Louize's Reviews > Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
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Sep 07, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: buddy-read
Recommended to Louize by: Monique
Read from August 22 to September 06, 2012

A BREATH AWAY

WHAT IS CLOUD ATLAS? According to Wiki, Cloud Atlas is “a pictorial key to the nomenclature of clouds.” And the first to make the nomenclature (list of names) of clouds was the English chemist and meteorologist, Luke Howard.

What compelled me to browse the internet for this bit of information was Zachary’s last narration in Sloosha’s Crossin’ An’ Ev’rythin’ After:
“I watched clouds awobbly from the floor o’ that kayak. Souls cross ages like clouds cross 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’ the west an’ the compass an’ the atlas, yay, only the atlas o’ clouds.”

THE MOVIE IS ALMOST UPON US. So, what did we do? Hunt for copies, and went down into devouring the pages the moment we laid our hands on them. Of course, everybody was curious what the hype all about is.

Patterned alike Italo Calvino’s If On a Winters Night A Traveler, Cloud Atlas has 6 intertwined narrations, segregated into 11 chapters. Divided by the 6th chapter, the narration was brilliantly concluded by means of palindrome effect. Moving through the narrations was like a time leap from one generation to the next, from one genre to another –Historical, Romance, Action-Thriller, Sci-Fi, and Dystopian.

Aside from Mitchell’s great fascination with the number six, which was scattered across the book, the reader will have to hunt for the bits and clues that bridged the whole book into one. It was both fascinating and exciting finding them. And I cannot help putting tabs to every interesting quote I encounter. Some readers even noted important literary allusions of the narratives. But let us not delve into that here.

WHY I GAVE IT FIVE STARS? Oh, it’s not entirely because of what I mentioned above. The stories alone, individually, were not that extraordinary. We’ve read something similar before, no? Some even made a whole series with such style. It was because of this that I gave it the full five stars:


Please do read it carefully. I may be the only one among the buddy readers who consumed 3 different unabridged versions of this book –paperback, e-book, and audiobook. When I listened to the audiobook I thought I may have bought an abridged version, but I did not. Then why are there certain quotes mentioned in audio not printed the same on the paperback. I then checked the e-book version, true enough the quote was not printed the same as either of the previous 2 versions. Perplexing, right? Then, Aldrin posted the above photo. The realization dawned on me. The book is as brilliant as its writer. Every book version is different from the other, but conveyed the same message; just as each main character is different from their predecessor, but shared the same soul.

CLOUD ATLAS IS THE BOOK AND THE PEOPLE INSIDE IT… and maybe it meant us too. Every cloud we see looked different from the other, heck, even their names are different; but they are made up of the same stuff –a multitude of water droplets. Humans of different races, nationality, loyalty, and belief have this in common –that our life is but one dying breath away from another’s birth.

Same thoughts on A Thought On Each Page

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Reading Progress

08/22/2012 "Molars?
Goodness!"
08/27/2012 "Faith, the least exclusive club on Earth, has the craftiest doorman. Every time I’ve stepped through its wide-open doorway, I find myself stepping out on the street again. - Letters from Zedelghem"
08/28/2012
22.0% "“Most cities are nouns, but New York is a verb.’ What might Buenas Yerbas be, I wonder?”

“A string of adjectives and conjunctions?”

“Or an expletive?”

(Manila will settle with the smileys and acronyms – LOL – at the end.)" 1 comment
08/29/2012
40.0% "Soap drip, nike, sony, ascension, zerostarred

Talk about dystopia on designer booths to fashionably trample the future. Stylish ghouls!" 2 comments
08/30/2012
45.0% "'Snow is bruised lilac in half-lite: such pure solace.'

It's curious how Mitchell reserved his most poetic quotes for the soulless fabricant."
08/30/2012
45.0% "'Time is what stops history happening at once; time is the speed at which the past disappears.'

I just needed to add that before moving to the next chapter."
09/01/2012
65.0% "The Sloosha got me slooshin'...

'...that human hunger birthed Civ'lize, but human hunger killed it too.'" 2 comments
09/03/2012
70.0% "'No matter how many of us you kill, you will never kill your successor.'"
09/04/2012
77.0% "'Prison Break' have much to learn from Timbo Cavendish and his gang of senile Scots."
09/06/2012
95.0% "'Cloud Atlas Sextet holds my life, is my life, now I’m a spent firework; but at least I’ve been a firework.'

'Time cannot permeate this sabbatical. We do not stay dead long. Once my Luger lets me go, my birth, next time around, will be upon me in a heartbeat.'"
09/06/2012
100.0% "'In an individual, selfishness uglifies the soul; for the human species, selfishness is extinction.'"

Comments (showing 1-19 of 19) (19 new)

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Monique I thought you were joining Tina, et.al.'s buddy read? :)


Louize Just reading ahead, sobrang bagal ko magbasa e. And I'm reading something else pa. They are all young, they'll catch up with me, hehehe. Besides there's a plan to discuss this with FFP, so dapat prepared.


message 3: by Tricia (new) - added it

Tricia Nauna ka na :))


Louize Yup. Pero mag-aabot pa rin kami, for sure.


Aldrin Woot woot!


Monique Woohooooo! Tumatambling na five stars! :D


Angus Amazing!


Aldrin Monique and Angus: Para tayong Mitchell mafia na nag-aabang ng ratings for his books na five stars dapat... OR ELSE


Louize More like Mitchell zealots chanting affirmations! LOL


message 10: by Monique (last edited Sep 06, 2012 08:21PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Monique Aldrin wrote: "Monique and Angus: Para tayong Mitchell mafia na nag-aabang ng ratings for his books na five stars dapat... OR ELSE"

Or else Morino and his bunch of hooligans will be there to throw bowling balls and.. you know what happens next. Harharhar! :D

Louize: The Mitchell Gang. :))


Angus OMG! Those bowling balls!


message 12: by K.D. (new) - rated it 4 stars

K.D. Absolutely Nice review, Louize. :)


message 13: by Aldrin (last edited Sep 07, 2012 07:45AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Aldrin Magnificent review, Louize! (And not because I somewhat figure in it. Haha.)

And it turns out I'm not the only one who has noticed the textual differences in the book's different editions. I mentioned this to Angus last July. I said to him, Ewing's journal is cut off at different points, Somni's Q&A's wording is markedly different, &c.


Louize Thank you, KD!

Thank you, Aldrin! I did mention it in the thread, but no one seemed to notice. I thought maybe it was just me, or my editions.


Aldrin Louize wrote: "I did mention it in the thread, but no one seemed to notice. I thought maybe it was just me, or my editions."

Oh, I didn't catch that. That was probably before I barged into the thread. Haha.


Angus Humans of different races, nationality, loyalty, and belief have this in common –that our life is but one dying breath away from another’s birth.

-And that is one moral of the story. Great review, as always. :)


Louize Thank you, Angus!


message 18: by Apokripos (new) - added it

Apokripos As Angus had quoted, I love the last sentence of this review.

Way to go, 'Nay Louize! :)


Louize Thank you, anak!


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