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Cloud

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  127 ratings  ·  29 reviews
“Why, when we take such care to disguise our true selves from others, would we expect them to be an open book to us?”

 Harry Steen, a businessman travelling in Mexico, ducks into an old bookstore to escape a frightening deluge. Inside, he makes a serendipitous discovery: a mid-nineteenth-century account of a sinister storm cloud that plagued an isolated Scottish village and
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Paperback, 432 pages
Published August 19th 2014 by Penguin Canada
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3.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  127 ratings  ·  29 reviews


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Barry Hammond
Sep 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As Eric McCormack himself says towards the end of his delightful new book, "Book lovers naturally do feel a kind of possessiveness and protectiveness in how they relate to certain authors and books, as though they were pets."

Well, not pets maybe but certainly old friends. McCormack is one of those writers who push every button in me so that his work bypasses all the usual critical barriers and passes directly into my brain.

It's been 10 years since his last book but this one was worth waiting for
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William Wren
Aug 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: canadian, humour
I’m having the hardest time reviewing this book and I know why. I want to categorize it. I’ve all kinds of terms rattling around in my head as I try to write about it but ultimately what I end up with is just thinking out loud on paper.

Everything centres on the narrator of Cloud and this is as it should be as it is essentially his autobiography. Thematically, the novel concerns the nature of memory, to some degree narrative, and also narcissism. The narrator, Harry Steen, is a less than reliable
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Ashley
Oct 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
'Cloud' was the first book I've read by Eric McCormack, and is also the first book that I haven't been able to put down in a very long time. This book is essentially a series of highly-engaging short stories compiled and centralized around one connecting figure-our main dude, Harry Steen. The reader has no idea where McCormack will take Harry next, from the eerie, windy uplands of Scotland to the remote, lush descriptions of Fiji, I found this book captivating from start to finish. The character ...more
Wendy Hearder-moan
Sep 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
The author recycles some material from previous books, but this is not a criticism; in fact it works well, making the reader a part of the story, in the same way that when reading the sequel to a favourite book, you smile when a character alludes to something that happened in the previous volume. Harry's discovery, that the narrative he had created about his past and believed all his life was not true, struck a chord. How can we know what really happened? Does it matter? Or should we just get on ...more
Sonya
Aug 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Took forever to get through and I still can't figure out why I kept reading....ugh.
Pammi
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sometimes as an expat, I need books from home. Or an author from home. I met Eric McCormack at a literary festival when I was in University. His books are odd. A great odd. I like Odd. Normalcy with a slice of strange to make you think, then think again.
"Cloud" was a book of stories within a book about a book. Books about books are my favourites!!
I like a book that can go full circle in a way that is true and can keep me guessing and thinking.
I liked the ending.
Jeff
Aug 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Enjoyable read. It seemed like a bunch of interesting but unrelated stories. I was expecting it to all come together at the end, but it didn't. At least not for me. I found the ending unsatisfying and now think it was a good read without a plot.
Mary Hart
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
A classic 3.5 rating, but erred for a 4, since 3.5 isn't an option, as i am writing this review several months after reading it, and still have a vivid picture of the setting of the book, and a good memory of the story - despite it moving across time and continents.
Jenn
Oct 03, 2018 rated it did not like it
UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGH

ZERO STARS
Stacey
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
loved this cheesy page turner especially with the bland southern ontario references
ℳatthieu
Nov 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ce livre dans le livre n'est finalement qu'un fil rouge dans la narration de la vie du personnage principal. Larmes, amours, voyages sont au rendez-vous ! C'est agréable et prenant à lire.
Doreen
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: public-library
This is a peculiar novel. Its blending of magic realism and Gothicism just doesn’t appeal to me.

Harry Steen finds an old book in a bookstore in Mexico; its title refers to an isolated village in Scotland where he lived briefly and where something happened which “would complicate the entire course of [his] life thereafter” (57). That book inspires him to chronicle his life from an impoverished childhood in the slums of Glasgow to his financially secure life in Canada as a successful businessman.

T
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Cherie
Nov 18, 2014 rated it liked it
My usual genre is historical romance so keep that in mind.

The beginning pulled me in fast and furious. It then settled into a steady pace. It was kind of like accelerating down a mountain and then driving across the mid-west of the US (which is flat). There were regular changes of scenery so it was never boring but I struggled to keep reading; I must conclude I’m a book-reading induced adrenalin junkie.

Cloud is written in first person and, therefore, read like an autobiography with his complete
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Nicole Woods
Jan 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: personal-library
Awful. What a terrible inclusion in Canadian writing. The main character had absolutely no development and was so unrelateable I could hardly keep on keeping on. Only for the sake of others was I determined to finish this atrocious novel. It's not even worth the paper it's printed on.
IT HAD NO DAMN PLOT. No point at all. The main character does the exact same thing in every new place and uses the exact same words and whines about the exact same things. The mystery of the Obsidian Cloud isn't re
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Rick
Aug 23, 2014 rated it liked it
I didn't particularly enjoy reading this book. It seemed to change direction with no commonality between themes. It's true that everything pulled together at the end but I didn't feel comfortable floundering around until I was pulled out at the very last. I was disappointed to find out that the mysterious book had virtually nothing to do with the story especially since this mystery was what drew me into reading the story in the first place. I also didn't find the language very compelling. In my ...more
Geraud
Feb 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
un bon début. Mais je trouve que le roman se transforme ensuite en une sorte de "Dynastie", et je ne sais pas trop ce que l'auteur a voulu faire. J'ai trouvé la seconde moitié du livre un peu ennuyeuse.
Barbara
Aug 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
I won this book from Goodreads First Reads, thank you Penguin Canada!

What a story. There is a little bit of everything in this book! It starts out with the main character, Harry, finding a book that mentions a town he had lived in previously. Harry then sets out to find out the mysterious beginnings of this book. Also, the story of Harry's life is told, through his travels to Scottland, Africa, South America and finally, Canada. So, there's a mystery, love story, travel adventure, all nicely tol
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Hella Comat
Oct 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
An unusual story, which is basically an autobiography of the fictional main character. As an adult he finds a book in a Mexican bookstore based on an incident in a town from his early life in Scotland. This find leads him to reflect on his life, which is a very unique one. I thought that his travels, acquaintances, and choices in life made a very compelling read.
Brynne
Jun 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
This novel seems to be a collection of gothic short stories held together by s loose but long running autobiography. Nothing overly thrilling, but will written and moderately suspenseful. Good for a rainy day.
Sunshine
Jul 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read his book The Dutch Wife first (which I LOVED) and was excited to read another of by this author until I realized that there were too many recycled ideas in Cloud. That being said, I do love the style in which McCormack writes.
Cindy
Jul 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
A pleasingly Gothic romp following our main character from childhood onwards around the world. Very readable with occasional dark twists.
Shadoh
Nov 08, 2014 rated it it was ok
ridiculous
Veronica
Aug 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
A good adventurous read...like dry ice and words. Definitely felt like an old man retelling his too, too incredible life story.
Jay
Feb 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Me likey! Very imaginative and compelling to read. There was no way to guess the ending.
Chase
Feb 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
A haunting journey through one man's life and all the people who intersect it. Well structured, satisfying and unsettling.
Peggy
Dec 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: canadian, fiction
Great story about the life of a young Scottish man, which raises lots of interesting questions, among them, the nature of love. Would be good for a book club.
Luvbono
Jan 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
Weird. Probably filled with important messages and morals, but weird is the main feeling I'm left with.
Annie
rated it really liked it
Aug 30, 2015
Dorothy
rated it really liked it
Jun 07, 2015
Blackwell Boyce
rated it really liked it
Jul 13, 2016
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Eric McCormack was born in Scotland, later emigrated to Canada and, since 1970, has been teaching at St. Jerome's University in Waterloo, Ontario. He started out on his career writing short stories which appeared in literary journals including Prism International, West Coast Review, Malahat Review, and The New Quarterly. He has also written poetry over the years. In February 1987 his first book, I ...more
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