas but I didn't like it as much. If you liked Cloud Atlas you might like this. If you hated Cloud Atlas you might still like this. It's a book that I think will be liked depending on the individual's taste rather than it being a book that the majority of people will like.