David Mitchell's second novel, Number 9 Dream, is quite entertaining. It's rather like a non-cyberpunkish William Gibson or Neal Stephenson roller-coaster ride, but with a higher percentage of apt poetic imagery amongst the brand names and ultraviolent encounters. Mitchell makes a few regrettable acoustic slips: a sonic boom should come before, not after, a jet's noise (p. 212); nine decibels is not at all loud (p. 332). And he uses his favorite semi-exotic word, "judder", a distracting three times (pps. 120, 297, and 369).

But overall Number 9 Dream is fascinating, fun, and worthwhile. Mitchell is a fine author who still needs to apply his gianormous (his term, p. 362 --- did he mean "ginormous"?) talents in a weightier theme-space. Meanwhile, I'm starting to read his third book ...

(page numbers from first US paperback edition; see also GhostWritten (12 Mar 2005), ...)

TopicLiterature - 2005-03-30

(correlates: GhostWritten, CookingTheBooks, SeeingThought, ...)