Chapter 58: Author David Mitchell on designing dizzily dazzling dreams

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By Neil Pasricha and Neil Pasricha: Bestselling Author. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

3 Books is a completely insane and totally epic 15-year-long quest to uncover the 1000 most formative books in the world. Each chapter is hosted live and in-person at the guest's preferred location by Neil Pasricha, New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Awesome, The Happiness Equation, Two-Minute Mornings, etc. Each chapter of 3 Books uncovers and discusses the three most formative books from one of the world's most inspiring people. Sample guests include: Judy Blume, David Sedaris, Chris Anderson of TED, the founder of the world's largest feminist magazine, the world's greatest Uber driver, Pete Holmes, Angie Thomas, and Malcolm Gladwell. Each of the 333 chapters is dropped on the exact minute of every single new moon and full moon until September 1, 2031. 3 Books is an Apple "Best Of" award-winning show and 100% ad-free, commercial-free, sponsor-free, and interruption-free. For more info check out: https://www.3books.co/

Chapter Description:

“Never touch your idols: the gilding will stick to your fingers” Gustave Flaubert

I heard David Mitchell mention this quote while I was deep in the rabbit hole preparing to speak to him. It gave me pause. Was there any way he could possibly live up to the pedestal in the clouds I’d long placed him on?

My love affair with David Mitchell began years ago when I became completely transfixed by Cloud Atlas. I then began devouring his other books like a starving man — Ghost Written, number9dream, Black Swan Green, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, The Bone Clocks, and his brand new masterpiece Utopia Avenue.

Every book broke new genre territory while consistently offering vividly realistic characters, leaping plotlines, and hints towards a larger scale multiverse tying everything together. It’s no wonder five of his books have been long- or short-listed for the Booker Prize.

And it’s not just me or the Booker committee, either. The Boston Globe calls David Mitchell, “one of the most electric writers alive”, Esquire calls him, “a genre leaping, mind bending, world-traveling, puzzle-making, literary magician”, and the New York Times Book Review declared him “a genius who writes as though at the helm of a perpetual dream machine.” TIME even declared him one of the world’s “100 Most Influential People”.

I was indeed worried, but after spending two and a half hours talking to David (in what I think may be the longest feature-length interview with him anywhere and his first podcast interview in years) I am pleased to say no specks of gold came off in my fingers. If anything, his grace, humility, and wit only elevated the pedestal higher into the cosmos.

Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, prepare to go deep into one of the world’s deepest minds in the world. Get ready for a ramble across Middle Earth, Russia, Ireland, and Japan as we discuss things like:

  • How can art be an anti-snobbery force?

  • How books can stop minds from scratching themselves raw?

  • How writers build trust with their readers?

  • How we can we harvest imagination?

  • What is it like raising a child who is non-verbal?

  • What is the power and meaning of the metaphysical?

  • How should writing be judged?

  • Which fantasy author trumps Tolkien and why?

These are just some of the topics we touch on with loving father, master craftsman, mentor to many, and endlessly erudite bibliophile David Mitchell.

Let’s go!

What You'll Learn:

  • Why shouldn’t genre matter in writing?

  • Why doesn’t snobbery belong in the world of books?

  • How do books change after they’re read?

  • How does the metaphor of a TV box set apply to books?

  • How do writers build trust with their readers?

  • How do we harvest imagination?

  • What’s the relationship between health care policy and good writing?

  • Who are The Russians and how does one properly wade into them?

  • Why are we all storytellers?

  • What are some myths surrounding autism?

  • How do you become a better writer?

  • And, of course, what are David Mitchell’s three most formative books?

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: https://www.3books.co/chapters/58

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