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The 1000 Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

Jan 10, 2013

de zoet 2 300x225 The 1000 Autumns of Jacob de Zoet The 1000 Autumns of Jacob de Zoet Mel Malmberg book reviews Hometown Pasadena book reviews David Mitchell Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell Cloud Atlas author David Mitchell  photoThe 1000 Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
by David Mitchell

David Mitchell took a 180-degree turn from Cloud Atlas to write this straight-ahead historic novel that takes place around 1800 in Nagasaki.

In the harbor lies Japan’s only outpost for foreigners: a virtual prison island for the Dutch traders there. Each culture fears, mistrusts, and exploits the other while a few individuals create understanding and connections. Jacob de Zoet is a naïve, idealistic, scholarly young clerk who falls victim to the intrigues of both the colorful westerners on the island and the at-first-inscrutable Japanese court. His fascination with and sympathy for the Japanese language and Japanese culture lead to predictable and not-so-predictable consequences, but the middle of the book, set in the interior of the country, is anything but predictable.

Though it owes a bit to gothic sensibilities and samurai movies, it’s a chilling, convincing indictment of power and corruption.

the thousand autumns The 1000 Autumns of Jacob de Zoet The 1000 Autumns of Jacob de Zoet Mel Malmberg book reviews Hometown Pasadena book reviews David Mitchell Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell Cloud Atlas author David Mitchell  photo




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