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Cloud Atlas > Favorite story?

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message 1: by Mark (new)

Mark Catalfano (Cattfish) Come on, you knew this topic was coming

I liked the somni-451 story the best...

I would imagine, given the group, that this will be the most popular one. Let's see if im right!

As for the other inevitable s&l book club topic: the answer is Tom hanks and Halle Berry ;)


message 2: by Michael (last edited Oct 06, 2012 10:08AM) (new)

Michael (The_Smoking_GNU) | 178 comments I enjoyed "Letters from Zedelghem", "The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish" and "An Orison of Sonmi~451". I don't have a clear favourite.

Even though I liked these stories, they are not new or original and I feel like I have read or seen a better version of each of the stories before.

"Soylent Green is people!"


message 3: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 919 comments I agree that individually, the stories are not the best stories ever. As a whole, though, I think Cloud Atlas is a banging story. My favorite is the Somni - 451 followed by Sloosha's Crossin'. I do like the more exotic stories, hence I like SF and fantasy, at least the ones in which the topic is not used to death within the genre. I never thought I'd get tired of vampires, but after being in the horror forum and seeing vampires with Hitler, vampire apocalypse, etc., I was starting to yawn. Same with zombies. Oh, and I'm tired of royalties in the fantasy genre, too.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Hard to say. I loved them all except for Sloosha's Crossin' which was one of the most irritating things I have ever read. Luisa Rey was written as a supermarket-rack thriller, so you can't judge it for literary quality. The moral journey of Adam Ewing was downright inspiring.

But if I had to designate just one as favorite? Adam Ewing, because of his determination to make the world more just, and if we read this chapter by itself, we can forget that the world just got worse in the long run. I don't think that humankind will be so cruel. Not that I know, of course, but despair is not a viable option.


message 5: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 3381 comments I think Sloosha's Crossing was my favorite, followed closely by Somni-451. I like the discovery in Sloosha, and I think that the two stories are the most closely linked; to some extent, they also feel the most naturally linked, too.

I did like the Zedelghem story, even though it showed off the less-nice parts of humanity...ego, greed, deception...


message 6: by Ian (new)

Ian Roberts | 140 comments Definitely sonmi for me, loved the satirical elements and actually would like to read an extended version of this story if it was around. Also like the Q&A structure. Followed by letters then sloosha.

Thought Timothy cavendish was a bit weak, bit fawlty towers

Being able to channel all the different styles is awesome though


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Letters from Zedelghem and Cavendish. Then Soonmi and Sloosha. Luisa Rey and Ewing come in dead last.


message 8: by James (last edited Oct 06, 2012 02:41PM) (new)

James Stevulak (jimi0rigi) | 2 comments "Letters from Zedelghem" and "Luisa Rey", even though both of these are in styles that I have never been interested in, I felt most connected with these two "incarnations" and I really felt like the links between these two were the most interesting. My least favorite was without a doubt "Sloosha's Crossing" which, for some reason, I read in the voice of Jar Jar Binks, which made it an absolute pain to finish.
"Letters from Zedelghem" was the only one of the stories that vibrated my heartstrings enough to push me to tear up at the end. I explain this away by saying I am a composer as well, and I fear nothing more than knowing I will never make anything more beautiful than what I have already made. That kind of realisation is very frightening for someone who's pride is derived from their creativity.


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2144 comments "Letters from Zedelghem" was my favorite the first time through, but this time around I enjoyed Somni 451 the most. I think the twist at the end of that story solidified it for me.


message 10: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten Bailey (klbailey) | 82 comments I liked Somni-451 the best as well. Am I the only one that liked the Timothy Cavendish story? I thought that one was great. I liked the story of Sloosha's Crossin' but the language in it drove me crazy for ages before I got used to it.


message 11: by Alain (new)

Alain Fournier | 41 comments Adam Ewing was my favourite due to the unexpected and not unearned positive ending.


message 12: by Julia (new)

Julia | 177 comments Somni-451 followed Louisa Rey for me.


message 13: by Walter (new)

Walter (walterwoods) | 144 comments I think Louisa Rey. That was unexpected for me. I thought I'd like the futuristic landscape laid out in Somni-451 more.


message 14: by Daran (new)

Daran | 599 comments Letters from Zedelghem was my favorite. Mitchel seemed most comfortable and adept in this writing style. The characters seemed to more comfortable in their world. That helped me enjoy the story more.

While I liked the idea of the different styles conflated into a single narrative, many of the different styles, while technically very good, lacked the patina of familiarity.

For that reason Sonmi-451 was my least favorite. (view spoiler)

On the whole, my favorite pieces were those taking place in the past. Mitchel has a real talent for historical fiction; he needs to chuck this whole "meaningful" novel schtick, and go the way of Bernard Cornwell.


message 15: by Ernest (new)

Ernest | 2 comments For me, Sonmi-451 is my favourite, followed by Letters from Zedelghem.


message 16: by Dan (new)

Dan (Fitech) | 3 comments My favorites were Sonmi-451, Sloosha's Crossin' and Letters from Zedelghem. I wonder what it was like to read the text of Sloosha's Crossin'. The narrator on the audio book was so fun to listen to. He reminded me of Brad Pitt's Gypsy character in Snatch, combined with a Hawaiian surfer dude, which was probably not far off from the actor's intent.


message 17: by David(LA,CA) (new)

David(LA,CA) (DavidScharf) | 327 comments Kirsten wrote: "Am I the only one that liked the Timothy Cavendish story?"

You are not the only one.

Although we may be the only two.


message 18: by Jonathon (new)

Jonathon Dez-la-lour (jd2607) | 173 comments Letters from Zedelghem is my favourite so far, and probably will remain so throughout the rest of the book (I'll come back and say something if that changes).

I just connected more with Frobisher than Ewing and I think I got on with the narrative voice a bit more too.


message 19: by Ronan (new)

Ronan O'Driscoll | 13 comments Put me down for number 3 on Timothy Cavendish. It is a wonderful pastiche of John Mortimer's Rumpole of the Bailey and Mitchell pulls it off brilliantly


message 20: by Tassie Dave (new)

Tassie Dave | 1616 comments My favourite was Sloosha's Crossing. The language took a bit of getting used to but once I got past that I enjoyed it.


message 21: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (Sandikal) | 1201 comments Tassie Dave wrote: "My favourite was Sloosha's Crossing. The language took a bit of getting used to but once I got past that I enjoyed it."

I'm listening to the audiobook and this section is by far my favorite. The narrator is so good. My second favorite is Somni-451. I do think the audiobook is ideal for this novel, but I kind of wish I had it in paper too. An e-book would have the same drawbacks as the audiobook--primarily not being able to reference back to previous sections. Referencing the Wikipedia article really helps a lot and it doesn't even have major spoilers.


message 22: by Tom, Supreme Laser (new)

Tom Merritt (tommerritt) | 912 comments Mod
I found myself liking each story better than the last with the exception of the First Luisa Ray Mystery. That one slogged a bit for me.


message 23: by Ruth (tilltab) (new)

Ruth (tilltab) (till-tab) | 1338 comments Somni was my favourite too. I really felt for the character.

I hated the first Timothy Cavendish part, because I thought he was a stupid, horrible person who deserved everything he got, and wasn't all that interested in him anyway, but I really loved part two and found myself really liking the characters strangely enough (or hating the ones you were meant to hate.)

A close second favourite was the Louisa Rey story. Good thriller stuff, nothing outstanding, but very enjoyable.


message 24: by Spriggan1 (last edited Oct 09, 2012 04:34AM) (new)

Spriggan1 | 25 comments Favorite to least favorite


1) Luisa Rey
2) Frobisher
3) Sonmi
4) Cavendish
5 & 6) Ewing & Zachary

Struggled with Ewing and Zachary but I still enjoyed them, and I really liked Cavendish on up.


message 25: by Spriggan1 (last edited Oct 09, 2012 04:41AM) (new)

Spriggan1 | 25 comments Sandi wrote: "Tassie Dave wrote: "My favourite was Sloosha's Crossing. The language took a bit of getting used to.."

I'm listening to the audiobook and this section is by far my favorite. The narrator is so good..."


hmm, Interesting. I'll have to check out the audiobook of Sloosha's Crossin'. Because where I stumbled through the language and sort of hampered my experience, a smoother narrator might make it much easier to follow. However, audiobook-listening in general I always find too passive an exercise to retain my attention.

We'll see.


message 26: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten Bailey (klbailey) | 82 comments I've been listening to an audiobook on my ipod as I go for a walk in the afternoon. It's good motivation for me to get off my butt and do some exercise, and I find that I can concentrate on it more (if I listen sitting down I tend to go to sleep!)


message 27: by Dan (new)

Dan (Fitech) | 3 comments Sandi wrote: Referencing the Wikipedia article really helps a lot and it doesn't even have major spoilers.

I did find the Wikipedia a helpful reference but right in the beginning of the article they spoil the fact that (view spoiler). Maybe I was being thick, but I hadn't realized it yet.


message 28: by Daniel (new)

Daniel | 32 comments My favourite chapter had to be Somni-451, closely followed by Timothy Cravendish. Literally could not stop laughing towards the end of his first half!

I have to admit that I skipped the middle chapter of the book- even on audiobook, I really could not get into it! So that has to be my least favourite, for sheer inaccessibility.


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

Dan wrote: "Sandi wrote: Referencing the Wikipedia article really helps a lot and it doesn't even have major spoilers.

I did find the Wikipedia a helpful reference but right in the beginning of the article t..."


Dan, I got spoiled reading the same thing - I hadn't realized it either.


message 30: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten Bailey (klbailey) | 82 comments Eryk wrote: "Dan wrote: "Sandi wrote: Referencing the Wikipedia article really helps a lot and it doesn't even have major spoilers.

I did find the Wikipedia a helpful reference but right in the beginning of t..."


Glad I'm not the only one who missed that! I didn't work it out until (view spoiler)


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

Kirsten, re: spoiler, same here.

I felt like such a rube.


message 32: by Katie (new)

Katie (Calenmir) | 211 comments Spriggan1 wrote: "hmm, Interesting. I'll have to check out the audiobook of Sloosha's Crossin'. Because where I stumbled through the language and sort of hampered my experience, a smoother narrator might make it much easier to follow. However, audiobook-listening in general I always find too passive an exercise to retain my attention.

We'll see."


I am not usually an audiobook person because I'm easily distracted from them, but I did the offer from Audible for this book and as I listened to that part I thought it would probably have been unreadable for me in print but having it read to me allowed me to follow the dialect really well. I'd recommend it.


message 33: by J. Alberto (new)

J. Alberto (Dhiok) | 71 comments Tom wrote: "I found myself liking each story better than the last with the exception of the First Luisa Ray Mystery. That one slogged a bit for me."

The opposite happened to me. I found it refreshing to finally change POV within the same story. It took me 3 weeks to get to Luisa Rey, from there it took me 3 days to finish the rest of the book.


message 34: by Katrina (new)

Katrina | 28 comments David(LA,CA) wrote: "Kirsten wrote: "Am I the only one that liked the Timothy Cavendish story?"

You are not the only one.

Although we may be the only two."


Cavendish was my favorite. It's hard for me to decide a least favorite...most of the time I would find myself loving the first half and then disliking the second half, or vice versa.


message 35: by Natalie (new)

Natalie | 3 comments Loved Sonmi, and really enjoyed Zedelghem. Not too keen on Sloosha's Crossing or Timothy Cavendish but I still felt I got something out of reading them come the end.

I loved some of the supporting characters. Sixsmith for instance and I really liked the musical policeman in Zedelghem.


message 36: by David (new)

David (dschrimpf) | 3 comments Sloosha is the centerpiece of the whole book in more ways than one. I think it's the story that justifies the existence of the entire book. It is hard to get into the writing style, but once you do, it's by far the most ambitious and rewarding of the stories.

Sonmi is the only one that comes close for me. Maybe this shows why I'm a sci-fi and fantasy fan. I enjoyed all the stories, but the two that are set in the future, and therefore attempt to show what the other stories are leading up to, are the ones that really make the reading worthwhile.


message 37: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 4222 comments Mod
I liked all but the ship/Adam Eewing story. Somni 451 was definitely my favorite though.

It was followed closely by Luisa Rey, but then I used to read a lot of Grisham books, and that had a similar feel to me.


message 38: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 4222 comments Mod
Oh and there are 2 people in my office who were also reading the book and both cite Cavendish as their favorite.

I didn't like that one much at the start, but the second half more than made up for it. It was funny re-watching the trailer and seeing (view spoiler)


message 39: by Gabe (new)

Gabe (Top_Hat) | 16 comments 1) Sonmi
2) Frobisher
3) Luisa Rey
4) Cavendish
5 & 6) Ewing & Zachary

I just really felt for Sonmi for some reason. Frobisher was hilarious and I enjoyed that style. Luisa was really interesting. Cavendish was entertaining. Zachary and Ewing just seemed necessary.


message 40: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (Sandikal) | 1201 comments Rob, I agree with you about Cavendish. I didn't like the first half of his story, but I loved the second half.


message 41: by Jenny (new)

Jenny T | 3 comments Cavendish was the only one that had me actually cheering out loud towards the end, but I really, really loved the way Sonmi played out, and Frobisher's narrative "voice" was so much fun to read.


message 42: by Tina (last edited Oct 20, 2012 03:55PM) (new)

Tina (javabird) | 490 comments I enjoyed Adam Ewing's journal, probably because I grew up reading a lot of sea adventures by Richard Henry Dana, Melville and Conrad &etc. The writing style perfectly mimiced the style of mariners' journals of the day. Loved Somni~451's story and Luisa Rey as well.

Could hardly force myself to finish reading Frobisher.


message 43: by D. H. (new)

D. H. | 100 comments I liked them all, but I guess I'd choose Adam Ewing's Journal because it was the most unlike other things I've already read. Also because I learned about the Moriori genecide.


message 44: by Christopher (last edited Oct 21, 2012 05:27PM) (new)

Christopher | 16 comments Wow. The more I think about this, and reading all the other answers, the less sure I am on just picking one.

Somni, I think squeaks out on top just because I think the story and my reading really hit it's stride in that section. Maybe I'm just in a mood to watch Bladerunner again.

Cavendish was really a close second and mostly due to his second half. As a paramedic, I have had so many patients over the years that just felt better by getting them out of the building even for awhile. I understand long-term antidepressants in the elderly.

But, I think Ewings was a touching story and loved how his was the character that gave us the end of the whole book with the philosophical points to think about.

Thought I found Frobisher a good read and a fun devient character, I really didn't like him spoiling (view spoiler) I did like how it introduced us to Sixsmith in an interesting way and gave us an interesting glimpse into Sixsmith's life before he became the man Rey met.

I liked Rey's story like a quick grocery-story paperback. Not to cheapen it or the category. But, it was a bit predictable and unoriginal but I did enjoy the characters in all their stereotype greatnesses.

Zachary...hmm...just didn't get into this section. I do see the point in the greater arch. The language wasn't a total barrier because I did eventually get used to it. But, really, just never felt for the characters. I think the premise could make an interesting longer story in itself but, shrug, what can I say, it just didn't do it for me.

Long enough answer? Shrug.


message 45: by Jacob (new)

Jacob (Soolseem) | 4 comments 1) Frobisher
2) Zachary
3) Sonmi
4) Luisa Rey
5) Ewing
6) Cavendish

Cavendish is the only story I actually disliked, it lacked the scope of the other stories and felt out-of-place.


message 46: by Dharmakirti (new)

Dharmakirti | 942 comments I just finished Sloosha's Crossin' An' Ev'rythin After and I was blown away by it. So far, it's my favorite.


message 47: by David Sven (new)

David Sven (Gorro) | 1582 comments Dharmakirti wrote: "I just finished Sloosha's Crossin' An' Ev'rythin After and I was blown away by it. So far, it's my favorite."

This was my favourite as well. I kept cracking up at the one liners like "duck fart in a hurricane," and the names of the some of the people were hilarious like Fkugly.


message 48: by Tina (new)

Tina (javabird) | 490 comments My absolute favorite story so far is the Timothy Cavendish scene in the Scottish pub. I had to read it aloud to my son, who has been to Scotland, and we were just in hysterics. I hope that scene is in the movie!


message 49: by Dwayne (last edited Oct 23, 2012 10:24PM) (new)

Dwayne Caldwell | 141 comments When I first started reading it, I thought Sloosha's Crossin' An' Ev'rythin After was going to be hard to get through I was so put off by the language. Then it grew on me amazingly fast and wound up being my favorite story. Go figure.


message 50: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 17 comments I loved the Sonmi story the most, hands down. I did not like the first one and the last one (the hawaii one) but all the others were pretty good. I liked this book but it wasn't a blow through in a day kind of book for me. However, I feel like if the whole book was on Sonmi I would have devoured it a lot quicker.


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