The whole concept behind the book is that it’s told from the perspective of nine different characters. This seems to be David Mitchell’s thing. But the idea is interesting. We have novels and we have short stories. Ghostwritten is a book of short stories that follow a central plot. They all interweave in little subtle details – some of them seemingly purely for nostalgia or to make the author feel smarter than everybody. But despite occasional superiority-complexes, it’s written well and the narrative style feels… new.
I’m sure it’s been done before. Everything has. But it’s not what you’d call mainstream (In the sense that I hadn’t heard of this method until I read this book. This is the definition of alternative.)
But… I don’t even know. The whole short-story-novel idea to me seems like an opportunity to keep up the variety of a short story collection, yet continue to carry the one centralised message. The fact that the story is told from all these different perspectives – and not in the hackneyed, seven different views of the same crime scene sorta junk, the story has its own flow – allows the book to span genre and evade bias. Maybe not even in this book. I’m just running on a concept now. It just seems like the middle point. An interesting mediator.
The is the age of post-modernism people! The boundaries of genre are coming crashing down. Vive le revolution!