17 journalers for this copy...
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
A quote I have to record here
"Mother used to say escape is never further than the nearest book. Well Mumsy, no, not really. Your beloved large print sagas of rags, riches and heartbreak were no camouflage against the misteries trained on you by the tennis ball launchers of life, were they? But yes, there again, you have a point. Books do not offer real escape but they can stop a mind scratching itself raw"
oh, yes, that is how I feel, perfectly put. I was a bit too stressed when reading this to catch everything I wanted to catch there, but it stopped my mind scratching itself raw, and gave me food for thought and considering and puttings things in their historical and social perspective.
Many thanks booklemur! Book is all ready for a bookray if you want to start one.
A warning, this bookray is very international, and I am taking new members anytime, so I really can not control if a member is going to have to ship internationally or not, it all depends if somebody in the same country asks to join after that member or not. A new member might have to ship this book internationally, this is a small ( if somewhat thick) paperback and the cheapest shipping is absolutely totally fine as a shipping method.
Please try to not keep this book for longer than 6 weeks, if when contacted you are swamped with other bookrays please give it a pass and ask me to include you later on!
Bookray order is
- Fellraven, UK
- Robert-walker, UK
- d-o-m, UK
- Kylara70, UK
- Koalabare, UK
- dodau, UK
- Hero, Ireland
- Powerhouse, Netherlands
- Biba89, Netherlands
- Katayoun, Iran
- Tantan, Australia
- Xana, Belgium
- sqdancer, Canada
- eriko1908, USA
- AnnaLibrarian, USA
- Zugenia, USA
- Eucalia, USA
Book shipped out to Fellraven November 11th.
I suggest it would also be fair to describe "Cloud Atlas" as an extended and complex parable which opens in the colonial era when corporatism was born and proceeds via a society in which corporation and state have become as one (essentially McDonalds under North Korean management) to a distant future in which the ultimate outcome of corporate greed and the intellectual laziness and complacency of consumers has destroyed the planet and led to the complete collapse of civilisation, and then meanders all the way back again. In short, it is a warning to us, now, today, about the actions and attitudes which afflict us and the future we are creating. It is, perhaps, best to leave on a prescient comment by Adam Ewing on the second to last page:
"Tortuous advances won over generations can be lost by a single stroke of a myopic president's pen or a vainglorious general's sword."
I don't imagine it's coincidence that the name given to the Devil, the Tempter, the Adversary, in Mitchell's post-Apocalyptic remnants of human society is "Old Georgie".
A final comment at this stage - I have agreed with the next reader, Robert-Walker, to hold on to the book until the New Year in order to avoid any extra risk of its being lost in the Christmas post. Robert assures me he has other bookrings and rays to read ahead of this anyway so it seems the wisest thing to do. I will journal again when the book has been posted.
This may be a collection of six different naratives, but yet each intrinsic to the whole.
Has as been mentioned before, i again would like to read this book, but read it in chronological order, 1-1, 2-2 etc so i can enhance my overall view of the book. And so i'm left wondering if this a plus or a minus in David Mitchell's writing skills. Is it a minus that i should feel as though i have to go back and read the book again at some point? or is it a plus that i want to read the book again but from another angle?..i don't know.
After all said and done, it is a real good read.
The book i read before this, and i did not plan it this way, was called 'The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power' by Joel Bakan, which tells of the 'corporations' begining in colonial times with the slave ships, to the power hungry, money hungry, trample over people whatever the cost corporation that we see today.
Could Cloud Atlas be somewhat apocryphal?
I have another ray book to read and then I will start this one.
Friday 4 March. Finally starting this book. Hopefully it will go smoothly.
I will get through it in ther next couple of weeks and have it on it's way on the 1st of May.
I'm half way through another bookray atm - this will be next up after that.
17/7/05 - Another 2 chapters to go and I've PM'd the next person for their address. Will journal properly when done.
A clever, thought-provoking book that is ingeneously put together. I think earlier journallers have said most of what I was thinking - I would certainly want to get my own copy and re-read this in the future.
I agree with d-o-m about the Letters from Zedelghem - this was one of my favourite passages and nope, how they fitted in to the rest was beyond me, too! My favourite parts of all were the Sonmi chapters - horrific yet in some ways wholly believable, and echoed (foretold?) in the last Ewing section where the Polynesians were taught to smoke tobacco.
Thanks again to BlossomU for organising this and giving me the chance to read this book - I'm very glad I did!
I have dodau's address and will be sending it on in the next couple of days.
20/7/05 - Posted to dodau
Hero has asked to be skipped so pming Powerhouse.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
A few quotes:
- from the dinner table, with Luisa and the indistinguishable Henderson triplets: "I'd establish our country's rightful - corporate - empire. Because if we don't do it, the Japs'll steal the march. The corporation is the future. We need to let the business run the country and establish a true meritocracy. Not choked by welfare, unions, "affirmative action" for amputated transvestite colored homeless arachnophobes... A meritocracy of acumen. A culture that is not ashamed to acknowledge that wealth attracts power, and that the wealthmakers, *us*, are rewarded. When a man aspires to power, I ask one simple question: does he think like a businessman?"
Luisa rolls her napkin into a compact ball. "I ask three simple questions. How did he get that power? How is he using it? And how can it be taken off the sonofabitch?"
(and this after being showed, in earlier stories, what that can come to look like. Nice.)
Robert Frobisher and Morty Dhondt are talking politics, specifically war. "Our will to power, our science, and those very faculties that elevated us from apes, to savages, to modern man, are the same faculties that'll snuff out Homo Sapiens before this century is out! You'll probably live to see it happen, you fortunate son."
And then there is the discussion about the superiority of the Aryan race. "Why do white races hold dominion over the world, if not by divine grace?"
"Since Agincourt, the white man has refined and evolved the gunpowder sciences until our modern armies may field muskets by the tens of thousands! Aha, you will ask, But why us Aryans? Why not the Unipeds of Ur or the Mandrakes of Mauritius? Beacuse, of all the races, our love, or rather our rapacity, for treasure, gold, spices and dominion, oh, most of all, sweet dominion, is the keenest, the hungriest, the most unscrupulous! This rapacity, yes, powers our Progress, for ends infernal or divine I know not."
Actually, it was a combination of 'guns, germs and steel', geographical coincidences combined with this greed for dominion which gave the Aryan race a step ahead. To be found in another book, by Jared Diamond. See, I delved into this matter as well.
In the end, there is this very clear message. At the risk of giving away spoilers, this is something which cannot be underlined enough.
"If we believe that humanity may transcend tooth and claw, if we believe divers races and creeds can share this world peaceably, if we believe leaders must be just, violence muzzled, power accountable and the riches of this earth and its oceans shared equitably, such a world will come to pass. I am not deceived. It is the hardest of worlds to make real. Tortuous advances won over generations can be lost by a single stroke of a myopic president's pen or a vainglorious general's sword.
A life spent shaping a world I want my son to inherit, not one I fear my son will inherit, this strikes me as a life worth the living. Upon my return, I will pledge myself to the Abolitionist cause, because I owe my life to a self-freed slave and because I must begin somewhere."
So the question is this: what kind of a world do we want our children to live in? And how do we help shaping it that way, day by day? This is the most important question David Mitchell, or indeed anyone, can ask us. We just need to answer.
I will send this book on to Iran, to the next reader on the list.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Cloud Atlas goes in the mail towards Iran. Enjoy!
"...& only as you gasp your dying breath shall you understand, your life amounted to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean! Yet what is any ocean but a multitude of drops?"
This will be heading off to Xana as soon as I have an address.
Edit December 14th, 2005: Posted off to Xana this afternoon via Economy Air.
Thanks tantan! I'm looking forward to this one :)
So far it’s the best of the year, but that’s not saying much after only 5 read. I liked the originality of the plot and I’m sure I would notice many more details on a second reading. Also admired how the author adaptaded his language to the circumstances.
Usually the hints had a previous explanation, but I didn’t get the “Old George”. Anyone care to enlighten me?
Sorry for the delay in getting it into the post. We have be very short-handed at work, and I haven't been able to get to the post office until today.
Sent today via air mail.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Thanks so much for sharing this book with me! I found it to be very interesting the way all the stories came together in the end.
After a long delay I have finally sent this book on to indygo88 who has it on her wishlist with the understanding that when she is done with it she will send it on to someone else. Enjoy!
3/18/07 -- Loaned out to Mom.