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Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

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Re: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Post Number:#16  Postby DATo » 28 Oct 2012, 09:26

Geneen Karstens wrote:In Black Swan Green, Jason meets with a woman and discusses music and philosophy..wasn't her name Crommelynek?
I also thought that a couple of characters were reincarnations. I had a hard time reading it, but was determined to finish it because it was so different. It definitely shows that so many of the atrocities committed by humans these days are certainly not new...they've been going on since time began and surely will continue. It was a fantastic book and the different writing styles were interesting. I especially like the story of Sloosha's Crossin' an' Ev'rythin' After, although it was the hardest section to read, at least for me.


Nice catch Geneen !!! Yes, indeed, Mrs. Crommelynek was Vyvian Ayres wife in Cloud Atlas. Also, her backstory in Black Swan Green (when she is, of course much older) is the same as the story we known of her in Cloud Atlas. Perhaps this is another way that Mitchell has found to remind us that "All things are connected." *LOL*
“I just got out of the hospital. I was in a speed reading accident. I hit a book mark and flew across the room.”
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Re: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Post Number:#17  Postby tgny » 09 Nov 2012, 00:01

I've bumped into a bit of what appears to be a logical inconsistency in the book, and I'm wondering if some other reader can clarify this for me.

In the chapter 'Sloosha's Crossin', the opening section describes Zachry's first encounter with 'Old Georgie.' He describes seeing Old Georgie in a tree, and the subsequent encounter with the Kona and his father's death. He also says he was a 'niner' at the time.

A few pages later, Zachry describes his first trip to the Iconry. "First time I went inside the Icon'ry was with Pa'n'Adam'n'Jonas when I was a sevener.' A few sentences later he says '... an' in my head I prayed the same, tho' I knowed I been marked by Old Georgie at Sloosha's Crossin'."

I went back and re-read the first paragraph, about Zach's first encounter with Old Georgie, thinking perhaps this opening section might conflate several different memories of encounters with Old Georgie. But if that's the case, I couldn't find it. The opening section seems quite definitely to describe a single incident, the initial encounter with Old Georgie.

So how can Zachry refer to being 'marked by Old Georgie at Sloosha's Crossin' when he was only seven, his father was still alive, and he hadn't yet HAD that experience?

Can anyone help explain this?? thanks!
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Re: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Post Number:#18  Postby DATo » 09 Nov 2012, 02:17

His first ENCOUNTER with Ol' Georgie took place when he saw him in a tree (as a niner). There would be other encounters later, as you know, when he and Meronym are traveling together. I suppose what I am trying to say is that being "marked" was not an "encounter". I think that he is saying, rather, that he felt that he had been CURSED (when he was a sevener) by Ol' Georgie long before he actually saw him for the first time.

The dream he had suggests that by this time in history mankind had begun to display a budding sixth sense for his dream accurately described what to do later when he and Meronym were trying to evade the Kona ... also, the abbess was able to accurately interpret this dream, so she as well, it would seem, had some sort of paranormal gift. I include this to suggest that perhaps Zachary's vision of Ol' Georgie in the tree was an extra-sensory warning of what was about to transpire with the Kona.

I think of Zachary's visit to the Icon'ry much like the opening scenes of The Exorcist in which the demon makes his presence known to Father Merrin, though he does not directly show himself, and foreshadows to Father Merrin the battle in which they were soon to be engaged. Zachary, too, is forewarned of his own impending battle with HIS "demons" in the form of Ol' Georgie which takes place later in the book.
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Re: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Post Number:#19  Postby Fran » 09 Nov 2012, 07:21

I think it's explained by what I think is Mitchell perception of time as being sort of simultaneous rather than cronological. In that I think the individuals are living a series of lives but doing so simultaneously but with only occasional perceptions or awareness of their other lives both past & future ... or maybe what he is argueing is a sort of race memory concept?
"The trouble is, you think you have time." Buddha
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Re: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Post Number:#20  Postby tgny » 09 Nov 2012, 16:29

Thank you both! very satisfactory explanations - I appreciate it, because it was kind of bothering me. And now it's not. So many thanks! Glad I found this site.
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Re: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Post Number:#21  Postby otleylovebug » 10 Nov 2012, 18:24

Just joined - never heard of this book so I intend to buy it and let you know what I think. I sounds very interesting and I am excited to read it.
:lol:
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Re: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Post Number:#22  Postby Fran » 10 Nov 2012, 19:18

otleylovebug wrote:Just joined - never heard of this book so I intend to buy it and let you know what I think. I sounds very interesting and I am excited to read it.
:lol:


Excellent ... we will look forward to your input to the discussion :)
"The trouble is, you think you have time." Buddha
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Re: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Post Number:#23  Postby DATo » 10 Nov 2012, 19:39

Fran wrote:
otleylovebug wrote:Just joined - never heard of this book so I intend to buy it and let you know what I think. I sounds very interesting and I am excited to read it.
:lol:


Excellent ... we will look forward to your input to the discussion :)


I second Fran's comment !!!
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Re: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Post Number:#24  Postby book_life » 13 Nov 2012, 12:54

I'm a huge fan of Tom Hanks and really want to see the movie. I think I'll read the book first since the book is always better than the movie.
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Re: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Post Number:#25  Postby Gannon » 13 Nov 2012, 17:28

Great to see that interest in "Cloud Atlas" is growing. It really is a book that's made for discussion. :D
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Re: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Post Number:#26  Postby DATo » 14 Nov 2012, 02:48

book_life wrote:I'm a huge fan of Tom Hanks and really want to see the movie. I think I'll read the book first since the book is always better than the movie.


book_life,
I would encourage you to read the book first. I have not seen the movie yet but from comments I've read at other websites I have been led to believe that people who have read the book got more out of the movie than people who had not.

Gannon,
Do a Google search for "Los Angeles Times David Mitchell". It will take you to a link of a great interview with Mitchell which describes how he writes and many other very interesting bits of trivia about him.

Fran,
In the interview mentioned above Mitchell states that he lives in County Cork --- YOU TWO ARE PRACTICALLY NEIGHBORS!!! Perhaps you could bake him a cake and ask to visit him. You could tell him all about his fan club here at the forum. Kidding of course .... but .... who knows ? *Raises eyebrow*. At very lease you might be able to get him to join our discussion. Camp out in front of his house till he comes out and then waylay him.
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Re: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Post Number:#27  Postby Fran » 14 Nov 2012, 09:37

@DATo
Interesting idea ... I'll be in Cork next month so just might lay siege to Mr Mitchell! Not too sure about the cake baking though, wouldn't want to poison my current favourite author. :lol: :lol: :lol:
"The trouble is, you think you have time." Buddha
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Re: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Post Number:#28  Postby writerworld » 14 Nov 2012, 13:42

8) I look forward to reading this book. :mrgreen:
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Re: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Post Number:#29  Postby DATo » 23 Nov 2012, 07:56

This is a radio interview with David Mitchell with reference to Cloud Atlas. The interviewer and show's host is Michael SIlverblatt who is an extraordinarily gifted and competent book reviewer. This is a very intellectual discussion which delves deeper into this book and Mitchell's style and intentions in writing it than any other interview I've read or seen.

This interview is what I imagine professional writers would talk about in private and makes a listener feel that they are eavesdropping and being given the very special privilege of insights unavailable to others. This is a long interview but every word is pure gold.

If you guys have not already listened to it I would heartily encourage you to do so. Very deep ... but fascinating.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pvhJy1dagw

-- December 1st, 2012, 6:30 am --

Somni-451 : A possible interpretation of the ending

Please bear with me ... this may get a bit tedious.

The first stanza of American national anthem describes the scene of the bombardment of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. The narrator, Francis Scott Key was aboard ship in the harbor as the bombardment was taking place. As went the fate of the fort would go the fate of his new nation. His only knowledge of whether or not the fort had surrendered was the sight of the flag atop the fort's mast. If the flag was gone it would mean the fort had surrendered. The flashes of light from the exploding bombs which illuminated the sky were the only way he could monitor the battle. We Americans sing this song at the beginning of all our sporting events and other festivities much as other nations do, but I think we have come to sing the song by rote and do not give particular emphasis to the meaning as we sing it. There is one part of the song that always grabs at my throat and that is the line ... "Oh say, does that star-spangled banner YET wave, o're the land of the free, and the home of the brave?" ... This line is a question, and I always imagine these words coming from the mouths of all the Americans who have died in the service of the country. They are asking me and my fellow Americans if we used their sacrifice, if we valued it enough to build a great nation ... because they would never know. This thought both moves me and saddens me greatly.

When we come to the end of the Somni-451 story we are faced with a similar idea. Somni-451 is about to be led to her death. Her "Declarations" and in fact her entire sacrifice was based ironically on the inspiration she acquired from The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish, a comedy, which she views from a "disney orison". She is allowed a last request and she asks to be able to see the conclusion of the disney. At this point in the story Somni does not know that Timothy DOES in fact succeed at his goal of freedom. Mitchell does not tell us but the inference is that she will learn of Timothy's success and will go to her death with hope that her efforts will also culminate in the outcome she desires ... and that will be a comforting thought both to her and to us, the reader.

-- February 1st, 2013, 1:59 am --

Gannon,

The movie was shown in my area for about a week when it first came out and then disappeared. I expected it to make a return at the second tier theaters but so far it has not. It was like a non-cinematic-event. I TOTALLY do not understand this. I often see outrageously bad movies with actors of no special standing, poor plots or ridiculous premises, and no books to support them linger at movie houses till I want to shout ENOUGH ALREADY !!! It seems as though there was a concerted effort made to keep this movie away from the public for some reason. It defies all logic to believe that a movie such as this, with the outstanding cast it contains, could fall off the charts this quickly without some outside manipulations.

I guess I shall have to wait till the DVD comes out to see it ... I hope you have better luck where you are.
“I just got out of the hospital. I was in a speed reading accident. I hit a book mark and flew across the room.”
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Re: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Post Number:#30  Postby darkandstormyknight » 19 Jul 2014, 12:40

I LOVE this book!! I actually got into it after a friend of mine showed me the movie, and then read the book because I usually like the book better than the movie. I thought that the changes were interesting, it represented the book pretty well though.
I had always thought that the birthmark represented reincarnation throughout the stories, but there isn't one in Adam Ewing's chapter. I saw somewhere else online that an idea was that the boy who committed suicide had the birthmark instead, since he was similar to Frobisher.
Any thoughts on this, or why the birthmark might be absent from that story?
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