...never judge a book by its movie

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays - January 31, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along; you don't have to be a blogger! Just do the following:

Grab your current read

Open to a random page

Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser this week is from another of my personal books (trying to get my TBR bookshelf down so I can buy more books!)

My teaser this week: 

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell

"Could you tell," Asagao asks Sadaie, "I'ai's phather phon his phoice?"
"That's it," says Yayoi.  "Your dream was a clue about I'ai's father."
Even Kagero shows interest in the theory:  "Which monks were your engifters?"

- page 197, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell (The Book Depository / Amazon)

Goodreads description:

In 2007, Time magazine named him one of the most influential novelists in the world. He has twice been short-listed for the Man Booker Prize. The New York Times Book Review called him simply “a genius.” Now David Mitchell lends fresh credence to The Guardian’s claim that “each of his books seems entirely different from that which preceded it.” The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is a stunning departure for this brilliant, restless, and wildly ambitious author, a giant leap forward by even his own high standards. A bold and epic novel of a rarely visited point in history, it is a work as exquisitely rendered as it is irresistibly readable.

The year is 1799, the place Dejima in Nagasaki Harbor, the “high-walled, fan-shaped artificial island” that is the Japanese Empire’s single port and sole window onto the world, designed to keep the West at bay; the farthest outpost of the war-ravaged Dutch East Indies Company; and a de facto prison for the dozen foreigners permitted to live and work there. To this place of devious merchants, deceitful interpreters, costly courtesans, earthquakes, and typhoons comes Jacob de Zoet, a devout and resourceful young clerk who has five years in the East to earn a fortune of sufficient size to win the hand of his wealthy fiancĂ©e back in Holland.

But Jacob’s original intentions are eclipsed after a chance encounter with Orito Aibagawa, the disfigured daughter of a samurai doctor and midwife to the city’s powerful magistrate. The borders between propriety, profit, and pleasure blur until Jacob finds his vision clouded, one rash promise made and then fatefully broken. The consequences will extend beyond Jacob’s worst imaginings.  As one cynical colleague asks, “Who ain’t a gambler in the glorious Orient, with his very life?”

A magnificent mix of luminous writing, prodigious research, and heedless imagination, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is the most impressive achievement of its eminent author.

If you read this one, make sure that you keep reading after the initial pages.  When I first started reading it, I was confuzzled by all of the characters and the setting, and the different things that were happening.  It was as though I were simply dumped into the midst of the coast of Japan in the late 1700's, with a bunch of sailors and "company" men with no clue what was what and who was who and why.  Keep reading, though, it all sorts itself out, and it's REALLY a good read (at least so far-I'm about 60% done).

Feel free to leave your teaser or link to it in the comments section; I find that I always end up adding to my to-buy list when I visit!



  1. Have heard a lot about this one. Glad you are enjoying it! My post: Chasing Fire

  2. The teaser was a little bit strange -- I had to read it several times! But thank you for posting the synopsis too. Mitchell sounds like an accomplished writer, and this book is one I would probably enjoy reading.
    My teaser is a lot less serious: Sandy's Teaser

  3. I'm not sure how to take this one. What are engifters?

    Interesting teaser. Please check out my teaser.


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