Book: Cloud Atlas

First, may I begin by apologizing for my long absence. I was in between jobs and didn’t really have the time to read or watch much (anime that is). Instead I was introduced to the Tom Hiddleston fandom and was slightly distracted for a long period of time. I’ve gotten over him and from the short time in the fandom I have found two great series – The Hollow Crown and Wallander. So I guess everything has worked out somehow or another. I’m starting in a new job, in a new place that I think I will find very rewarding and challenging. It’s all very exciting! But more about that later, let’s talk about books!

Cloud Atlas

Souls cross ages like clouds across skies, an’ tho’ a cloud’s shape nor hue nor size don’t stay the same it’s still a cloud an’ so is a soul. Who can say where the cloud’s blowed from or who the soul’ll be ‘morrow? Only Sonmi the east an’ west an’ the compass an’ the atlas, yay, only the atlas o’ clouds.

I actually watched the movie for this before reading the book, so I came in with some expectation and knowledge of the general plot. Still, the book is VERY different from the movie and I absolutely love how the book is structured. It’s just so well put together. The six stories contained in the book are split into half except for the last one. We are then introduced to half of the stories in the beginning and in the reverse order the stories are completed. Through each story we realize the main character is reading the exact same excerpt that we read previously and as each story comes to its conclusion, the link to the next story is just presented as a natural continuation. It’s ingenious and magical and beautiful and words cannot describe how amazing I think it is.

in the 1st set each solo is interrupted by its successor: in the 2nd, each interruption is recontinued, in order.

The stories themselves are so varied, traversing different time periods and cultures, with such different use of language and forms. One could be a diary, another an interview, a detective story, a comedy, it’s almost like reading six books in one, but there is an unifying theme in the comet shaped birthmark. I think the theme came out much clearer in the movie, but the book made each story so much more interesting, intriguing and enjoyable.

Cloud Atlas has something for everyone. It’s well written, well thought out, the characters are engaging and one really takes a shine to them. I loved every moment reading it, and my favourite story was ‘an orison of Sonmi ~451’. That said there were many hilarious moments in ‘the ghastly ordeal of Timothy Cavendish’.

‘Oh, once you’ve been initiated into the Elderly, the world doesn’t want you back.’ Veronica settled herself in a rattan chair and adjusted her hat just so. ‘We – by whom I mean anyone over sixty – commit two offences just by existing. One is Lack of Velocity. We drive too slowly, walk too slowly, talk too slowly. The world will do business with dictators, perverts and drugs barons of all stripes, but being slowed down, it cannot abide. Our second offence is being Everyman’s memento mori. The world can only get comfy in shiny-eyed denial if we are out of sight.’

One other passage I really enjoyed was that beautiful love letter that Robert Frobisher wrote. Now if only someone would write like that of me.

So yes, absolutely enjoyed Cloud Atlas. Highly, highly recommend it. Might even be a book I would re-read in the future, but first I need to go and buy myself a copy.

Cloud Atlas 2

This version especially, looks stunning!

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