‘Ghostwritten’ in brief

January 19, 2013 § Leave a comment

Well, it has been a while. I have been quite busy in this new year. I am 22 years old (soon I will reach an age when calling myself something ‘years young’ becomes ironic). I went to Leeds and then to Bath which were both lovely. I received an offer from the University of York for a Masters. I got a first in my dissertation (hells yeah). And the final semester of my undergraduate degree begins in one week. So, things are rather great!

I recently read David Mitchell’s ‘Ghostwritten’ (not one half of Mitchell & Webb but an actual author – although I am sure David ‘The Comedian’ Mitchell could be a proper author if he wanted). It’s on my Contemporary British Fiction course for my final semester and I thought it was rather mind-boggling wonderful. In fact, I was quite literally full of wonder of it. The whole thing is split into nine narratives that all mingle and blend together, connected rather obliquely. So, we begin in Okinawa where we meet Quasar who is part of a cult, The Fellowship, led by His Serendipity; his faith in this doomsday cult propels him to commit terrorism by planting gas in an underground train. To me, the book hinges on this opening, particularly since its ending establishes a cyclical element, beginning and ending with the line, “Who was blowing on the nape of my neck?” The section Night Train follows the story of a night-time radio show host, Bat, who receives odd calls from the mysterious ‘zookeeper’, a nameless noncorpum (like the voice in the Mongolia section) whom I think must be His Serendipity. These nine stories bring spirituality, mortality, faith, science, superstition together to produce a fizzing mix that represents humanity. It reminds me of ‘Cloud Atlas’, also by Mitchell, although I haven’t read it as yet. However, I went through a period of obsessively watching the trailer of the film that was released in 2012, and its velocity and breadth gave me shivers – as well as the inclusion of the hauntingĀ m83’s ‘Outro’. I like the notion that all humans are linked together by even so much as a thin thread, a passing in the street, one look, one name, one moment. And I liked fitting together the clues, like one big jigsaw or puzzle or a tapestry, the image of which is slowly revealed, stitch by stitch.

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