David Mitchell’s second novel is set in Japan, and follows 19-year-old Eiji Miyake as he desperately searches for his father, whom he has never met before. But it isn’t just Eiji’s real-life adventures we are following, but also his explosively imaginative “dreams” or fantasies.
Through this parallel journey we discover that Eiji’s twin sister died when she was eleven, and he has been totally adrift ever since. We know that Eiji’s father is an influential, wealthy man, and that he had an affair with his Eiji’s mother, whom he abandoned when she became pregnant.
In his signature style, Mitchell blends genres and disparate styles to tell an engrossing coming-of-age tale.
“What begins as a fairly straightforward filial quest soon devolves into a kaleidoscopic adventure filled with Japanese mobsters and increasingly baroque futuristic scenarios. What is even more alarming, Eiji does not always maintain a firm grasp on reality,” says a New Yorker review of the book.
A Kirkus review says that Mitchell “...offers fans of Kafka, Pynchon, and DeLillo state-of-the-art dreams of a Tokyo landscape that could have come straight out of a video game. A demented, maddeningly playful, important book.”
Published in 2001.