Author and editor David Ebershoff’s first reaction on reading The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, the stunning novel from two-time Man Booker prize nominee David Mitchell (Black Swan Green, 2006, etc.), was “exhilarated exhaustion because I had read it through the night. My second reaction was—there’s no one like David Mitchell.” In lyrical prose and stunning detail, the novel tells the tale of the eponymous, earnest young Dutchman contracted to 18th-century Japan by the Dutch East India Company and his chance encounter with an extraordinary but disfigured Japanese woman. The rich details and epic scope of the story—which moves effortlessly from Jacob’s poignant letters home to the ominous threat of full-scale international trade wars—draw readers in and, in truth, make it difficult not to read in a single sitting. Indeed, in a starred review, Kirkus said, “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.”
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The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
Random House / July / 9781400065455 / $26.00
This book was featured in the Kirkus Best of 2010