Friday, September 21, 2018
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet by David Mitchell
I'm alive! My procedure went pretty well, or so I am told. Not too comfortable, I would add, and if any of you had left notes of concern, I would have thanked you. Anyway, Jackson says that my reviews are too negative, so I decided to write about this book, which is one of my favorites of all time. I re-read it in the hospital to celebrate the fact that they didn't permanently damage my eyesight, even though the doctor looked like he got out of medical school yesterday. He could have been Doogie Howser's younger brother from the looks of him. Without the charisma.
Anyway, this book is wonderful, despite the somewhat esoteric title. In fact, I almost didn't read it because it sounded boring. Maybe a better title would have been, "A Dutch guy goes to Japan and you will not BELIEVE the crazy shit that happens!" OK, so I'm not great at writing titles either. But the point is, it sat on my bedside table for a year getting passed by for books that completely sucked. It didn't help that no one seemed to know how to pronounce the guy's name either. I mean, I'm sure there are Dutch names that people can actually say - like Jansen or Hiddink maybe. Poor planning for such a great writer, I think. How about, "The Thousand Incredible Japanese Adventures of Jacob von Hiddink?" Damn, I am terrible at this. OK, Mr. Mitchell - I withdraw my criticism.
Back to the point though - this is an amazing, moving, compelling book - just what I needed to deal with a week's worth of hospital food. Luckily, most of it had literally no taste, so I can't say it tasted bad, but probably the best thing I had was the prepackaged frosted flakes, so that gives you an idea. And if I talk about the pickle that came with my sandwich on Tuesday, I might cry. Next time I have to go in, I'm going to have to smuggle in a mini-fridge or something, because god knows neither my son nor my daughter was willing to bring me a pastrami sandwich. Jesus.