8 journalers for this copy...
An amazing book, but will everyone agree?
We now have 7 members :-) Happy Bookring Reading!
Any problems, please PM me.
The list is as follows:
nice-cup-of-tea, Zurich, Switzerland
akg, Didcot, Oxfordshire
phantomcougar, Silsden, Keighley
....then back to me.
Please remember to journal the book BOTH when you have received it (so we all know where it is) and once you have read it (so we all know what you thought of it).
I am really looking forward to hearing your feedback, thanks for participating.
(my favourite quote from book, p.54)
This is an extroadinary book, and I found it a thought-provoking and challenging read. Unusually for me, I found myself having to read carefully, re-read pages and flick back and forwards between chapters. This book is not an easy read, each of the 6 storylines has quite a different style and intially it's difficult to see how the narratives fit together. But stick with it...
Mitchell uses language as a key stylistic device - the language style of each character is an important indicator of who they are, which time they live in and how they see the world. Each character's story leaves you wanting more, wanting to see how their story will be resolved. Without giving too much away, Mitchell opens each story and moves from character to character, then starts 'closing' each story. The structure reminded me of a russian doll, you open each doll to get to the core, unified doll, then you put them all back together. My favourite character /story was that of Robert Frobisher, the young composer, and in fact the title of the book relates to his composition - the "Cloud Atlas Sextet" - thus linking the 6 characters with the six instruments (or voices) of his composition.
A very clever novel, which probably needs to be read several times to get close to all the levels of meaning in it. Two main themes kept recurring - the search for truth in the midst of chaos and uncertainty, and the use and misuse of power. Both relevant to today's world I think!
(hope this helps!)
Sent to AKG 15th March 2005
I'm about half way through another book, but when that is finished this will be next.
This is an intriguing and interesting book. The book is skilfully written in six very different styles, from thriller to sci fi. I found the book very difficult to read for the first two thirds and could easily have given up if it wasn’t for other people saying it was worth persevering. I don’t tend to like books that have a different point of view in each chapter (Jodi Picoult books seem to be the exception) and this book took this to extremes. Each section had a different character often centuries apart and I found it difficult to accept the sudden changes in story; sometimes part way through a sentence. However the second half of the book tied everything together and was ingenious and enjoyable in the different ways it did.
My favourite character was Sonmi ~451 (the fifth character), who is a clone developed to work in a fast food restaurant and having read her section I was much more interested in finishing the book. The book also made me think a lot about the things we do as humans, from slavery to apocalypse. Adam Ewing talks about building a world we want to inherit and how each person’s efforts will add to a large accomplishment. I think this is a great message to take away from the book.
I still don’t know if I enjoyed the book. It was a certainly a struggle, especially for the first part, but I recognise it is an clever and inventive book. I think I will enjoy the book more the second time I read it, but suspect this could be some years in the future.
I generally read in bed at night, and I was finding that I couldn't remember anything that I had read the next day which is not a good sign of a good book. I hated the middle section, which is where I gave up as it just didn't seem to be going anywhere.
I am sorry I didn't like this, and despite forcing myself to read up till pg.270 I did give it my best effort but just couldn't see any point in going any further.
I will pass this on to psychjo next as hellie advised me she has already grabbed a copy of this and has asked to be skipped.
Thanks for sharing Caro1, I wish I had enjoyed it as much as you did. I am glad I tried though!
The first chapter took me about a week to read, just couldn't get into it and wasn't looking to get back to reading it. Then with each chapter things picked up and by the first half of Somni's story and the Zachry chapter I was well into it, then it was all down hill as it were and the second half of each story just flew by.
Difficult to pick a favourite story/character, but guess I enjoyed Adam Ewing's story the least, but the 2nd half did bring a few things together.
I did expect to find out who Old Georgie was that appeared in Zachry's story - maybe I missed it - but maybe that just wasn't one of the bits that linked between chapters. I am sure there are lots of connections that I missed - maybe I'll re-read one day....
Overall I enjoyed this, but am looking forward to something not so challenging to read next.
Will PM phantomcougar and send it on ASAP.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Posting on Saturday to the next reader. :)
Robert Frobisher really does have an unique personality. The kind of eccentric we ought to be trying to get to bookcrossing meetings just hear his outlandish views on the world. "Just a minuet if you please". I'm going to andante to town to cappuccino time away!
Next update soon i promise.
THis book will be sent back or handed back to Caro1 as soon as finished.
Although the stories are set in different times with different cultures, the underlying themes are the same, enslavement, truth will find a way, the cycle of destruction/rebuilding. Globalism/corporatism/power- we can so we will.
David Mitchell paints a picture of almost inevitability about the way human nature is parasitical for its need to overpower, develop and control the lives of other humans and other sentient beings) yet he does so in such a way that comedy is not lost, the ability to laugh when in dire straits.
The characters Timothy Cavendiwsh and Robert Frobischer in particular were very comic.
In reading this book i remembered other books and films that it reminded me of for instance in the future, 'Logan's run' where everybody only lives to 21, everybody is deceived by Nirvana, similar to the way Fabricants are taught to believe in the Golden ship that sails to paradise "Hawaii" after 12 years of service to Papa Song Corp. It also reminded me of Blade Runner where here again, what is it to be human is raised.
I thought it was great that Luisa Frey feels some stange feeling when she boards the Schooner, posssibly conneting her with Adam Ewing in the past and the "Golden ship" in the future, Its if the events in time are only waiting to be discovered.
The lessons from this book as with other exponents of Globalism is that living harmoniously is more difficult but is the preferred way of avoiding an inevitable collapse.
One of my favourite quotes from the book that made me laugh was "sometimes the fluffy bunny of incredulity zooms around the bend so rapidly that the greyhound of language is left, agog in the starting cage" p170 and p 172, "the cold sank its fangs into my exposed neck and frisked me for uninsulated patches"
One can look at the six stories and see that there are different types of enslavement. With Adam, it is his dependency on his friend the Doctor, With Luisa it is the fight against coporate power and who is to be trusted. Sonmi451, born to work as a tedious server for a mighty COporation, Robert Frobischer, forced to work with another musician or slide back into poverty. Zachary lives on an island where enslavement takes place. WE are also enslaved by our thinking is another theme.