HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by…
Loading...

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (original 2010; edition 2011)

by David Mitchell

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,3662651,128 (4.08)3 / 669
Member:Bal
Title:The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
Authors:David Mitchell
Info:Random House Inc. (2011), Perfect Paperback, 502 pages
Collections:Your library (inactive)
Rating:****1/2
Tags:Historical Fiction

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. 71
    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 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
    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.
  9. 00
    The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (Anonymous user)
  10. 00
    Mason & Dixon: A Novel by Thomas Pynchon (zottel)
    zottel: Very similar feeling, perfect story-telling in well-researched historical fiction.
  11. 12
    Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson (psybre)
  12. 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 (259)  Dutch (8)  German (3)  French (1)  Czech (1)  All (272)
Showing 1-5 of 259 (next | show all)
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 fiancee 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?"

My Review
This was a very interesting romantic story of forbidden love with different cultures involved which had a great sense of place. Mitchell is a beautiful writer who has done excellent research and his characters are fascinating. It had a good plot with lots of twists which created lots of suspense. I learned a lot about the early 19th century feudal Japan. I would highly recommend this book to those who read Shogun and enjoyed that one. ( )
  EadieB | May 15, 2017 |
2.25 stars

Jacob de Zoet is a Dutch man working in Japan. He meets and falls in love with a doctor’s daughter (??? I think that’s how they are connected). When the doctor dies, the daughter is sent to live in a nunnery, but there is something very wrong at that nunnery.

Ok, so my summary is only a small part of the book. Too small for my liking because it was the only interesting part of the book for me and the reason the book got an extra .25 stars. If it had been even a bit more of the book, I would have raised the rating slightly higher; if it had been the focus of the book, my rating would have been considerably higher. The rest of the book – no idea what happened. It was boring boring boring. I wasn’t even a little bit interested, so I have no idea what it was really about, except I think Jacob was working for the Dutch East India Company. Which reminds me, it was set, mostly in 1799. ( )
  LibraryCin | Apr 8, 2017 |
David Mitchell is one of Britain's best writers. I read GHOSTWRITTEN and NUMBER9DREAM.... dreamy,shape-shifting books, which I would have difficulty categorizing....CLOUD ATLAS...which was in the running for the National Book Critics Circle Award... and the poignant SWAN GREEN. I will admit that when I heard that THE THOUSAND AUTUMNS OF JACOB DE ZOET was an historical romance set in 18th Century Japan, I was not as eager to read it, but David Mitchell IS one of Britain's best writers and he managed to take this old-fashioned genre and turn it into something fresh and exciting....a masterpiece.
( )
  maryhollis | Feb 20, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 259 (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

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

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alum

David Mitchell's book The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Sign up to get a pre-publication copy in exchange for a review.

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
845 wanted

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.08)
0.5 1
1 16
1.5 2
2 51
2.5 18
3 151
3.5 94
4 457
4.5 170
5 402

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

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 | 116,039,740 books! | Top bar: Always visible