Last night I finished The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell. I bought it (on Kindle) despite good reviews in the Times Book Review and The New Yorker because it sounded more interesting than they tediously made it out to be. Set in Japan at the turn of the 19th century, on a foreign-trading island adjacent to mainland Nagasaki, the plot tracks back and forth between the Japanese on Nagasaki and the Dutch traders who live on the sequestered “island,” Dejima. It seems to me (not ever an English major) a picaresque novel in the vein of Pickwick Papers, i.e., a sequence of related stories that recount 20 years of history between the island and the mainland. Anyone else read it?