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Cloud Atlas
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Previous Monthly Reads > Spoiler Discussion. Cloud Atlas

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

This is the spoiler thread for our October monthly read, Cloud Atlas.


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

This was quite a pleasant read and in spite of it's easy-going, page-turning appeal there was quite a lot of food for thought here. Some the stories had a familiar feel to them. Sonmi's story in particular. This is probably because because of the fact that I'm a bit of a sci-fi nut. Her ascendancy smacked of Asimov's I, Robot and the movie AI, and the corporate dystopia in which she lives puts me in mind of movies such as Blade Runner, Soylent Green and Logans run. I bet the house that Williams has seen and/or read all of these.

The novel is based around the exploitation of others and the abuse of power. Or it's at least mostly based around this theme. The folly of human ambition is also very much present in all of the accounts.

I found Frobisher's account to be the most interesting in terms of the recurring theme. He unscrupulously takes advantage of everyone he comes across; burns his bridges with everyone except Rufus Sixsmith and flees to Belgium to take advantage of an ageing composer. I like the turnaround where he's then plagiarised by Vyvyan and used by Jocasta for pleasure. I couldn't quite feel sorry for him but I was moved by his end.

I'm dying to discuss the rest of the accounts with everyone, but I have to get back to study.


message 3: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 22, 2014 05:24AM) (new)

I'm responding to comments in the open Cloud Atlas thread as I don't want to post spoilers for either the book or movie.

The use of reincarnation as a concrete theme (or even just a device) in the book gives me a lot of problems; as does the the star-crossed lovers element.

If we take the star-crossed aspect, which is cemented in the Sonmi storyline in the movie, why was it considered unnecessary in the book to then only make it central in the movie but not the book were she was manipulated and double-crossed?

If reincarnation is a theme then it's only related to those characters with the birthmark, but that causes problems with the star-crossed lovers plot, not to mention that the characters in the movie with the mark are played by different actors in different timelines. Either the same character should play it are a completely new actor who isn't playing an unrelated incarnation in other timelines. And there's the problem that it's missing in one timeline altogether. If the birthmark signifies reincarnation in the book, than surely it should be borne by the same actors in the movie in the various timelines and not change at a whim. And why does Vyvyan dream of Sonmi's restaurant to then go on and have incarnation in that timeline?

The inconsistencies are making my head hurt. There are more problems, but I'm getting a little annoyed thinking on these things. I assumed that the Wachowskis embraced the inclusion of the birthmark to use reincarnation to reduce the cast size of the movie, but I'm not so sure what the hell is going on, now.


Louise | 82 comments Oh Declan . Here's a hug. Let's put cloud atlas away for a while.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

That's kind of how I feel, Louise. :-/

And don't me started on whether or not Luisa Rey is real or a character from a novel.


message 6: by Serf (new)

Serf Lol I went to see that film and came away thinking there was a really good moral tale being told in there somewhere.....if only I could figure out what was going on.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

It works for me as a morality tale, Seraphina, especially where slavery and exploitation are concerned. Just trying to get to the bottom of the reincarnation issue having read the book and seen the movie, is really grating on me.


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