Lyn's Reviews > Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
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it was amazing

Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield sit having breakfast in a diner discussing, among other things, Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.

Jules: Well we'd have to be talkin' about one charming mother*****' pig. I mean he'd have to be ten times more charmin' than that Arnold on Green Acres, you know what I'm sayin'?

[Both laugh]

Vincent: Awright, check this out; I just finished reading this book called Cloud Atlas.

Jules: Cloud Atlas? What the f*** is that?

Vincent: It’s a pictorial key to the nomenclature of clouds. Early cloud atlases were an important element in the training of meteorologists and in weather forecasting, but that’s not the point, I’m talking about a book I read.

Jules: You’re always reading books, even in the john.

Vincent: Yeah, OK, but here’s the thing, this book tells six intricately connected stories that revolves around a central connection.

Jules: Explain.

Vincent: Ok, here’s how it works. It starts out with a guy in the 1800s on a whaling ship, or some s***, and then it just ends, just stops in the middle of the sentence and then jumps to the next story, in 1931 England.

Jules: So what’s that got to do with the dude in the 1800s?

Vincent: That’s what I’m trying to tell you, but listen, OK, then the story shifts to 1975 and this chick who is investigating energy corporation crime and this scientist who gets chased for writing a report.

Jules: Go on.

Vincent: Then it shifts to the future and this old guy in England who’s getting pinched by these small time hoods –

Jules: Stop, just stop, you’ve already f****** lost me.

Vincent: [laughing] I know, I know, but wait, then the story shifts to even further in the future to Korea and where people are made, produced, manufactured, whatever the f*** to be slaves, like working in McDonald’s, except it’s not McDonald’s it like a future Chinese McDonald’s –

Jules: Serving up a Royale wit cheese!

[Both laugh]

Vincent: Right, right, so then it shifts to way far in the future and I think it’s on Hawaii and they speak this pigeon English –

Jules: OK, ok, wait. Hold the f*** up, why does the author keep shifting stories, what the hell point is all this?

Vincent: I’m getting to that, see here’s the thing, I think all the people in the each story might be reincarnated and all really the same person, or soul, or whatever.

Jules: Reincarnated? Goddamn! But … that may be something upon which I can ponder as I walk the earth. I’ve dreamed before that I was a master swordsman in an alien world, like a samurai master, except my sword was shining purple.

Vincent: Right, but then, see, he goes back and finishes all six stories, going back from future Hawaii, to the Chinese girl –

Jules: Thought you said she was Korean?

Vincent: Whatever, then to the old guy, then the girl in California in the 70s to the English musician and then back to the dude in the 1800s.

Jules: Man, that’s some f***** up s***, did you pick this up in Amsterdam?

Vincent: No, but the coolest thing is the structure, it’s where, OK, it’s like he doesn’t tell the story in a lineal pattern like most books, but all mixed up, but they’re all still connected together, really all telling one big story.

Jules: Alright, I can see that. That is pretty cool, kinda familiar too.

Vincent: Right, right, and by doing so the writer creates a dramatic tension between each segment, adding depth and interest to an already cool story. Also, Mitchell changes his writing style to match whichever story he’s doing.

Pumpkin: [Standing up with a gun] All right, everybody be cool, this is a robbery!

Honey Bunny: Any of you f****** pricks move, and I'll execute every mother****** last one of ya!

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Reading Progress

December 5, 2014 – Started Reading
December 5, 2014 – Shelved
December 5, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
December 15, 2014 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-38 of 38 (38 new)

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Cecily I'm afraid I had to Google Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield. I felt somewhat vindicated, as it's a film I've avoided, but I know enough about it to appreciate your pastiche.


message 2: by Lyn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lyn Thanks, Cecily, I hoped it would not be too obscure a reference


Cecily I expect I'm unusual in being unfamiliar with the names, but it's easy enough to Google.


message 4: by Manny (new)

Manny That really hit the spot.


message 5: by Lyn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lyn Thanks, Manny


Apatt Cecily wrote: "I expect I'm unusual in being unfamiliar with the names, but it's easy enough to Google."

I haven't done the googling thing yet, I'm only familiar with Suzanne Vega, any relations?

Great review Lyn!


message 7: by Lyn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lyn Ha! Thanks, Apatt, now that is an obscure reference, she had some songs back in the 90s if I am not mistaken.


Calico Hmmmm! G**d**n, Lyn! This is some serious literary sh**!

Usually, me and Vince would be happy with some Oprah Book Club nonsense, right, but he springs this serious literary sh** on us!

What author is this?


message 9: by Lyn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lyn Nice! Thanks for the comment, sounds like the coffee scene with Quentin himself.


message 10: by Kyle (new) - added it

Kyle Baker I never connected the two, never having read this book, but it seems that Tarantino was inspired by this book when writing Pulp Fiction. Definitely his style to throw in something you wouldn't notice unless you knew it.


message 11: by Lyn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lyn Thanks, Kyle, though I think Pulp Fiction pre-dates Cloud Atlas, not sure why or how I made the connection but I had fun with this one


message 12: by Kyle (new) - added it

Kyle Baker Oh wow. I was wondering why I didn't remember this conversation, just thought I had ignored it since I hadn't read the book. Thanks for the clarification.


Michael Lots of fun. You have such a flair for channeling the playfulness at the heart of both Mitchell and Taratino. You being a sci fi fan, I can't help but wonder what you think of writers of Lit-ra-ture moving in on the classic themes of the genre, but likely fearful of being shelved there. Do you think it's slumming in areas with decades of tradition or a welcome contribution? Sometimes, like with some Atwood, I feel the former, otherwise it's the more the merrier, and homage to forbears in sci fi and other genres here is clear (actually interviews clarify how much Mitchell is flying on the shoulders of Calvino with this one).


message 14: by Lyn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lyn Thanks, Michael. I have always taken a Bradburyesque view, meaning that it's all fantastic, just by degrees. But then there is Kurt Vonnegut's famous admonition against being labeled "Sci-fi" because then you will not be taken seriously.


Apatt When I was writing my review for The Return of the Native I considered writing a Lyn-esque "conversational review" between Jane Austen and Hardy but then I realized I'd probably do it very badly, like some kind of low rent Lyn so I didn't. An Epic Rap Battle between the two would also be good.


message 16: by Lyn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lyn Apatt I would very much enjoy reading that and thank you for the complement.


message 17: by mark (new) - added it

mark monday ha! funny stuff


message 18: by Lyn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lyn Thanks, mark!


message 19: by Bill (new) - added it

Bill Khaemba One of the best reviews ever :)XD nice one


message 20: by Lyn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lyn ;)


message 21: by Shervin (new)

Shervin Jamali Fantastic review! My first attempt at this book some time past, failed miserably; I couldn't get into it. I will have to revisit it at some point!


message 22: by Lyn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lyn Thanks Shervin


message 23: by Goodnight (new) - added it

Goodnight Easily the best review on GR


message 24: by Lyn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lyn Thanks Mason


Hanneke That is such a cool review, Lyn! And quite an excellent recounting of the stories (yes, plural!). I simply love that book and it will remain one of my favorites ever!


message 26: by Lyn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lyn Thanks Hanneke!


Dennis I actually had to unlike this, so that I can like it again. They really should make a double-like and triple-like button for reviews like that.
C'mon goodreads! Show some love!


message 28: by Jen (new) - added it

Jen Wow !!!


Hanneke It was such a pleasure to read your review again, Lyn! That is such a great and accurate review!


message 30: by Lyn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lyn Thanks Jen and Hanneke


Terry Awesome review of an awesome book! :)


message 32: by Lyn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lyn ;)


message 33: by Lynne (new)

Lynne ... and you're not a published author because ...? Assumption made. I apologize, but I only have "Lyn" upon which to garner information. 😁


message 34: by Lyn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lyn ;)


Daniel Not the first time I've read this review and probably won't be my last. You definitely nailed Vincent and Jules. One of my all time favorite reviews!


message 36: by Lyn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lyn Ha! Thanks Daniel


message 37: by Laura (new)

Laura Davies I've been waiting to read this book because I couldn't seem to wrap my head around the concept. This review finally nailed it for me and I'm going to start tonight. Who would've thought it'd take Vincent and Jules to get me read Cloud Atlas. Fantastic review. Thank you!


Marko S. This may be my favorite review on GR.


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