Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Cloud Atlas

Clearly am only reading Cloud Atlas cos Richard and Judy said to do so. Was reading more of it last night in bed.

I'm struggling with it. Struggling to see the point.

I've got the audio version. I haven't read the cover blurb because I can't read covers - so basically I don't really know what it's about anyway. So far I glean that it is several short stories from past present and future, strung together with some linking factors: birthmarks mainly.

I tell you though, this had better have some kind of decent payoff. I didn't like the book when it flipped into the future but, after reading it for a while, I started to get quite intrigued by the language and the author's view of the futureworld. In Japanese style, he mixes words together to create new concepts. Looking at how our language has changed over the past 20 years, you can imagine that in a couple of hundred years people may easily have condensed and reformed the language in the way the author has written. And it's not heavily signposted either, you have to guess what's going on by the context.

Keen to move on to The Accidental.


jfsouthpaw said...

I looked up Cloud Atlas yesterday and read a review which said pretty much what you have about it.

I looked it up again just now and read another review (more of a rave) from the Washington Post...


It talks about the novel-as-a-puzzle angle and intriguingly,
"sometimes novels filled with big ideas require equally big mechanisms for relaying them, and it's hard to imagine an idea bigger than the one Mitchell is tackling here: how the will to power that compels the strong to subjugate the weak is replayed perpetually in a cycle of eternal recurrence."

Is this one on your booklist for your novel course?

Or alternatively, what am I doing looking up book reviews on my only day off this week?

BloggingMone said...

reviewsofbooks.com is a good site to look up reviews before buying books. It's a collection of reviews from varieous sources and usually is quaite balanced. They also have a section with a summary, comparable to those you can find on the covers. For "Cloud Atlas" go to see:

Lady Bracknell said...

Started it. Couldn't get on with it. Took it back to the library.