Friday, June 1, 2007

Finally, my final review for Mr. Mitchell!

Okay, finally.

I'm going to post a little on Ghostwritten since I finished it a week ago and haven't had time to sit down and write about it. What did I want to say about it?

Okay.

The book overall, is a really interesting creative concept. Each section has its own story, its own character, and it's really fun to sit around looking for the pieces of the puzzle, identifying the connectors between each person. That being said, I felt that even though perhaps voices and styles changed somewhat between each section, I could always hear the voice of the author lingering on top of each one. That is to say, I wasn't completely convinced of the individuality of each character. I guess it was more like this - even though the tone shifted from snarky to sentimental, depending on if we were hanging out with a Brit or a spirit, it was just like the same person, trying on different hats. So that, I wasn't too happy about.

However, there were parts that I really liked, as I had mentioned previously. And especially, in the Japan pages, I was reminded heavily of Murakami in its stark tone. The sort of sci-fi aspects were interesting and kept an element of surprise and a suspension of disbelief. The final chapter (or second to final, I guess) with the radio dj was really fun to read, even though it definitely worked in sort of a vaccuum - I always heard the dj voice with no description or setting - I guess fitting considering it was radio.

And the way it tied together - well, I got the overarching thing, but being the literary fiend I am, I was searching for the importance of each individual character and their story in relevance to the explosive culmination at the end (literally). I'm not entirely convinced it runs consistently through every section, which makes me feel a little duped, or like I was reading short stories. I want them to be more heavily related - or if they're not, and the point is the coincidence, for that to be somewhat better done too. Maybe I need to look at it more carefully, but it didn't come together for me well. I left the book a little disatisfied, though I saw the ambition and the intent behind the book.

So I guess my review is this - for a freshman novel, it's ambitious and pretty well-written, and extremely creative. I liked it, but I didn't love it. I didn't think it hung together as well as was intended. That being said, maybe I just didn't read as closely as I should have.

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