The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (eBook)


From the author of Cloud Atlas, now a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, and Hugh Grant, and directed by Lana and Andy Wachowski and Tom Tykwer

BONUS: This edition contains a discussion guide for The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet.

The year is 1799, the place Dejima in Nagasaki Harbor, the Japanese Empire’s single port and sole window onto the world, designed to keep the West at bay. To this place of devious merchants, deceitful interpreters, and costly courtesans comes Jacob de Zoet, a devout 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 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.

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About the Author

David Mitchell is the award-winning and bestselling author of The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, Black Swan Green, Cloud Atlas, Number9Dream, and Ghostwritten. Twice shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Mitchell was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time in 2007. With KA Yoshida, Mitchell co-translated from the Japanese the international bestselling memoir The Reason I Jump. He lives in Ireland with his wife and two children.

Praise for The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet…

"If any readers have doubted that David Mitchell is phenomenally talented and capable of vaulting wonders on the page, they have been heretofore silent. Mitchell is almost universally acknowledged as the real deal. His best-known book "Cloud Atlas" is one of those how-the-holy-hell-did-he-do-it? Modern classics that no doubt is -- and should be -- read by any student of contemporary fiction… [The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet] confirms Mitchell as one of the more fascinating and fearless writers alive."

"By any standards, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is a formidable marvel."

"...underscores Mr. Mitchell’s mastery here not only of virtuosic literary fireworks, but also of the quieter arts of empathy and traditional storytelling."
—The New York Times

"Now [Mitchell] startles us again with a rich historical romance set in feudal Japan, an epic of sacrificial love, clashing civilizations and enemies who won't rest until whole family lines have been snuffed out. Yes, the novelist who's been showing us the future of fiction has published a classic, old-fashioned tale. It's not too early to suggest that Mitchell can triumph in any genre he chooses.
-Washington Post

"It’s as difficult to put this novel down as it is to overestimate Mitchell’s virtually unparalleled mastery of dramatic construction, illuminating characterizations and insight into historical conflict and change. Comparisons to Tolstoy are inevitable, and right on the money."
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Mitchell’s rightly been hailed as a virtuoso genius for his genre-bending, fiercely intelligent novels...The Thousand Autumns of Jacob is a dense and satisfying historical with literary brawn and stylistic panache. "—Publisher’s Weekly, starred review & Pick of the Week

"Despite the audacious scope, the focus remains intimate; each fascinating character has the opportunity to share his or her story. Everything is patched together seamlessly and interwoven with clever wordplay and enlightening historical details on feudal Japan. First-rate literary fiction and a rousing good yarn, too."—Booklist, starred review

"Extraordinarily entertaining and well-realised… His writing just gives intense pleasure."–The Guardian
"How on earth does [Mitchell] do it? He can write as thrillingly about large-scale events as he can about the tiny details of the private world. Such fluent and masterful command of both domains seems the stuff of a true artist's gifts, not the laborious work of craft and toil. Not the least astonishing facet of Mitchell's art is the supple effortlessness he brings to creating worlds entire: worlds so credible and fully formed that one is compelled to allow to pass through one's mind the absurd thought he was, perhaps, an inhabitant of Japan in 1799. What Adam Thirlwell has provocatively said about Tolstoy as a miniaturist applies equally to Mitchell...This novel is a thriller with a glittering seam of a love story running through it (or is it the other way round?). . . it is a sumptuous historical novel on the collision of cultures . . . The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is vertiginously ambitious – and brilliant."
The Times, London
"This is probably Mitchell’s most accessible book. It runs to almost 500 pages, yet almost every sentence shimmers with precise, opaque and brilliantly realised writing. . . An historical saga on a deliberately grand scale, it never loses its quiet intimacy and is a brilliantly realised account of two worlds."—The Irish Times
"Mitchell has built a reputation as just about the most audacious, thrilling and, above all, entertaining young British novelist there is. He's that genuine rarity, a writer of startling ambition whose work is challenging and unconventional, yet whose storytelling gifts keep you turning the page…. [The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet] may just be Mitchell's most ambitious book yet. . . [he is] the magician of modern fiction."—The Guardian

Product Details ISBN-13: 9780679603580
Published: Random House, 06/29/2010
Language: en