Hugo & Nebula Awards: Best Novels discussion

Cloud Atlas
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Monthly Reading: Discussion > August 2018 "Cloud Atlas" Discussion <No Spoilers>

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message 1: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new) - rated it 2 stars

Art | 2551 comments Mod
Group read #12


LuthienDillon | 24 comments Picked the book up from my local bookstore this morning. Love the cover.
What is more, hubby recognised the title and said he watched the film, calling it 'one of the weirdest he has ever seen. ' Sounds promising.


message 3: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new) - rated it 2 stars

Art | 2551 comments Mod
I've heard some very conflicting opinions about this novel, I guess we'll just have to find out what the deal is the hard way.


message 4: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new) - rated it 2 stars

Art | 2551 comments Mod
Just in case anybody wondered, the account of Moriori genocide told in the beginning of the book is truthful. I remember reading about it in Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies and kinda stuck with me. Hardly a spoiler, so just decided to let everyone know.


message 5: by Ed (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ed Erwin | 647 comments Art wrote: "Just in case anybody wondered, the account of Moriori genocide told in the beginning of the book is truthful...."

Also, the story about the composer and his amanuensis is very similar to a true story of the composer Delius and his helper Eric Fenby, which is also told in the film "Song of Summer".


message 6: by Bryan, Village Idiot (new) - rated it 2 stars

Bryan | 481 comments Mod
I'm very interested in what you guys have to say about this book. I, again, read this one not to long ago. And, again, wasn't overly impressed with it.

This month was a bad line up for me. But, it is still very fun for me to hear what others have to say. It is nice for me to see if I missed something when I read it.


message 7: by Ed (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ed Erwin | 647 comments I was very impressed by the style, in some sections more than others. The nested structure was a bit annoying to me. And I didn't like the center section that takes place in the future in Hawai'i. A few of Mitchell's other books have been more to my liking, such as "The Bone Clocks" and "Slade House".

In case you don't know, all his novels are interconnected through repeating characters, but can be read independently. The repeated characters are just a little game for attentive readers.


message 8: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new) - rated it 2 stars

Art | 2551 comments Mod
I am enjoying the book so far, but only because of the quality of writing (which I find superb), though I kimda hope there will be some story development soon. In any case, the first quarter manages to keep me intrigued and looking forward to the rest of it.


message 9: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kateblue | 3667 comments Mod
I was really liking "The Bone Clocks," but then the library loan ran out. I keep meaning to get it again. But this one? Not so much so far. Some parts are better than others. More later


LuthienDillon | 24 comments I'm making only slow progress with this one, but that's not the book's fault. Liked the beginning and finally realised that I have read another book by this author two years ago : The Thousand Summers of Jacob de Zoet.
Seems like Mitchell loves his colonial settings. That other one started like a historical romance until it suddenly became really creepy, so I'm curious to see how this one will play out and hoping for some undisturbed reading time at the weekend.


LuthienDillon | 24 comments Art wrote: "Just in case anybody wondered, the account of Moriori genocide told in the beginning of the book is truthful. I remember reading about it in [book:Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societi..."

I feared that it might be a real event when I read that. :/ Thanks for the information and the reference.


LuthienDillon | 24 comments Now on page 130. The book is not like I expected after the first few pages and I 've still got no idea where it's headed to.
But I like the writing style and am curious to find out how the story ends.


message 13: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Z (new) - rated it 2 stars

Oleksandr Zholud | 3472 comments Mod
I've started it yesterday. Now about 15% in. A bit hard to read due to time period stylizing. So far not impressed


message 14: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kateblue | 3667 comments Mod
I was not impressed, either. I got though 3 time period stylizations, still not into it. Haven't even gotten to anything that can remotely be called speculative fiction.


message 15: by Ed (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ed Erwin | 647 comments Kateblue wrote: "I was not impressed, either. I got though 3 time period stylizations, still not into it. Haven't even gotten to anything that can remotely be called speculative fiction."

At least 2 sections are Spec Fic: one involves a wage-slave situation and a subsequent revolt in Korea, the other is a post-apocalyptic tale in Hawai'i. I loved the Korea part, hated the Hawai'i part.

Feel free to skip sections you don't like. There are repeating themes, but not repeating characters, unless you think it is about re-incarnation, which I do not think was the intent in the book. (But may have been the intent in the film.)


message 16: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kateblue | 3667 comments Mod
Thanks, Ed, but I am feeling free to not read it.


message 17: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Z (new) - rated it 2 stars

Oleksandr Zholud | 3472 comments Mod
Kateblue wrote: "Thanks, Ed, but I am feeling free to not read it."

I still plan to finish it just to understand what made Nebula folk tick to nominate it. The language experiments are doubly hard on me :(


message 18: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kateblue | 3667 comments Mod
It's probably good for you, Oeksandr. But I have decided to quit reading when I am not having any fun.


message 19: by Bryan, Village Idiot (new) - rated it 2 stars

Bryan | 481 comments Mod
Kateblue wrote: "It's probably good for you, Oeksandr. But I have decided to quit reading when I am not having any fun."

To each their own. My philosophy on it is kind of like a my take on food. I can finish most meals, even if it isn't something I like because I'm polite like that. It has to be something awful if I can't finish it. There have only been a handful of books I couldn't muscle my way through it.


message 20: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Z (new) - rated it 2 stars

Oleksandr Zholud | 3472 comments Mod
Kateblue wrote: "It's probably good for you, Oeksandr. But I have decided to quit reading when I am not having any fun."

It wasn't very bad, but I cannot say I truly enjoyed it. There were good parts but as for ideas they are not too novel actually. While I fully agree that e.g. slavery is bad I cannot say I enjoy reading just how bad it is again and again, that's goes like preaching to converted, I see no point in that


message 21: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kateblue | 3667 comments Mod
I get what you mean, Bryan, about "muscling through" because I have done that for years. I have decided not to do it anymore. Not like I am trying to convince others. It's just me.


message 22: by Ed (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ed Erwin | 647 comments I guess I should share my thoughts, though I didn't read it along with you.

About 5 years ago I was house-sitting in a friends house. She has 100s of books around. I saw "Cloud Atlas" there not knowing anything about it. I started reading and became addicted. I read about 1/4 of it in one sitting. When I got home, I got if from the library and finished it. I was totally in love with the style of the writing. I find it beautiful. In the end, most of the stories didn't move me much, but the style did.

My favorite parts were part 4 "The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish" which was funny and believable, and part 5 "An Orison of Sonmi-451 Summary" which was an interesting SciFi dystopia and revolution. I hated the central section (6) with a passion!

I do not understand and do not like the nested structure. Why not just tell each story straight through?

I think that "Bone Clocks" and "Slade House" are both better books in terms of the stories they tell. (And "Slade House" is short and quick.)

I am surprised "Cloud Atlas" won, or was even nominated for a Hugo or Nebula. Only a small portion is SF. I didn't think of it as SF while reading it.


message 23: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Z (new) - rated it 2 stars

Oleksandr Zholud | 3472 comments Mod
Ed wrote: "I do not understand and do not like the nested structure. Why not just tell each story straight through?"

An attempt to be original and to show interconnections. Each next chapter you see the mention of the previous one and the central depicts the society like that depicted in the first one as destroyed. Also see musings about time in the book, that time is non-linear.

I also liked both Cavendish parts and Sonmi


message 24: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new) - rated it 2 stars

Art | 2551 comments Mod
Picked up Cloud Atlas last night, got through a third of the book now and hoping to finish it as soon as possible. The style of writing is still very appealing to me while some of the stories are absolutely not. Just finished the Cavendish part and I see why it is liked so.


message 25: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Z (new) - rated it 2 stars

Oleksandr Zholud | 3472 comments Mod
Art wrote: "Picked up Cloud Atlas last night, got through a third of the book now and hoping to finish it as soon as possible. "

I'm glad you liked it, waiting for your views on it as a complete story


message 26: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new) - rated it 2 stars

Art | 2551 comments Mod
I believe I'd prefer passing a kidney stone to re-reading this gem of a novel...

THE most difficult read of the year for me and probably least rewarding, I didn't hate it, it's rather that I am shocked at how indifferent I felt towards the events described in the book.

The style was alright (except for the bit in the middle) and there were some interesting characters here and there, but I didn't connect to any of it. I just finished it half an hour ago and I feel as if I just read a whole bunch of words, a great deal of words that left 0 impact on me.


message 27: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kateblue | 3667 comments Mod
I am in the middle of the Bone Clocks by the same author (I have been for a while, actually.) So far, it's MUCH better than Cloud Atlas


message 28: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Z (new) - rated it 2 stars

Oleksandr Zholud | 3472 comments Mod
Art wrote: "The style was alright (except for the bit in the middle) and there were some interesting characters here and there, but I didn't connect to any of it. "

Exactly.


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