HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (2010)

by David Mitchell

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Horologists (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,1862951,521 (4.09)3 / 736
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)
Recently added byArina42, sjatkinson60, WXC89, WXC789, wxc777
  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 by David Mitchell (pgmcc)
    pgmcc: Really enjoyable set of related stories with the author's well deomonstrated skill
  4. 53
    Shogun by James Clavell (CGlanovsky, PghDragonMan)
    CGlanovsky: A westerner in Japan.
    PghDragonMan: The best, and worst, of feudal Japan through the eyes of a foreigner.
  5. 31
    Embassytown by China Miéville (ansate)
  6. 21
    The Coral Thief by Rebecca Stott (clif_hiker)
  7. 00
    Mason & Dixon by Thomas Pynchon (zottel)
    zottel: Very similar feeling, perfect story-telling in well-researched historical fiction.
  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. 12
    Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson (psybre)
  10. 12
    Max Havelaar: Or the Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trading Company by Multatuli (petergt)
    petergt: Both books have a main character who fights against injustice, and are set in the Dutch colonial past.
  11. 49
    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 (280)  Dutch (8)  German (2)  French (2)  Czech (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (294)
Showing 1-5 of 280 (next | show all)
A very dense book which was hard to get into, but ultimately worth it. Based on historical trading post in the port of Nagasaki when Japan was closed to foreigners. ( )
  ZachMontana | Mar 2, 2021 |
This is a very different David Mitchell book. I have loved the exuberance of all his earlier, and one later, books that I have read, but this has a different tone. It is dark. The plot is more straightforward. The characters are more "normal". It is so different that I wonder what was happening in the author's life at the time to cause such a different book.
I enjoyed the book, but to a significantly lower level than his other books. This just wasn't as rewarding reading.
On the other hand, I'm already thinking that the plot and characters may stay in my mind longer than for his other books. Maybe I should reconsider my opinion in a few years time??
I've since read other reviews of the book, and find that there are links from this book to The Bone Clocks, and that this book is seen as a prequel to the latter book. While this link makes this book more interesting, I'm not sure it makes it a greater book. The Bone Clocks zings; de Zoet zags. ( )
  mbmackay | Feb 4, 2021 |
Magnificent. I had some misgivings about Mitchell after Cloud Atlas but stripped of structural trickery he's brilliant. ( )
  skolastic | Feb 2, 2021 |
A beautiful, well-put-together book. Mitchell has a way of really putting you into the world he creates. ( )
  dllh | Jan 6, 2021 |
This novel won the 2011 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize regional prize (South Asia and Europe); was long listed for the 2010 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, was one of Time Magazine’s “Best Books of the Year” (#4 Fiction), was a Globe & Mail best book, and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. It was shortlisted for the 2011 Walter Scott Prize. It’s also my brilliant cousin’s (well, one of my brilliant cousins) favourite book so I approached it with some degree of trepidation, fearing that in my ignorance of the finer points of literature, I wouldn’t properly appreciate it.

The amount of research that had to have gone into The Thousand Autumns is phenomenal. Not only did Mitchell have to authentically create the Dutch East Indies trading post of 1799, and also Japan (not limited to the port of Nagasaki) of that time but, as well, the complicated relationships that the Japanese had with any foreigner to their land.

In the Reading Guide at the end of the book, Mitchell posits that historical fiction endures in popularity because “it delivers a stereo narrative: from one speaker comes the treble of the novel’s own plot while the other plays the bass of history’s plot.” Mitchell seems to have done a masterful job of all of these details and the book is fascinating for the window it opens onto the land and the time. It plays the treble and the bass equally well, and blends them into a harmonious whole.

The only complaint I have is the ending that seemed rushed to me – although at nearly 500 pages the story was probably long enough as it stands. ( )
  ParadisePorch | Dec 24, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 280 (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
Mitchell, Davidprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aris, JonathanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Berri, ManuelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilcox, PaulaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Series

Belongs to Publisher Series

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
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
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

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.

No library descriptions found.

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)

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

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.09)
0.5 2
1 15
1.5 2
2 58
2.5 19
3 174
3.5 102
4 528
4.5 188
5 472

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 157,815,557 books! | Top bar: Always visible