s.penkevich’s review of Cloud Atlas > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Steve (new)

Steve That was quite an insightful review. I like your analogy likening the stories to notes in a chord (a richly complex one, I might add). At first I didn't know how to take your comment about "literary pulp", but once it was clear that you meant nothing derogatory by it, I saw your point. It was a remarkable mix of genre formats, each with that extra bit of literary panache to it.

You pointed out a few winks that Mitchell seemed to offer through his Cavendish character that I hadn't picked up on. I can see them now in retrospect. With Frobisher I felt there was also that potential for Mitchell to be sending us a message. This was artfully done, I thought. Frobisher, through his first person narration, didn't seem to be in touch with his own feelings as much as Mitchell and his readers were. I'm not sure what that might portend, but found it interesting.

Now that you've mentioned the parallels with Calvino's classic, you've got me curious. I'm officially moving it to a prime spot on my to-read list.


message 2: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich Calvino is amazing. It isn't quite as exciting or broad as CA but he does a really good job of switching between voices and style. It is more self-concious and contained but doesn't have quite give the burning desire to keep turning the pages that Mitchell acheives.

This is a book I feel I will have to revisit someday as I'm sure each re-reading will extract more from the characters. Especially in the first half where I'm sure there is so much hidden that wouldn't present itself without knowledge of what is discussed later in the novel.

Thank you very much for you kind words!


message 3: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich Ha thank you. In Rainbows is amazing, I think it may be my favorite, but with Radiohead it all depends on the day for what album I want to hear. I hear the Wachowski brothers are making it into a film right now, if the credits come up and I don't hear those drums, I may be let down a bit haha.


message 4: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich Ooh yeah great track. I have King Of Limbs in my car right now, I've been revisiting that album a lot lately since I recently discovered I am obsessed with "Bloom". Ha I need to read all of Mitchell, I think that will be my goal for 2012. It's nice to find an author I admire as much as Mitchell and have them still be alive and publishing. The last living author like that was Saramago, and then he up and died from old age.


message 5: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich I need to read more Bradbury. I've been saying that ever since I read F-451 in high school so i should probably get on that. Good to know he is still kicking.

I agree, the songs that take a listen or two before clicking always end up being the best. Bloom and Mr Magpie are just so ugly and angsty feel that they scratch a musical itch you never realized you had until hearing them. It's as if each band member played parts irrelevant to what each other were playing in a deliberatly ugly fashion yet it all comes together in such a syncopated euphoria. I think I'm about to put on some Kid A now.

We should start a petition for a Radiohead soundtrack to Cloud Atlas. Or at least Johnny Greenwood score - the one he did for There Will Be Blood was stunning.


message 6: by Stephen M (last edited Dec 22, 2011 12:18PM) (new)

Stephen M This is an amazing review. Very well written and loaded with info! I am returning to this when I read CA again.

I loved that you mentioned literary pulp because that's how I usually describe it. Or sometimes I say "high-brow hollywood".

The mixture of literary intellectualism and thrilling plot has seeded David as one of my favorite novelists and biggest inspirations.

Now that you point out all the meta-fictive elbow jabs throughout, I have to re-read to find them all. Because they almost seem to be in excess, as you've pointed it out. I don't remember being annoyed by so much self-consciousness, but I wonder if I will with this in mind.

P.S.
I was feeling this for the end:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioPDGJ...


message 7: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich Scott: I will have to check out more Bradbury then, I love a good short story collection so that will be one of my first purchases with the extra xmas cash ha.

Stephen: Thank you very much! I rather like "high-brow hollywood", that is a very accurate description. I hope the novels self-consciousness doesn't take away from it, I rather enjoyed how often lines would be a double entendre of sorts speaking both of the plot and of the novel itself. Similar to Calvino, I think its amazing how he creates a novel that is as close to a living breathing thing as can be.
And All I Need would also be a nice touch. That song is so creepy, it would make a good overture during the Somni section as well!


message 8: by Ian (new)

Ian "Marvin" Graye Brilliant review.

Michael Chabon might also constitute Literary Pulp.


message 9: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich Thank you very much Ian. I should check out some Chabon, I've heard good things.


message 10: by Ian (new)

Ian "Marvin" Graye I was too impatient with "Cloud Atlas" to understand much of its significance (despite my passion for the first two novels). Hence, it's on my to-re-read list.


message 11: by Robert (new)

Robert Delikat Wow, another great review and recommendation. Thank you, s.


message 12: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich This is one of those books where the more I think about it and discuss it, the closer to me it gets. I really loved this novel, so I am bumping it up to a full 5 stars. It will also help me in rating all the other novels of his.


message 13: by s.penkevich (last edited Feb 10, 2012 07:36AM) (new)

s.penkevich Scott wrote: "Your review of Ghostwritten has me thinking the same thing. I'm bumping that one up to 5 stars as well. I was comparing Mitchell to Mitchell instead of letting his works shine among the stars that they are..."

Sometimes I feel like 5 stars aren't enough, especially without being able to give half stars. 10 would be more accurate. When I gave it 4.5, I was trying to be more stingy with 5 stars and didn't want to be so quick to rate it so highly. But I think about this book almost as much as I do anything Dostoevsky, and I find myself telling so many people to read it, that I had to bump it up.


message 14: by Terry (new)

Terry Great review. This really is a special book isn't it? I'll have to add the Calvino to my to-read list.


message 15: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich Dulac3 wrote: "Great review. This really is a special book isn't it? I'll have to add the Calvino to my to-read list."

Yeah, this book really struck me, especially as I went into it rather hesitant at first. If you enjoyed this, I think you would really enjoy Calvino. Although it is not as exciting as this masterpiece, it is still very deserving of 5 stars.


message 16: by Richard (new)

Richard Derus I've read your review, so now I don't need to read the book! Thanks!


message 17: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich Richard wrote: "I've read your review, so now I don't need to read the book! Thanks!"

Ha, my bad. I tried not to give too much plot away, but I was overly excited about this one when I wrote it.

Also, didn't mean to repost it. I went back and added it to my favorites list and forgot to not repost.


message 18: by Richard (new)

Richard Derus No, no, I'm not complaining! I'm *grateful* to have it off my list. I only wish you'd done more of this with Black Swan Green, which I now have sitting here glowering at me because of you.


message 19: by Richard (new)

Richard Derus Scott wrote: "Richard...I have a ton of books staring me down as well. but if you get a chance, this one is worth it. It's beautiful..."

***AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGH***


message 20: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich Richard wrote: "No, no, I'm not complaining! I'm *grateful* to have it off my list. I only wish you'd done more of this with Black Swan Green, which I now have sitting here glowering at me because of ..."

I keep meaning to write a bloated, pompous review for that one, because I think it is my favorite of his and serves as a focus piece for all the novels much in the way that he always has one metafictional chapter that divulges some of the theory behind each novels style. However, school and work are keeping me from it. Perhaps tonight.

And thanks Scott!


message 21: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich And has anyone seen the production stills for this yet? Bill Smoke is played by Hugo Weaving. A reddish blonde Hugo Weaving.

http://filmonic.com/first-look-at-hal...


message 22: by s.penkevich (last edited Mar 21, 2012 10:14AM) (new)

s.penkevich Richard wrote: "Scott wrote: "Richard...I have a ton of books staring me down as well. but if you get a chance, this one is worth it. It's beautiful..."

***AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGH***"


Hahaha. YOU MUST READ!


message 23: by Terry (new)

Terry I don't know if I have the fortitude to see this. When I heard they were making a movie I was gobsmacked. I just can't see them doing it justice.


message 24: by Terry (new)

Terry Richard wrote: "I've read your review, so now I don't need to read the book! Thanks!"

Richard, I'm afraid you simply have to read this. While the review is awesome you just can't believe the full awesomeness of this book without fully engaging with it. Sorry.


message 25: by Richard (new)

Richard Derus I'm not going to see it. I'm waiting for Sven to, and then tell us all all about it.


message 26: by Richard (new)

Richard Derus Dulac3 wrote: "Richard wrote: "I've read your review, so now I don't need to read the book! Thanks!"

Richard, I'm afraid you simply have to read this. While the review is awesome you just can't believe the ful..."


No. Je refuse. Nix. Nein. Nyet. Nuh-uh. Any book that has a character who could, even in Hollyweird's bent little mind, be played by Hugo Weaving, is simply not going to assault my ocular units.


message 27: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich Dulac3 wrote: "I don't know if I have the fortitude to see this. When I heard they were making a movie I was gobsmacked. I just can't see them doing it justice."

Yeah, I just don't see how they could pull it off without enraging me. They say it'll be 3hrs, but even that seems like they will have to rush it. I'll grit my teeth and see it though, just so I can enjoy my righteous anger.

And you should probably read it. This book really blew me away, and I had put off reading it thinking 'f*** modern books'. But Mitchell changed that.


message 28: by Terry (new)

Terry Oh I've read this one...several times. I love it. we need to team up and make Richard see the light!


message 29: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich Dulac3 wrote: "Oh I've read this one...several times. I love it. we need to team up and make Richard see the light!"

Ha yeah, sorry I had intended to direct that at Richard. We need to spread the good word of Mitchell! And then have it tarnished by a film.


message 30: by Terry (new)

Terry At least George Lucas isn't directing.


message 31: by Richard (new)

Richard Derus Richard? Who is this "Richard" of whom you speak?


message 32: by Stephen M (new)

Stephen M You guys are all a bunch of naysaying critics. I'm excited to see it!


message 33: by Terry (new)

Terry nay


message 34: by Terry (new)

Terry Richard wrote: "Richard? Who is this "Richard" of whom you speak?"

Now, now Richard. Just take your medicine like a good boy. I swear it tastes great!


message 35: by Stephen M (new)

Stephen M David Mitchell gave it a positive plug, for what that's worth.

http://thefilmstage.com/news/david-mi...


message 36: by Terry (new)

Terry That at least is not a bad sign.


message 37: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich Yeah, screw tie-in editions.

I want to see it, I actually haven't been more excited following a film production since I was 11 and they said there would be more Star Wars, but I just have a sinking feeling I won't like it. Who knows.
I do like that there will be different directors on different stories to keep each one with a unique vibe much how he altered form each story.

And I think it will be interesting to see their interpretation on which person is which reincarnation, and I wonder if Mitchell was consulted. They so far have announced Weaving as being six characters, including Bill Smoke, and that Hugh Grant will be six as well including Borhaave and a canibal in the Sloosha's Crossing story. But then it says that Tom Hanks is Dr. Goose. And I was always under the impression Smoke was Borhaave or possibly Goose, so who knows.


message 38: by Stephen M (new)

Stephen M Ha! Yeah, well the big down-side to any involving film is that it necessitates a marketing blitz to try to get a return on the investment.


message 39: by Stephen M (new)

Stephen M Ugh, Boerhaave. The most hated man in the Mitchell universe. I'm surprised Hugh Grant is taking up that role.


message 40: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich Perhaps Suhbataar is another Boerhaave reincarnation ha.

Yeah, he said he will have so much makeup and prosthetics for his characters he wouldn't be suprised if people didn't even realize he was in the film.


message 41: by Stephen M (last edited Mar 21, 2012 11:50AM) (new)

Stephen M Oh, that's right. Suhbataar. I got the double a's mixed up. Maybe intentional?

I think that it's pretty cool that they use the same actors with the different stories since it plays into the reincarnation thing in the novel. I know that movie can never be the book, obviously. I also worry about the quality of the different stories, since different directors worked on it. But I think it has the potential to be the next huge epic movie. That, the new PT Anderson flick and the last Batman has me excited for the theaters this year. Much different from this horrible last year.


message 42: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich Yeah, this should be a good year for movies (fingers crossed). There's a Lincoln film with D-Day Lewis I'm looking forward to as well.


message 43: by Richard (new)

Richard Derus s.penkevich wrote: "Yeah, screw tie-in editions.

I've never understood why tie-ins make so many book people mad. I just don't care what cover the book has, it's the story that I'm buying.

s.penkevich wrote: "They so far have announced Weaving as being six characters, including Bill Smoke, and that Hugh Grant will be six as well including Borhaave and a canibal in the Sloosha's Crossing story. But then it says that Tom Hanks is Dr. Goose. And I was always under the impression Smoke was Borhaave or possibly Goose, so who knows. "

As one who hasn't read the book, that entire para sounds like something a guy who's had a stroke would say.


message 44: by Ian (new)

Ian "Marvin" Graye Richard wrote: "As one who hasn't read the book, that entire para sounds like something a guy who's had a stroke would say."

TWSS


message 45: by Cecily (new)

Cecily Your "literary pulp" label made me wince, but I think you have a point. Great review.


message 46: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich Cecily wrote: "Your "literary pulp" label made me wince, but I think you have a point. Great review."

Thank you! Yeah, the two words really shouldn't go together, but I think Mitchell managed to make it work nicely. It is a technique I hope more people start using.


message 47: by Stephen M (new)

Stephen M Care to explain why it made you "wince"?


message 48: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich I'm guessing it was the 'pulp', when I first used the term discussing it with someone they were adamant that a book could not be both. Actually, they still disagree with me ha


message 49: by Stephen M (new)

Stephen M Are you talking about a person here on goodreads or in real life?

Perhaps we can direct them here for further discussion.


message 50: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich Just in real life (not as good as GR-life). I encouraged them to read it but they have yet to do so.


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