Daneet Steffens
September 29, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT


Current Status
In Season
David Mitchell
Random House
Mystery and Thriller, Fiction

We gave it an A

David Mitchell’s sparkling but harrowing debut, Ghostwritten, gives new meaning to the phrase ”a global village.” In London, a debt-ridden Young Turk rescues an Irish quantum physicist from the path of an oncoming taxi; in Tokyo, a jazz aficionado receives a puzzling phone call; and in Mongolia, a transmigrating force inhabits the head of a traveling Dane who’s smitten with a fellow backpacker, an Australian who met the aforementioned physicist on the Trans-Siberian Express. Though the plot twists sound head-spinning, Mitchell deftly sketches each character to such a compelling extent that you become totally immersed — until the next character takes over. From Ghostwritten‘s opening chapter, which follows the post-attack flight of one of the participants in Tokyo’s sarin-nerve-gas tragedy, to the book’s cyber-climax, which occurs as a perky New York DJ hosts a mysterious repeat caller, Mitchell digs into the corrupt worlds of high finance, art forgery, and nuclear politics. His nine characters and their random but fateful interactions provide a playful, suspenseful foray into our ever-shrinking world. A

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