Mark's Reviews > Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
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Nov 10, 12

bookshelves: mary-says-its-okay-to-stop-reading

Slatter-Moon looked at the cover of the holobook he had been reading and sighed. The story was dull, but he felt compelled to finish. He wondered at that, the compulsion. Was it for his own benefit, or the benefit of others who had finished before him? He could not yet say. Slatter-Moon touched the screen. The holobook whizzed to the last page he had read. Moments later Slatter-Moon's plastic lips mumbled, yet no sound came out.

--

I was reading a story about a guy reading a story about a guy named Slatter-Moon, who was reading a story about a guy who was a self-aware fabricant. After a while it began to get tedious. I put the book on my virtual shelf, picked up a tattered paperback with a lurid cover. The story was silly, but it moved quickly. There was something to be said for that.

--

Mark Hardin had a problem. Because he called himself The Penetrator, everyone thought he was gay. But he wasn't gay! He was totally macho and shit. And he liked to carry a gun in his front pocket. A gun with a long barrel so it flashed halfway down his pants leg and made tha ladez think he was hung. So far, it wasn't working. Mark had a hot tip, though. He was going to visit The Blue Oyster bar, tonight. Maybe he could get lucky!

--

Sometimes the things The Penetrator said made me laugh. Sometimes they made me shake my head in shame. There was, in fact, something to be said for a quick read, but there was also something to be said against head-up-your ass machismo. Somehow, the story about a guy reading a story about a guy named Slatter-Moon, who was himself reading a story about a guy who was a fabricant with plastic skin, wasn't looking so bad. I might have to return to it.

--

The battery on the holobook was low. In the upper right corner a tiny white battery flashed. Slatter-Moon would have to recharge it before he could continue.
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Reading Progress

09/16/2012
10.0% "With a nod to Conrad, a wave to Lovecraft, we were off"
09/17/2012
12.0% "Ahh. Rightrightrightright"
09/18/2012
20.0% "Not too bad, eh, what?"
09/19/2012
20.0% "This third chap has potential. Check reference to Lester (Del) Rey"
09/19/2012
20.0% "Chp 3, I love you in your Cheeverness" 21 comments
09/20/2012
30.0% "Holy bajeebers" 1 comment
09/20/2012
30.0% "Timothy Cavendish, HA, HA, HA"
09/21/2012
32.0% "Mr Cavendish, I might be rooting for your demise. // Part of this novel I like, and parts feel like Mitchell is trying too hard, form-wise, to be a Ulysses for the double-naughts." 1 comment
09/25/2012
36.0% "Ha de ha ha ha"
09/28/2012
36.0% "I xpected more than a rehash of Do Androids Dream"
10/02/2012
40.0% "I wish I could quit chu" 12 comments

Comments (showing 1-50 of 101) (101 new)


message 1: by Kasia (new)

Kasia S. What the heck... now you're reading this too? lol. stop copying my mental TBR list


message 2: by Mark (new) - added it

Mark You gots ta flick the switch! The current is too strong, it can't be helped! Men-n-n-n-n-n-n-tal bom-m-m-m-m-bardment


message 3: by Kasia (new)

Kasia S. mental bombardment - sounds like dating lol


Mary What do you think so far?


message 5: by Mark (new) - added it

Mark You'd have to lemme know on that one, Kasiapooh! :D


message 6: by Mark (new) - added it

Mark Mary wrote: "What do you think so far?"

At first, it was hard to get in to. That late 1800s writing style and those two tribes of peoples having almost the same name!!! WTF!?? The two similar names thing bothered me most. After I could finally tell them apart, I began to like it. I won't yet say it's the best thing ever, or even that it has potential to be. But it's a "good" read, so far.

Have you finished the first chap yet? I'm reading an ebook so not sure what page I'm on, compared to the paper version. This one's written in different styles, I saw somewhere. Curious to see what other styles he adopts.


Mary I'm almost done with the second chapter. I didn't care for the first chapter, I was dozing off and re-reading parts because my mind was wandering...I like chap 2 a whole lot better thankfully. Still not understanding the hype yet though?


Jenn(ifer) I'm in agreement with Mark. That first chapter was hard to get into, and I was pissed at Mitchell for using two names that sounded so similar, but then I googled them & found that they were the actual names of the indigenous people of New Zealand. So I couldn't be angry at him anymore.

I just finished the second chapter & it was much better than the first. Not really seeing what all the fuss is about yet, but it's decent enough.


Jenn(ifer) Mary wrote: "I'm almost done with the second chapter. I didn't care for the first chapter, I was dozing off and re-reading parts because my mind was wandering...I like chap 2 a whole lot better thankfully. St..."

Ha, I just basically said the same thing :)>


message 10: by Mary (last edited Sep 17, 2012 12:25PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mary Jenn(ifer) wrote: "That first chapter was hard to get into, and I was pissed at Mitchell for using two names that sounded so similar, but then I googled them & found that they were the actual names of the indigenous people of New Zealand. So I couldn't be angry at him anymore. "

Since I hail from that general part of the globe, I already knew that *feels superior* (but it sure didn't make for enthralling reading!)


message 11: by Mark (new) - added it

Mark I do believe, what we have here, peoples, is one of them there things called a consensus! :) Looking forward to chapter 2, see what the shift concerns. Chapter 1 reminded me of old adventure stories. I couldn't help but picture Treasure Island a few times, haha.

This island where the first chap took place, that was off the coast of India, right?

What part of the globe you hail from, Mary?? Are you a New Zealander, Aussie??


message 12: by Mary (last edited Sep 17, 2012 12:59PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mary Mark wrote: "I do believe, what we have here, peoples, is one of them there things called a consensus! :) Looking forward to chapter 2, see what the shift concerns. Chapter 1 reminded me of old adventure stories. I couldn't help but picture Treasure Island a few times, haha.

This island where the first chap took place, that was off the coast of India, right?

What part of the globe you hail from, Mary?? Are you a New Zealander, Aussie??"


It takes place in the South Pacific Islands/Islands that make up New Zealand (I think there's like 30 odd islands?) -- The Moriori are the indigenous people of the Chatham Islands.

I missed this part "has the harrowing experience of falling into a crater, where he observes dendroglyphs. He thinks he might have also seen a human heart in the crater.". I must've zoned out. Crap. Hope that wasn't an important plot part...better google "dendroglyphs" just in case...lol

(I grew up in Australia)


message 14: by Jason (last edited Sep 17, 2012 01:08PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jason It's only relevant to the plot in that it shows the Moriori, the tribe that was captured by the Maori on the Chatham Islands, to have engaged in their own little insurrection, their own little fight-back. Lots of themes of captivity here and this I think sets the premise for the rest.


message 15: by Jason (last edited Sep 17, 2012 01:07PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jason Mary, do you really not remember Adam falling into that deep pit and struggling to get out? He becomes trapped there for a bit after going for a walk on his own...


Jenn(ifer) Mary wrote: "Mark wrote: "I do believe, what we have here, peoples, is one of them there things called a consensus! :) Looking forward to chapter 2, see what the shift concerns. Chapter 1 reminded me of old adv..."

Um, I read that part 3 times & don't remember that! What page #?


Jenn(ifer) Oh wait, I remember him falling in, but then he was dreaming right?


Jason No, no. That is no dream.


message 19: by Mary (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mary Jason wrote: "Mary, do you really not remember Adam falling into that deep pit and struggling to get out? He becomes trapped there for a bit after going for a walk on his own..."

I remember sumthin'....kinda...


Jenn(ifer) Jason wrote: "No, no. That is no dream."

I meant he was dreaming when he was down there, wasn't he? He talks about being knocked out and dreaming about San Francisco.


Jason Mary wrote: "I remember sumthin'....kinda..."

Omg...you people!!

<shakes fists> :D


message 22: by Mark (new) - added it

Mark He passed out while in the pit and then he dreams :) Those dendoglyphs took me a sec to picture in my head when I was reading that section. Then I connected them with hieroglyphs and it fell into place.

Thanks for that info on the islands! I think Jenn said she looked up the peoples and found they were real folks. I saw somewhere in the acknowledgements that Mitchell thanked somebody for allowing him to travel (presumably to this are) to make notes for the book. I'll have a peek at them on a map of the south Pacific.

When did you come to America, Mary?


Jason Jenn(ifer) wrote: "I meant he was dreaming when he was down there, wasn't he? He talks about being knocked out and dreaming about San Francisco."

Yeah, I think I remember him falling asleep down there. But the drawings and the heart are not products of a dream state, I don't believe.


message 24: by Mary (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mary Jason wrote: "Mary wrote: "I remember sumthin'....kinda..."

Omg...you people!!

:D"


Perhaps we could've used Jay Rubin to translate chapter one


Jenn(ifer) Mary wrote: "Jason wrote: "Mary wrote: "I remember sumthin'....kinda..."

Omg...you people!!

:D"

Perhaps we could've used Jay Rubin to translate chapter one"


Ha! seriously. I still remember nothing about a human heart. Someone needs to give me a page # for that bit.


message 26: by Mary (last edited Sep 17, 2012 02:14PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mary Mark wrote: "When did you come to America, Mary?"

I don't know, it's so fuzzy-like. I was walking and fell into a crater, in San Francisco, no wait, in New Zealand and I was writing a journal and there were all these wood carvings around and the Morioris were like "hey girl, where you come from?" and I mistook them for Maoris which pissed them off, so I started dreaming only it was real and I realized I was still in the crater which was reminding me of the well from Wind Up Bird and I think someone tried to kill Adam (?)...and all this was 5 years ago.


Jason Mary wrote: "I don't know, it's so fuzzy-like. I was walking and fell into a crater, in San Francisco, no wait, in New Zealand and I was writing a journal and ..."

Awesome.


Jenn(ifer) Mary wrote: "Mark wrote: "When did you come to America, Mary?"

I don't know, it's so fuzzy-like. I was walking and fell into a crater, in San Francisco, no wait, in New Zealand and I was writing a journal and ..."


Didn't someone fall in a well in Savage Detectives too? I wonder if Adam found Mr. Wind-Up Bird's lost cat?


message 29: by Mark (new) - added it

Mark Jenn(ifer) wrote: "Ha! seriously. I still remember nothing about a human heart. Someone needs to give me a page # for that bit."

I'd almost forgotten the human heart bit, myself, haha. Now I remember, though. That's what caused him to pass out, right? I'm reading the ebook version, Jenn, or I'd offer you a page number. I might be able to tell you the date of the diary entry, if that's any help


message 30: by Mark (new) - added it

Mark Mary wrote: "Mark wrote: "When did you come to America, Mary?"

I don't know, it's so fuzzy-like. I was walking and fell into a crater, in San Francisco, no wait, in New Zealand and I was writing a journal and ..."


I was about to say, I don't remember this part, either!! :D That was a tasty bit of meta-fiction! You gotta watch out for those Maoris, though. Hair-trigger on em. And dang, now I gotta move Jay Rubin up the list. I've only read fan-fiction by that dude. His latest hit, I Fitty Shades ov Focked.

Do you still have your accent?


message 31: by Mark (new) - added it

Mark Jason wrote: "Yeah, I think I remember him falling asleep down there. But the drawings and the heart are not products of a dream state, I don't believe."

I could remember this section because it felt sorta like some scenes in a James Rollins novel I read earlier in the year. Revolved around tree carvings and Amazonian tribesmen.


message 32: by Mark (last edited Sep 17, 2012 02:01PM) (new) - added it

Mark Jenn(ifer) wrote: "Didn't someone fall in a well in Savage Detectives too? I wonder if Adam found Mr. Wind-Up Bird's lost cat? "

That's right! That kid fell in a large pit where the locals believed the devil lived :)


message 33: by Mary (last edited Sep 17, 2012 02:09PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mary Mark wrote: "Do you still have your accent?

Aye! Oi! ;p

Starting to get a very slight twang apparently...though I can't hear it but friends back home can. It's more the lingo and spelling that I've picked up rather than the accent, or so I think.


message 34: by Mary (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mary Mark wrote: "And dang, now I gotta move Jay Rubin up the list. I've only read fan-fiction by that dude. His latest hit, I Fitty Shades ov Focked.

Wait. You have not yet read any Murakami?! How are we even friends? This is unacceptable.


message 35: by Mark (new) - added it

Mark Mary wrote: "Mark wrote: "Do you still have your accent?

Aye! Oi! ;p

Starting to get a very slight twang apparently...though I can't hear it but friends back home can. It's more the lingo and spelling that I..."


Ooo, a twang! Aye-up, aye-up, that sounds like ye done been down heres in the boonies with us yeehawin Southern folk! Which way do the Aussie spell "color"? American way or the British way, with a 'u'?

Seems like tis always the speaker who's last to know ;P


message 36: by Mark (new) - added it

Mark Mary wrote: "Mark wrote: "And dang, now I gotta move Jay Rubin up the list. I've only read fan-fiction by that dude. His latest hit, I Fitty Shades ov Focked.

Wait. You have not yet read any Murakami?! How a..."


Er. This poses a, er, conundrum. Er. Meet again, say two months? :D


message 37: by Mary (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mary Mark wrote: "Mary wrote: "Which way do the Aussie spell "color"? American way or the British way, with a 'u'?


The proper way, with a u, but I've lost that battle to spell check at stupid work.


Jason It's all British English down under, Mark. They also like 'practise' instead of 'practice' (for the verb) and they prefer the suffix '–ise' to '–ize.'


message 39: by Mary (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mary And drive on left side of the road/steering wheel on right side of the car. (No wonder I am perpetually confused)


message 40: by Mark (new) - added it

Mark The Kang's Anglish? I read Lovecraft throughout the summer before my last year in college and wound up using his British spellings it my final paper, to add a bit of, er, colour :D

Even though I've never tried it officially, I've found I can see the road much better from the American passenger's seat. Right side driver's seats make so much more sense!

The -ise and -ize, I could swing both ways with them. Either, or. I'm, er, bi-lingual!


message 41: by Mary (last edited Sep 17, 2012 07:41PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mary Mark wrote: "Even though I've never tried it officially, I've found I can see the road much better from the American passenger's seat. Right side driver's seats make so much more sense!..."

You should've seen me my first year here, I was contastly smashing my right hand against the driver's door when I wanted to change gears and gazing out the window when I wanted to look into the rearview. And I always flipped the wipers on when I wanted to use the blinker. Fun times. Even after 5 years I still catch myself walking to the passenger side door to drive sometimes.

You should try it officially. For kicks.


Jason For me, when I drive in the UK, I end up going up against the left curb. I'm used to subconsciously accounting for the fact that there is "vehicle" to my right when driving in the US, so when my active mind starts to disengage when driving in the UK, that is the first thing I do—go up against the left curb (forgetting that there is "car" to my left that I need to account for).


message 43: by Mary (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mary ^ That sounds familiar. And looking the wrong way when crossing the road.


Jason Mary wrote: "^ That sounds familiar. And looking the wrong way when crossing the road."

For me, it's all about the engaged/disengaged mind, though. I had zero problems crossing the road when I was there, probably because I was actively paying attention each time. But then when I came home, I struggled, probably because I assumed I could just go back to acting 'natural' (i.e. disengaged activity) but the problem is, what had become natural to me was no longer what I had been used to initially.

When I got back from spending 6 months abroad, I lived on Huntington Avenue in Boston, which is essentially a four-lane state highway intersected by a two sets of trolley tracks for travel in either direction. In other words, lots of shit to look out for. It would blow your mind how many times I nearly got myself killed remembering how to cross a fucking street.


message 45: by Mark (new) - added it

Mark You can be forgiven the wipers/blinkers: I've lived here all my life and never hit the right switch for either! That business with the gears sounds painful!!

That sounds scary, Jason!

Now, who wants to loan me a British/Aussie car to try?


message 46: by Mary (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mary Haha. My prob is I go back and forth so just when I get used to driving/walking/looking the "right" way I fly back.

I like to mess with ppl here by telling them things like book pages turn back to front or when someone asked what we do in AU for 4th of July I tell them we dance naked around a roasting Kangaroo. I'm quite the (non)popular smartazz at work


Jason You can go to Bermuda or Jamaica. They have them there, too. (It's closer!)


message 48: by Mary (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mary Mark wrote: "You can be forgiven the wipers/blinkers: I've lived here all my life and never hit the right switch for either! "

Well that's just effing weird lol


Jason Mary wrote: "Haha. My prob is I go back and forth so just when I get used to driving/walking/looking the "right" way I fly back."

EXACTLY! That is exactly the phenomenon I mean.


message 50: by Mark (new) - added it

Mark Mary wrote: "Haha. My prob is I go back and forth so just when I get used to driving/walking/looking the "right" way I fly back.

I like to mess with ppl here by telling them things like book pages turn back..."


Japan flips the pages back to front :D I learned that from reading a couple manga.

I can't even imagine getting used to one, then having to reverse-engineer my learning, go back to the original. How do you stay sane!? How many people can you fool with these Are They Real or Not? tidbits about AU life?


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