HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet: A…
Loading...

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet: A Novel (original 2010; edition 2010)

by David Mitchell

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,2782601,155 (4.07)3 / 649
Member:hemlokgang
Title:The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet: A Novel
Authors:David Mitchell
Info:Random House (2010), Hardcover, 496 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:TBR, England

Work details

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet: A Novel by David Mitchell (2010)

  1. 120
    Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh (booklove2)
    booklove2: Very similar in writing style and general events.
  2. 61
    An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears (bellisc)
    bellisc: also set at a crossroads of science and faith, though wholly in Europe, similar in writing style and themes
  3. 51
    Cloud Atlas: A Novel by David Mitchell (pgmcc)
    pgmcc: Really enjoyable set of related stories with the author's well deomonstrated skill
  4. 31
    Embassytown by China Miéville (ansate)
  5. 10
    Max Havelaar: Or the Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trading Company by Multatuli (pgraat)
    pgraat: Both books have a main character who fights against injustice, and are set in the Dutch colonial past.
  6. 21
    The Coral Thief by Rebecca Stott (clif_hiker)
  7. 43
    Shogun: A Novel of Japan by James Clavell (CGlanovsky, PghDragonMan)
    CGlanovsky: A westerner in Japan.
    PghDragonMan: The best, and worst, of feudal Japan through the eyes of a foreigner.
  8. 00
    Mason & Dixon: A Novel by Thomas Pynchon (zottel)
    zottel: Very similar feeling, perfect story-telling in well-researched historical fiction.
  9. 00
    Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay (rstaedter)
    rstaedter: Though not a story of eastern and western cultures, nonetheless a dense description of a foreign culture in the past.
  10. 12
    Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson (psybre)
  11. 47
    Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (kidzdoc)
    kidzdoc: This is another excellent British historical novel.
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (256)  Dutch (8)  German (2)  French (1)  Czech (1)  All (268)
Showing 1-5 of 256 (next | show all)
You have to love the writing in this expansive novel set from 1799 through the early 1800s.

"Winter woods are creaking, knitted and knotted. Dead leaves lie in deep drifts. Needle-tips of birdsong stitch and thread the thicket's many layers. Shuzai and Uzaemon climb in silence. Here the Mekura River is a bellowing, roiling, echoing thing. The granite sky entombs the valley."

The book is a masterpiece of research and wordsmithing. The main stories take place 1) on Dejima, a man-made island off Nagasaki, Japan, created for the purpose of trade with the Dutch and to keep foreigners away from the mainland; 2) The House of Sisters, Mount Shiranui Shrine in Koyoga Domain; 3) Shirando Academy and other sites in Nagasak; 4) aboard the HMS Phoebus, a British ship.

"The Yellow Sea has changed color from this morning's robin's-egg blue to ordure gray, with a sky of scabby pewter."

Jacob de Zoet, a Dutch accounting clerk, arrives on Dejima aboard a Dutch trade ship and is fated to spend the next few years living on Dejima. He is soon smitten with a young Japanese woman, also a scholar and midwife. She is betrothed to another. The death of her father twists her fortune helplessly. Corruption rules everywhere. Jacob learns a horrible truth and sets out to rescue the young woman.

Some of what might have happened in and around Dejima is the basis for Mitchell's novel. Those who like literary books will be transported to another place in history and culture. Is it more ruthless than today? You judge. Fascinating details. ( )
  Rascalstar | Jan 21, 2017 |
I enjoyed the historical detail in the book, and the jaunty cast of characters where amusing and horrifying in equal measure.

I found the romance angle a little hard to comprehend and believe in.

I loved the structure of the book and the surprising and unconventional plot twists that the author bravely took. I liked it more than Black Swan Green and it was easier to follow than the DM's earlier works. ( )
  NicolaCT | Jan 2, 2017 |
Wow. I loved this book. It started slowly and I was a little worried, since I wasn't crazy about Mitchell's previous book, Black Swan Green. But about halfway through the first section, I was completely hooked and I could hardly stand to put the book down last night. (It didn't help that I stopped reading at the end of the second section, which ends on an ominous note.)

I must admit that I read the third (and final) section very quickly this morning, not so much because I was eager to have the book done with as because I was very very concerned about a particular character who did not reappear for pages and pages.

This book isn't what I expected--after the slight Black Swan Green, I thought that Mitchell would give us another experiment with voice and form, more like Cloud Atlas or number9dream. This book is a yarn. It's a yarn with a theme, though. In some ways I think that the story is so compelling that it becomes easy to miss what Mitchell is saying about tribalism and ethnicity and religion. ( )
  gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
This is a perfectly crafted and meticulously researched novel. I enjoyed reading every page of it, and where it could have slipped into a predictable, crowd-pleasing resolution, it stayed true to the dissonance of real life, which ultimately was more satisfying and more respectable. I especially like the author's treatise on the Historical Fiction genre at the end of the book. I sometimes feel guilty for enjoying this genre, because so much of it is book-club-fodder hackery, but David Mitchell's reveals how brilliant a good historical novel can be. ( )
  trwm | Oct 6, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 256 (next | show all)
There are no easy answers or facile connections in “The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet.” In fact, it’s not an easy book, period. Its pacing can be challenging, and its idiosyncrasies are many. But it offers innumerable rewards for the patient reader and confirms Mitchell as one of the more fascinating and fearless­writers alive.
added by LiteraryFiction | edithttp://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/04/books/review/Eggers-t.html?ref=bookreviews, Dave Eggers (Jul 1, 2010)
 
Another Booker Prize nomination is likely to greet this ambitious and fascinating fifth novel—a full-dress historical, and then some—from the prodigally gifted British author
added by sturlington | editKirkus Reviews (May 1, 2010)
 
For his many and enthusiastic admirers — critics, prize juries, readers — the fecundity of Mitchell’s imagination marks him as one of the most exciting literary writers of our age. Indeed, in 2007, he was the lone novelist on Time’ s annual list of the world’s 100 most influential people. Through five novels, most impressively with his 2004 novel, Cloud Atlas, Mitchell has demonstrated flat-out ambition with respect to testing — sometimes past their breaking points — the conventions of storytelling structure, perspective, voice, language and range. The result, according to Mitchell’s rare detractors, is an oeuvre marked by imaginative wizardry and stylistic showmanship put on offer for their own sake. For most everyone else, however, Mitchell’s writing is notable because its wizardry and showmanship are in the service of compulsively readable stories and, at its best moments, are his means of revealing, in strange places and stranger still ways, nothing less than the universals of human experience.
 
Though direct in its storytelling, Jacob de Zoet marks a return to full amplitude. That means occasionally over-long scenes and one or two rambling monologues. But it also guarantees fiction of exceptional intelligence, richness and vitality.
 
With “The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet,” David Mitchell has traded in the experimental, puzzlelike pyrotechnics of “Ghostwritten” and “Number9Dream” for a fairly straight-ahead story line and a historical setting.

He’s meticulously reconstructed the lost world of Edo-era Japan, and in doing so he’s created his most conventional but most emotionally engaging novel yet: it’s as if an acrobatic but show-offy performance artist, adept at mimicry, ventriloquism and cerebral literary gymnastics, had decided to do an old-fashioned play and, in the process, proved his chops as an actor.
 

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Mitchellprimary authorall editionscalculated
Aris, JonathanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilcox, PaulaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
For K, H & N with love
First words
'Miss Kawasemi?' Orito kneels on a stale and sticky futon. 'Can you hear me?'
Quotations
‘If only,’ Shiroyama dreams, ‘human beings were not masks behind masks behind masks. If only this world was a clean board of lines and intersections. If only time was a sequence of considered moves and not a chaos of slippages and blunders.”
Creation never ceased on the sixth evening, it occurs to the young man. Creation unfolds around us, despite us and through us at the speed of days and nights. And we call it love.
“The soul is a verb." He impales a lit candle on a spike. "Not a noun.”
For white men, to live is to own, or to try to own more, or to die trying to own more. Their appetites are astonishing! They own wardrobes, slaves, carriages, houses, warehouses, and ships. They own ports, cities, plantations, valleys, mountains, chains of islands. They own this world, its jungles, its skies, and its seas. Yet they complain that Dejima is a prison. They complain they are not free.
Killing depends on circumstances, as you'd expect, whether it's a cold, planned murder, or a hot death in a fight, or inspired by honor or a more shameful motive. However many times you kill, though, it's the first that matters. It's a man's first blood that banishes him from the world of the ordinary.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
The year is 1799, the place Dejima in Nagasaki Harbor, the “high-walled, fan-shaped artificial island” that is the Japanese Empire’s single port and sole window onto the world, designed to keep the West at bay; the farthest outpost of the war-ravaged Dutch East Indies Company; and a de facto prison for the dozen foreigners permitted to live and work there. To this place of devious merchants, deceitful interpreters, costly courtesans, earthquakes, and typhoons comes Jacob de Zoet, a devout and resourceful young clerk who has five years in the East to earn a fortune of sufficient size to win the hand of his wealthy fiancée back in Holland.

But Jacob’s original intentions are eclipsed after a chance encounter with Orito Aibagawa, the disfigured daughter of a samurai doctor and midwife to the city’s powerful magistrate. The borders between propriety, profit, and pleasure blur until Jacob finds his vision clouded, one rash promise made and then fatefully broken. The consequences will extend beyond Jacob’s worst imaginings. As one cynical colleague asks, “Who ain’t a gambler in the glorious Orient, with his very life?”

A magnificent mix of luminous writing, prodigious research, and heedless imagination, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is the most impressive achievement of its eminent author.
Haiku summary
Sorry, we don't trade
With foreigners. Oh, you're Dutch?
Of course, that's different!
(passion4reading)

No descriptions found.

(see all 2 descriptions)

1799, Dejima in Nagasaki Harbor. Jacob de Zoet, a devout and resourceful young clerk, has a chance encounter with Orito Aibagawa, the disfigured daughter of a samurai doctor and midwife to the city's powerful magistrate. The borders between propriety, profit, and pleasure blur until Jacob finds his vision clouded, one rash promise made and then fatefully broken--the consequences of which will extend beyond Jacob's worst imaginings.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
845 wanted5 pay12 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.07)
0.5 1
1 15
1.5 2
2 50
2.5 18
3 152
3.5 94
4 448
4.5 170
5 395

Audible.com

5 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alumn

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet by David Mitchell was made available through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. Sign up to possibly get pre-publication copies of books.

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 112,438,778 books! | Top bar: Always visible