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Ghostwritten
By David Mitchell

I went well into my 40s under the delusion that I was still a "young" writer. The publication of this book ten years ago made me acknowledge both my decrepitude and the emergence of a brilliant younger generation. Arguably Mitchell has since gone on to even greater heights, but as unignorable announcements of arrival go, this multistory novel stands comparison with the first Dylan album or Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs. The ten discrete, compulsively engaging episodes—with settings such as Okinawa, post-Communist Russia, an Irish fishing village, or a late-night U.S. call-in show—are linked by the presence of a mysterious force-cum-creature reminiscent of the metal object in 2001: A Space Odyssey. The imaginative energy on display is humbling.

Ishiguro's next pick: South of the Border, West of the Sun

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