Kalliope Muse speaks to me

Emigrée from GR


Ghostwritten - David Mitchell How dare I write yet another review of Ghostwritten, when most of my GR friends have read, loved, and written fantastic reviews on this book already? I have LIKED Kris’s, S.Penkevich’s and Ian Graye’s.So, I will refer my reader to those reviews and here I will only record some loose thoughts.As with any thing that is openly praised by most, I was a bit apprehensive to approach David Mitchell. Satisfaction is the difference between Attainment and Expectations.But I have liked the book even though I had to wait until close to 40% (can you tell I read it in e-format?) to get a sense of whether I was enjoying it or not.I loathe the word “connectivity”. It is a buzz word in my office and a colleague-friend and I always make side jokes whenever it is used. At work it is supposed to mean that we have all our activities well engrained with each other to form a smooth, efficient and international business. In reality it means that very little is defined in how the various processes should be working with each other, and also that responsibilities should remain unassigned. For us this word is a code for BS.So, it is very hard for me to say that it is the connections between the people, the stories, and the literary references (see S.Penkevich’s list of them) that have appealed to me the most in this book. Yes, the odious “connectivity” is what I single out as the best part of this novel. I should add that it was during reading it that a long lost friend managed to contact me. This happened thanks to an unexpected series of connections that took place between London - Paris – New York – Bristol – Delhi - New Haven and Madrid. This made my reading all the more spooky. I felt in my skin Mitchell’s depiction of the way our contemporary lives are affected by transport and telecommunications. His reminding us that we are mistaken in understanding our lives are a single line while forgetting that other points in that line do actually form other single lines that can eventually, decades later, cross our lines again, certainly hit home with me.But the missing star is because I felt that David Mitchell does not differentiate sufficiently the various narrator voices, in spite of what most critics say. Some characters, in particular the HK lawyer and the London ghostwriter rang too close to each other. And although the Petersburg story is one of my favorites, the voice of the narrator seemed too dumb and a bit fake. This book merits a second reading, which should also happen for me soon.

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