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#CloudAtlasAlong – Sections 1 & 2

cloudalong

The Steadfast Reader and Bookish Tendencies are hosting a read-along of Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell and I decided to jump in.

As I began reading the book, I realized I had absolutely no idea what Cloud Atlas was about other than it was some kind of literary hybrid people adored. From the movie poster, I had it in my head it leaned towards science fiction. For this reason, some of my reactions to the story are way out there. I think I’m behind on the reading schedule, but here are some thoughts …

* CONTAINS SPOILERS

SECTION 1: THE PACIFIC JOURNAL OF ADAM EWING

In this section, we are introduced to Adam Ewing who writes about his stopover on a South Pacific island where he meets Dr. Henry Goose, witnesses the horrible treatment of the Moriori people by their Maori masters and discovers a hidden tribal shrine.

♦  The section starts so abruptly, I felt like I had been dropped in the middle of a scene. It was very disorienting and it took me a few pages to adjust. Is this on purpose?

♦  I couldn’t help cringing at the 19th century stereotypes and racist attitude of the white people towards the native tribes. It doesn’t sit well with Ewing either, but he keeps a “stiff upper lip” ( see That’s Not English).

♦  Ewing’s tropical jungle hike was interesting because of the revelation that he is suffering some kind of “Ailment” with a capital A.  What? Did I miss a previous mention of this? In his fright, Ewing was almost having an out-of-body experience, so I also thought maybe Ailment was code word for some kind of psychic power (obviously my head is still not screwed on straight at this point). Alas, no, it’s a parasite. Or is it?

♦  When the chapter suddenly cuts off, I was totally thrown for a loop! What happened? I must have flipped back and forth 5-6 times. Since I’m reading on an ereader, page jumping frequently occurs. But the unexpected ending is intentional and on a little research I discovered even Amazon received so many complaints they printed a disclaimer about the chapter.

 disclaimer

 

SECTON 2; LETTERS FROM ZEDELGHEM

In this section, Robert Frobisher is our new narrator. A musician in the 1930s, he writes a series of letters to a colleague named Sixsmith about travelling to Belgium to approach a famous composer for a job. Frobisher is welcomed into the home of Vvyan Ayrs and his wife and daughter (actually his daughter hates him), and quickly becomes part of the household once Ayrs accepts him as an assistant. Frobisher is very determined to hide his past from the family, as well as other nefarious behaviour which he describes in his letters.

♦  Again, I needed a few pages to adjust to a new character and a new setting. I could actually feel my mind bending as it tried to figure out where the heck my imagination was supposed to land.

♦  Frobisher is a bad boy, yet an interesting character because he operates on such an underhanded level. He is also witty and charming. I want to know what he’ll get up to next.

♦  Frobisher’s discovery of the partial Adam Ewing journal was an exciting connection, but we didn’t learn anything more.

♦ I love the quote: “A half-read book is a half-finished love affair.”

Phew! What an exhilarating start! After the first two sections we’ve got different characters in different time periods, some mysterious connections and plot threads. Where is it all going? What does it all mean? And more importantly, what have I gotten myself into?

Share your thoughts with me on Cloud Atlas!

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20 comments on “#CloudAtlasAlong – Sections 1 & 2

  1. janceewright
    April 8, 2015

    This is on my TBR and I’m actually really excited about it. I can’t wait to get to the point where I can actually tackle it!

    Like

  2. I watched the movie and I had no idea what was happening. Because of that, I didn’t enjoy the movie. Ever since then I’ve thought about reading the book. But, I’m not sure about it, lol, especially after reading your thoughts.

    Like

    • I’ll follow along with you, though, and see if it gets any better. Then, I’ll make my decision.

      Like

      • ebookclassics
        April 8, 2015

        I’m so tempted to watch the movie even though I’m still reading the book. It’s definitely a challenging story with all of the characters and plots, and I’m only 100 pages into the story. I’m going to do my best to make sense of it all!

        Like

  3. KatieMcD
    April 8, 2015

    So glad you’re reading along! There is no behind, just post/link up whenever you get around to it! I just finished the third section, which flies right by, after slogging through the first section. 🙂

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      April 8, 2015

      The first section was a slog! I think because my brain had to work extra hard to understand what was going on. I just finished the Luisa Rey section, so onwards and upwards!

      Liked by 1 person

      • KatieMcD
        April 9, 2015

        The Luisa Rey section was my favorite so far!

        Like

  4. Rats, I wish I’d known about this earlier. I have too many books on the go to jump in now but I’ll enjoy reading your posts!!

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    • ebookclassics
      April 9, 2015

      Oh that’s too bad. Actually this was a last minute decision for me because I’m juggling a bunch of other books too. Hopefully my posts make you want to read the book even more.

      Like

  5. Book Guy Reviews
    April 9, 2015

    Such a wonderful book! Keep at it! If you’re ever interested in some awesome book reviews and musings, be sure to follow! Thanks!

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      April 14, 2015

      Thanks for stopping by! I’m still trucking along with Cloud Atlas. What did you like the most about the book?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Book Guy Reviews
        April 14, 2015

        The intricacy of language was astounding. He at once incorporates antiquated King’s English and sci-fi future-speak. So crazy and wonderful.

        Like

        • ebookclassics
          April 14, 2015

          I just finished the first Sonmi chapter, so I completely understand what you mean about moving from King’s English to future-speak. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that all of these stories are in the sane book and somehow they are all going to come together into one big … I don’t know what. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • Book Guy Reviews
            April 14, 2015

            But that’s the beauty of it all. They overlap very little, and he leaves it to you to bring them together. Mitchell is fantastic. All his books are great.

            Like

            • ebookclassics
              April 14, 2015

              Ooh, very interesting food for thought. Is Cloud Atlas you favourite book by David Mitchell?

              Like

              • Book Guy Reviews
                April 14, 2015

                I like Bone Clocks the most (his newest). But A Thousand Autumns is wonderful, and Black Swan Green is fantastic as well.

                Like

                • ebookclassics
                  April 14, 2015

                  Cloud Atlas is the first book I’ve ever read by Mitchell, but I’m impressed and very curious about him right now.

                  Like

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This entry was posted on April 8, 2015 by in Bookish Thoughts and tagged , , .

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