I like talking about the things I like (who doesn’t, I guess), so I will be trying to post about my favourite book related things regularly (I will aim for every second friday but I’ll have to wait and see if I can manage that). I will talk about my favourite authors and why they rule, about my favourite genres and why they make me happy, my favourite books and why they stick with me. And so on and so forth. There are so many things I love about books, I am sure I will be able to go on for a while. So without further ado, here’s this week’s thing I love:
I adore the way he crafts his stories: he plays with time and space and convention; he mixes genres and voices and he is undeniably brilliant. I adore the way he writes unpleasant characters and makes me care for them anyway.
One of the reasons I adore him so is how he plays with time lines: my favourite of his books are more connected short stories than “normal” novels; he tells his stories unchronologically but all the more beautifully (I adore this way of telling stories).
I have not yet all of his books but here are the ones of his I have read plus a mini-mini-review for each.
The Bone Clocks:
This was the first of his books I have read and while I didn’t love love it, it was enough to go out of my way to pick up his other books. This book is stronger in the beginning where his brilliant way of creating characters shines; he manages to infuse even the side characters with enough personality to make them real (often with a sentence and a half that paints such a vivid picture). The ending got a bit out there with the war between different factions of immortals but this is still a book I loved.
4 out of 5 stars
His most famous book was the one I fell in love with. After finishing this, with the biggest smile on my face if I might add, I just knew I had to read every single one of his books. I had actually seen the movie before reading this and enjoyed that but this book is just beyond brilliant. It is definitely in my top 10 favourite books of all time and I cannot imagine it ever losing a spot on that. Again, his characters are brilliant, the way this novel is structured is astonishing, the way he plays with language makes me happy and I just loved this.
5 out of 5 stars (obviously)
David Mitchel’s debut novel is already brilliant. Here he first uses the format he perfected for Cloud Atlas and it works absolutely brilliant as well. I think it was with this book that I started to really notice the connections between his books and that added to my love for both this book and for his body of work in general.
5 out of 5 stars
Black Swan Green
This novel is the most conventional of Mitchell’s novels; it is partly autobiographical and shows the struggles of a teenage boy: with his stutter, with finding a place in the world, with his relationship to his family. While it is a good book, for me it does not come close to the genius of the books I read before. But I have seen people name this as their favourite of Mitchell’s novels, so I guess it comes down to genre preference. And I usually prefer genre fiction with literary aspects to coming of age stories.
3 out of 5 stars
This creepy little novella is a companion novel to The Bone Clocks and I adored this. Again, I found parts of the eternal war between immortals overdone but the first three stories in this horror novel were unsettling, beautiful, and memorable. My review for it is here.
4 out of 5 stars
There are two of his books I have not read yet:
This is one of the five potential five star reads I picked last month so I am hoping to get to this soon.
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
This one I have started before but somehow was not in the mood for historical fiction (it is a genre I frequently struggle with but sometimes really really love), even if it is historical fiction written by David Mitchell. I will definitely come back to this at some point, obviously.
Have you read any of David Mitchell’s books? What did you think?