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What Else Are You Reading? > Renegade Read for August/September 2012: Cloud Atlas

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Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2898 comments I'm going to re-read Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell starting in August. I figured a bunch of people would be doing it too, so I declared a renegade read! I'm still going to read Assassin's Apprentice, so this is no statement on the official pick but rather a place to discuss what I suspect a lot of us will be reading anyway!

Who is with me?


message 2: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4203 comments Damn you!

I'm already in the middle of two thick books, but I guess I'll join in on a "renegade" read (in addition to skimming through Assassin's Apprentice, which I've already read).


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2898 comments I gave us two months because it is a hefty tome.


message 4: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6376 comments Jenny has gone rogue!


message 5: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4203 comments Guess I'll be trying to finish The Rise of Endymion this weekend.... ::shakes fist in the air::


message 6: by Kim (new)

Kim | 477 comments I've already got it loaded on my Kindle to read. I was going to read it this month but ran out of time so I might join you.


message 7: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6376 comments Ooo that's a big one.


message 8: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 919 comments Count me in! I've been wanting to read this one and it'd be good to have people to read with.


message 9: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6376 comments The first 2 chapters seem to have that 'Tigana' hurdle.


message 10: by Charles (new)

Charles (CAndrews) | 60 comments I initially thought this was actually a cloud atlas rather than a work of fiction. If that had been the case it would certainly be a renegade read!

... reading a story called cloud atlas almost seems less exciting!


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2898 comments Charles wrote: "I initially thought this was actually a cloud atlas rather than a work of fiction. If that had been the case it would certainly be a renegade read!

... reading a story called cloud atlas almost se..."

Write one, and I'll read it!


message 12: by Anne (new)

Anne Schüßler (anneschuessler) | 839 comments Oh yeah. I just saw the trailer and it made me want to read the book again. So I guess I'll be in then.


message 13: by Terry (new)

Terry Wagner | 5 comments Think I'll be joining in for this one as well.


message 14: by Kenny (new)

Kenny | 4 comments I'm also in for cloud atlas after watching the trailer.


toria (vikz writes) (victoriavikzwrites) Count me in.


message 16: by Kim (new)

Kim | 477 comments Troy wrote: "Just ordered on Kindle since no stores had it in stock in my area and online dead tree copies had a shipping delay."

Everyone is trying to read it before the movie comes out.


message 17: by David Sven (new)

David Sven (gorro) | 1582 comments The trailer looks intriguing and the plot structure sounds different. I'll make this my lunch time reading.

@Jenny - when you say "hefty tome" do you mean intellectually or am I looking at a different Cloud Atlas with only 500 pages?


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2898 comments David Sven wrote: "@Jenny - when you say "hefty tome" do you mean intellectually or am I looking at a different Cloud Atlas with only 500 pages? "
Density, I suppose. But hey, this is the group that has read 1Q84 and Reamde as alternate reads, so maybe I shouldn't worry about it.


message 19: by Anne (new)

Anne Schüßler (anneschuessler) | 839 comments I usually remember books that I think are hefty, because they slightly annoy me. Don't get me wrong, I still read and might love them, but I hate the fact that THERE ARE SO MANY PAGES BEFORE I CAN START THE NEXT BOOK! (I'm an impatient reader.)

I don't remember Cloud Atlas being too long, just the right length I'd say and awesome at that.


message 20: by Paul (new)

Paul Harmon (thesaint08d) | 639 comments I might join you. I'm intending to read it just timing has been off. I Made it through the 25% of AA in one day so if I finish fast Ill jump on with you Jenny and folks :).


message 21: by Alterjess (new)

Alterjess | 319 comments I'm not sure I'd call Cloud Atlas "hefty" but it's definitely a book that requires you to pay attention. You can't skim it.

The movie trailer hints at the structure, but I'm very curious/excited to see how they've adapted it.


message 22: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 919 comments I'm starting it. Really good so far.


message 23: by Anne (new)

Anne Schüßler (anneschuessler) | 839 comments Alterjess wrote: "I'm not sure I'd call Cloud Atlas "hefty" but it's definitely a book that requires you to pay attention. You can't skim it.

The movie trailer hints at the structure, but I'm very curious/excite..."


Yeah, I was surprised at how well the movie trailer worked for me. I didn't think you could adapt this book to a movie, but judging from the trailer I now at least think that it MIGHT be possible.


message 24: by Lee (new)

Lee | 43 comments I only realised from the trailer (the actors playing several parts) that their characters are supposed to be reincarnations of the same soul.

When I read it, because of the structure, I thought it was about people (in a very loose sense) interacting and connecting across time, like a message in a bottle.

Think Jenny is right definitely hefty and definitely worth a reread.


message 25: by Tamahome (last edited Jul 31, 2012 01:43PM) (new)

Tamahome | 6376 comments In case you didn't see this in the other thread:

Video of the three directors the Warchowski's (one is now transgender) & Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) try to describe the Cloud Atlas movie. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07...


message 26: by Linguana (new)

Linguana | 148 comments I've read the Robin Hobb books many times, so I'll join in on the renegade read. Yay!


message 27: by Michael (new)

Michael (the_smoking_gnu) | 178 comments I am thinking about joining the rebellion.
There is a 19 hrs and 33 mins unabridged audiobook (narrated by Scott Brick, Cassandra Campbell, Kim Mai Guest, Kirby Heyborne, John Lee, Richard Matthews) and a 7 hrs and 17 mins abridged version (narrated by Tim Pigott-Smith, Charles Collingwood, Jane Collingwood).
Any pointers?


message 28: by Jenny (Reading Envy) (last edited Jul 31, 2012 02:31PM) (new)

Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2898 comments Michael wrote: "I am thinking about joining the rebellion.
There is a 19 hrs and 33 mins unabridged audiobook (narrated by Scott Brick, Cassandra Campbell, Kim Mai Guest, Kirby Heyborne, John Lee, Richard Matthews..."

I have been coveting the unabridged version, those are like the best of the best narrators right there.

Report back!


message 29: by Rand (new)

Rand Howard (aanderand) | 13 comments Bless you Jenny, I wanted to read the book after seeing the trailer and felt this book, of any book, needed a discussion group. The book is on hold at the library and I hope it is a short hold as I want to finish it before the movie comes out. In the meantime, I picked up Assassin's Apprentice today and will start it. I am trying to finish up Neil Gaimans American gods on audiobook as well. Look forward to following the discussion. Oh, BTW, the library did have a "Cloud Atlas" book as well.


message 30: by Michael (new)

Michael (the_smoking_gnu) | 178 comments Jenny wrote: "I have been coveting the unabridged version, those are like the best of the best narrators right there.
Report back! "


I've settled on the unabridged audiobook.
Each chapter is written in the language of its time, so the first chapter was rather challenging, but the second chapter is already much more accessible.
Great narration so far.

Helpful note from the audible website:
"Note to customers: The complicated format of this novel makes it seem that the audio may be cutting off before the end of a story, accompanied by a change in narrator. However, this is the author's intention, so please continue to listen, and the stories will conclude themselves as intended."


message 31: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4203 comments Hmm I'm listening to The Stand right now, but after seeing that audiobook cast, I might have to put that aside and listen to this instead of getting it on Kindle...


message 32: by Michael (new)

Michael (the_smoking_gnu) | 178 comments I found out why the voice of the second narrator, Richard Matthews, is so familiar. Richard Matthews is one of Simon Vance's pseudonyms.
He did an excellent job narrating the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson.


message 33: by David Sven (new)

David Sven (gorro) | 1582 comments Michael wrote: "Each chapter is written in the language of its time, so the first chapter was rather challenging, but the second chapter is already much more accessible."

Oh good. I've just started this lunch hour so I'm having to slow down a lot more than I usually do. But already I've had to exercise caution to ensure my mouthful of coffee doesn't end up on my kindle screen. The contrast between the very proper "white" Ewing, to the not so proper "savage" and "heathen" surroundings make for some hilarious moments. Some of the one liners are so politically incorrect (but typical for the time)I had to slap my wrist for laughing.


message 34: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6376 comments Hmm. I totally missed that. I chuckled in the 2nd chapter though.


message 35: by Anne (new)

Anne Schüßler (anneschuessler) | 839 comments Michael wrote: "Helpful note from the audible website:
"Note to customers: The complicated format of this novel makes it seem that the audio may be cutting off before the end of a story, accompanied by a change in narrator. However, this is the author's intention, so please continue to listen, and the stories will conclude themselves as intended.""


I remember this from back when I read it the first time and thinking my book was broken. It took a while before I figured out that it was supposed to that way.


message 36: by Michael (last edited Aug 01, 2012 12:48PM) (new)

Michael (the_smoking_gnu) | 178 comments 6,5h into the 19,8h audiobook and I can't escape the feeling that the author is showing off his degrees in literature. Without the great narrators this book would be much more frustrating.
The individual stories are interesting and captivating, but I am not a big fan of (view spoiler).
Don't get me wrong, I am quite enjoying the book.


message 37: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 919 comments This reminds me a lot of The Savage Detectives in its multiple point of views to make us gather the clues in order to piece together the story. The Sound and the Fury is another one with multiple point of views. I loved the Sound and the Fury. I was lukewarm with The Savage Detectives. But I'm going back to analyze The Savage Detectives. My mind really was on another book, so I don't think I gave The Savage Detectives my full attention. It looks like these types of books are popular in postmodern literature because the disjointed format seems to be the norm.


message 38: by Vicky (new)

Vicky (librovert) | 52 comments I'm going to try to join in on this later this month. I've had the audiobook (unabridged because Scott Brick is one of my all time favorite narrators) for a while, but I struggled getting into the beginning and then started listening to Leviathan Wakes... so it got the back burner.

The promise of good discussion definitely motivates me to get listening though!


message 39: by David Sven (new)

David Sven (gorro) | 1582 comments Tamahome wrote: "Hmm. I totally missed that. I chuckled in the 2nd chapter though."

I don't think the first chapter was a comedy or intended to be "light hearted" in any way.
I just think there were a few hilarious moments, like when (chapter 1 minor spoiler)(view spoiler)

And I found Ewings and Henry's pompous attitude towards the "savages" funny like when Henry comments
“I could never describe a race of savages too backwards to throw a spear straight as ‘noble.’ ”

Maybe its just something wrong with my sense of humour.


message 40: by Michael (new)

Michael (the_smoking_gnu) | 178 comments ~ 12h into the 19,8h audiobook, I finished the "Sloosha’s Crossin’ An’ Ev’rythin’ After" chapter. Yes, the language of this chapter is as tedious as the title suggests and I didn't much care for it. (view spoiler)]
I can see why there is an abridged version of this audiobook. I caught myself wishing that he would move on to the next story already.


message 41: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6376 comments Ok, David. I guess I understood those were jokes but didn't laugh much.


message 42: by Michael (last edited Aug 02, 2012 08:02AM) (new)

Michael (the_smoking_gnu) | 178 comments ~ 13,5h into the 19,8h audiobook (view spoiler)

David Mitchell (self-deprecatingly) preempting criticism:
"“But it’s been done a hundred times before!”—as if there could be anything not done a hundred thousand times between Aristophanes and Andrew Void-Webber! As if Art is the What, not the How!"


message 43: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6376 comments I think he's trying very hard to be original (too hard?).


message 44: by Linguana (new)

Linguana | 148 comments I'm in the first story and I find the style surprisingly difficult. I've been reading in English for over a decade now and it doesn't happen often that I find myself having to concentrate really hard to understand everything. But here I do.
And I'm not really into the story yet. We'll see... I hope that'll change soon.


message 45: by Nico (new)

Nico (darkybald) | 30 comments "Sloosha’s Crossin’ An’ Ev’rythin’ After" was really hard to read , yay , was happy when it was over :)


message 46: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 919 comments I have a friend who had a hard time with The Sound and the Fury because English is not his native language, although he is fluent in it. I don't think he got the American speech style of the writing.


message 47: by Michael (new)

Michael (the_smoking_gnu) | 178 comments "Very well, dear Reader, you deserve an epilogue if you’ve stayed with me this far." More self-deprecating humor.


message 48: by Michael (new)

Michael (the_smoking_gnu) | 178 comments Tamahome wrote: "I think he's trying very hard to be original (too hard?)."
~ 16,5h into the 19,8h audiobook, for my taste he is trying too hard with the "Half-Lives: The First Luisa Rey Mystery"
(view spoiler)


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2898 comments I don't understand the concept of "trying too hard," what does that mean to you?


message 50: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6376 comments Trying so hard to be original or smart that it hurts the enjoyment of the story by the audience.


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