• Title: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
  • Author: David Mitchell
  • ISBN: 9780340921579
  • Page: 366
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet In Jacob de Zoet disembarks on the tiny island of Dejima the Dutch East India Company s remotest trading post in a Japan otherwise closed to the outside world A junior clerk his task is to unc
    In 1799, Jacob de Zoet disembarks on the tiny island of Dejima, the Dutch East India Company s remotest trading post in a Japan otherwise closed to the outside world A junior clerk, his task is to uncover evidence of the previous Chief Resident s corruption.Cold shouldered by his compatriots, Jacob earns the trust of a local interpreter and, dangerously, becomes intrIn 1799, Jacob de Zoet disembarks on the tiny island of Dejima, the Dutch East India Company s remotest trading post in a Japan otherwise closed to the outside world A junior clerk, his task is to uncover evidence of the previous Chief Resident s corruption.Cold shouldered by his compatriots, Jacob earns the trust of a local interpreter and, dangerously, becomes intrigued by a rare woman a midwife permitted to study on Dejima under the company physician He cannot foresee how disastrously each will be betrayed by someone they trust, nor how intertwined and far reaching the consequences.Duplicity and integrity, love and lust, guilt and faith, cold murder and strange immortality stalk the stage in this enthralling novel, which brings to vivid life the ordinary and extraordinary people caught up in a tectonic shift between East and West.

    One Reply to “The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet”

    1. In this historical novel, an unassuming Dutch bookkeeper named Jacob de Zoet falls in love with a beautiful midwife in 18th-century Japan. When Miss Aiba-gawa is spirited away to a mountain monastery, Jacob finds the heroism in his soul. Here is a bygone secret world full of charm and horror. Mitchell is best known for Cloud Atlas, which was a literary stunt in this correspondent’s opinion. The Thousand Autumns is far better.

    2. I've spent a week reading this very fine novel and a weekend attempting to unpack it, and I have little doubt I'll spend a good few years thinking about it from time to time. If one measure of a novel is its ability to simultaneously inspire and confound engagement, then Mitchell has once again turned it up to 11.Most of the reviews I've been reading have remarked that this is Mitchell's most formally conventional novel (linear, third-person narrative), and that his often scintillating prose has [...]

    3. Remember Dr. Seuss's words, children: "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" In the case of wunderkind writer David Mitchell's THE THOUSAND AUTUMNS OF JACOB DE ZOET, you'll set your time machine dial for 1799 and a makeshift Dutch port called Dejima on the shores of Nagasaki, Japan. But let's take it down another level. You'll start at the port and live with old salts that'll make the Pirates of the Caribbean look like so many Lord Fauntleroys. You'll visit the homes of the secretive Japanese magistrates. [...]

    4. A shooting star lives and dies in an instant.I first read this when it was published in paperback, just because it was by Mitchell. I admired the craft of the writing, but overall, I did not enjoy it as much as I hoped: I’m not a huge fan of historical fiction, and this seemed a very straightforward narrative in comparison with three of his four preceding books.Now in 2014, after reading The Bone Clocks, I discover that is the second in the Marinus trilogy and this was the first. Almost immedi [...]

    5. Since discovering David Mitchell a little over a year ago, I have devoured all five of his novels to date. Yet I still cannot say what it is that keeps me impatiently coming back for more. He is a master of voices. He breathes life into characters quickly and effortlessly. He is not afraid to dive into the unknowable mysteries embedded within us. Time, life, dreams, death. Without the crutches of belief or disbelief, he dances around questions of the soul. His villains are ofttimes as compelling [...]

    6. THE APPRENTICEWEEK 6 - THE SEMI-FINALVoiceover : Lord Sugar is looking for a historical novelist to invest in. He scoured the country for the very best. Twelve were selected to begin the process. After six weeks of hard battling, only three are left.* It's the Apprentice Week Six!(We see a montage of the three remaining contestants, David Mitchell, Hilary Mantel and Sarah Waters frantically typing away on laptops).This week's task : to write a complete historical novel in only seven days. All th [...]

    7. A transient, dubious point of intersection with a secluded, floating world. Two disparate spheres of influence navigating a treacherous turn of the century wherein the actions of either will determine the course of future events. A clash of civilizations where all involved parties are unwilling to cede even something as basic as acknowledgement to the other. Races laboring under the virulent delusion that skin color predetermines superiority or inferiority. Love in the time of prejudice and mutu [...]

    8. Rating: two headachey stars out of fiveThe Publisher Says: In 1799, Jacob de Zoet disembarks on the tiny island of Dejima, the Dutch East India Company’s remotest trading post in a Japan otherwise closed to the outside world. A junior clerk, his task is to uncover evidence of the previous Chief Resident’s corruption.Cold-shouldered by his compatriots, Jacob earns the trust of a local interpreter and, more dangerously, becomes intrigued by a rare woman—a midwife permitted to study on Dejima [...]

    9. David Mitchell and I had not been introduced before. I knew he had written something about clouds and dreams and this looked pretty so I took it home with me.It is a book about Jacob de Zoet, who in 1799 arrives as a clerk on Dejima, an artificial island near Nagasaki and the only point of contact between Japan and the outside world. It is also a book about an English ship and a mountain shrine and secret religious cult. It is a book about Orito, Japanese midwife whose face is half burnt but the [...]

    10. 'The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet' is witty fascinating surprising magnificent!Dejima Island where the action takes place ()Note:This "review" is no more than an opinion. For an excellent and thoroughly comprehensive review, may I suggest that you read Cecily's review: /review/show

    11. Exit Only Through the Sea Gate"The Thousand Autumns" is set in Nagasaki over a period of almost 20 years beginning in 1799. Dutch traders are restricted to an island in the harbour called "Dejima". From the Japanese perspective, its name reflects the fact that it is an "exit island". Dutch ships arrive at and depart from the sea gate, while the Japanese officials and traders access the island through a land gate. The Dutch are not permitted to enter Japan proper under the isolationist Sakoku pol [...]

    12. On Mitchell's WritingMitchell is one of my favourite writers, and I really have to squee about how masterfully he uses words. Here’s an example of his writing in this novel. Mitchell is setting a scene where Jacob is waiting in the antechamber to his new boss’s office. Along the walls of the antechamber are displayed specimens of exotic animals preserved in formaldehyde. As he looks at the specimens, Jacob recalls the events that led him to this place. Now Mitchell could have written it rath [...]

    13. Last month I was visiting the MFA in Boston. After an hour or two of wandering through rooms sporting giant, bombastic 19th century American paintings, I came upon a dim hall with small, colorful prints hanging from the wall, like this one:This was my first taste of Utagawa Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, and I was immediately transfixed. Although the Edo referred to in the Hiroshige prints is a place (a city later to be renamed Tokyo), Edo also refers to the period of Japanese hist [...]

    14. Is there anything David Mitchell can't do? Dazzling is the word for this. Fizzing with life, it appears at first to be a conventional historical novel, but then swoops into speculative fiction that is reminiscent of Margaret Atwood or Kazuo Ishiguro, with human babies being 'farmed' for nefarious reasons, then back to the historical world and a wonderfully exciting naval stand-off, where Our Hero is saved by his red hair. (You'll have to read it to find out). James Wood, a critic who I admire gr [...]

    15. The story of star-crossed lovers on two sides of a divide during a turbulent historical period is the staple of many an historical novel. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, at first glane, is just that: however, the author has entered uncharted waters by venturing into an area which is seldom explored in historical novels, by choosing Japan during her international isolation as the venue and making the clerk of the erstwhile Dutch East India company, the unlikely hero.Jacob de Zoet has joine [...]

    16. Right in the testicles. That's where this book kicked my suspension of disbelief, landing a crunching, foetal-position-inducing blow that was all the more painful for being unexpected.I'm a big fan of David Mitchell's work. I love Cloud Atlas and I've given it as a birthday gift to several friends. Ditto for Ghostwritten, a book I greatly respect for it's blend of narratives and voices, and genres. I enjoyed Numberninedream, and thought Black Swan Green was, well, OK. I dig Mitchell's ability to [...]

    17. 3.5 stars A fascinating historical novel centering around the idea of translation and the suspension between two cultures, two worlds, two loves. I thought it excelled, as Mitchell always does, at witty, realistic dialogue. What it lacked in movement, it made up for in deep character study and a compelling main character. Not my favorite Mitchell, but certainly not my least favorite.

    18. I was happy to see Mitchell try his hand at historical fiction. While he’s always been considered an immensely skilled writer and a superb storyteller, it's his inventive structuring that seems to bring forth the highest praise. Read Cloud Atlas to see if you agree. With this most recent work, as he said in a post-publication interview, he was trying a more straightforward narrative form – one without gewgaws (I think that was the word he used, or maybe it was “jiggery-pokery”). I’m pl [...]

    19. Giving this book three stars doesn't adequately represent its melange of 1-star and 5-star elements. The prose here walks a line between vivid and so purple that it's gushing persimmon juice over your lips no, that's not quite a direct quote. The romance between two of the characters hangs on just a few meetings, one of which is an awful scene where they teach each other the words for "dew" in their respective languages. The entire middle section of the book rests on a fantastical plot element-- [...]

    20. I really enjoyed this book immensely, probably a 4.5 of 5. It's so close to a 5 and someday I may return and decide it is.The story grabbed me from the start and I believe that has to have some connection to Mitchell's skills as a writer and story teller as well as the story itself as tales of the sea and exploration are usually of no interest to me. His picture of the cultures of the time, both Japanese and the transplanted Europeans, captured my interest from the first pages and always had a f [...]

    21. David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas was perhaps my favorite book from last summer. It was an ambitious effort, with multiple genres interwoven, and some really marvelous writing within each segment. It was brilliantly executed, and made me a big fan of Mitchell. Hence I was eager and curious about this novel.The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is nothing like Cloud Atlas. It is simply a wonderfully crafted piece of historical fiction, set in a small trading post of the Dutch East Indies Company on a [...]

    22. One of my favorite books - this was my third or fourth reading of Mitchell's wonderful work that is historical fiction, but also entirely transcendent of the genre.Set in Nagasaki, Japan on the artificial island of Dejima, the plot revolves around the titular Jacob de Zoet, a clerk with the Dutch East India Company, and Orito, the slightly scarred midwife whose beauty and intelligence captivate Jacob (and other characters besides). But the secondary and peripheral characters are all deeply and c [...]

    23. Exquisite.I am fascinated by language, translating and crossing cultures, and this book was very rich in examples of all these. Some of the most fascinating details were discussions between Jacob de Zoet and his interpreters as they worked to find the right word, often in Japanese. The Dutch and the Japanese were well matched – both demonstrating ruthlessness, and secretiveness. The Japanese knew that the Europeans did not arrive simply to trade, but to potentially colonize and own all. They k [...]

    24. David Mitchell's forte is the creation of fully formed worlds with numerous living, breathing characters, all written in beautiful, engaging prose. I didn't think the subject matter of this novel would interest me at all (a trading post? a naval battle? not for me) but I was happy to live in this world with these characters while I was reading it. The plot is intricate but not cumbersome; details have meaning.As in Cloud Atlas, there are recurring phrases and images that echo poetically througho [...]

    25. I enjoyed this one; I definitely preferred it to Cloud Atlas, the only other Mitchell novel I've read. It's certainly more straightforward, structurally speaking; there is no jumping about in the timestream here. The Thousand Autumns of Jacon de Zoet is simply the story of the titular character's time spent in Japan, set at the turn of the 19th Century.Mitchell's writing is engaging. There is romance, scandal, action, adventure, betrayal, conspiracy, corruption, heroism and loss to be had here; [...]

    26. Despite my great love for Cloud Atlas (also by Mitchell), The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet did not quite do it for me. I might even go so far as to say that, at times, it felt like The Thousand Visits to the DMV, if the DMV were staffed by highly literate history professors who accompanied every eye-exam and form signing with an exhaustive digression into various arcane automemorabilia that may or may not be quite interesting, excepting the fact that it's the DMV, a successful attendance of [...]

    27. This is the fourth book of Mitchell's I've read, and from what I know of his books, I'd say they're all vastly different from each other in style, arrangement, content, and tone. But they all have one thing in common--Mitchell's great talent behind them. Some of them also have characters in common which is the main reason why I chose this book to read next. I wanted to visit again with a great character I first read about in The Bone Clocks, then in Slade House. But was I ever surprised to see h [...]

    28. There is an art to consuming a cup of coffee, particularly if it is the first of the day, when your sleep-fuzzed brain and sluggish muscles yearn for the rush of caffeine. Drink it too quickly, you will burn your tongue and throat and negate the pleasure of its rich warmth curling thickly through your blood. Drink it too slowly and it will cool to a flaccid, bitter memory of what coffee could be. Reading David Mitchell's The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is like consuming that first, vital c [...]

    29. 4,5*Είμαστε στην Ιαπωνία του 1799, όπου η χώρα είναι απομονωμένη. Κανείς ξένος δεν μπορεί να μπει και κανείς Ιάπωνας δεν μπορεί να βγει. Αλλά υπάρχει και η Ντετζίμα. Η Ντετζίμα είναι ένα τεχνητό νησί υπό την διοίκηση των Ολλανδών, ενωμένο με το λιμάνι στο Ναγκασάκι. Και οι Ολλανδ [...]

    30. (First: I won this book on a Firstreads offer which is really cool. Thanks to and Random House.)I've been hooked on David Mitchell ever since he began: Who was blowing on the nape of my neck? Who indeed. And since then every book has been an event. What will he do this time?The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is both historical and imagined. It's different of course from his other novels. One comes to expect and await that in Mitchell. But there is a common thread I think, which might help e [...]

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