Compared to the books he wrote immediately before and after it, number9dream, David Mitchell's (not that one) second novel is relatively linear. Mostly set in Tokyo and narrated by a single character, Eiji Miyake, it follows Eiji's attempts to track down his mysterious long-lost father. But even though it doesn't have Ghostwritten and Cloud Atlas' changes of setting with every chapter it still features Mitchell's trademark experimenting with narrative styles, as each of the nine sections (one of which is blank) has a different style, from an ultra-futuristic dystopian Tokyo to a yakuza film noir feel; one part has Eiji's narration interspersed with the diaries of a WWII kamikaze pilot, another with extracts from surreal fairytales. As the title suggests the effect is of not knowing what parts of the narration (if any) are real and what are dreams. It's not as satisfying as some of Mitchell's books but I certainly enjoyed this one as well.