the archives

dusted off in read-only


Cloud Atlas posted 13 Jun 2005, 20:06 by Quinthane, Candidate

"Cloud Atlas" by David Mitchell was an astounding book. A Man Booker Finalist and, imho, should have won. I think it would be well recieved by most here. view post

posted 07 Feb 2006, 12:02 by rycanada, Peralogue

Seconded. view post

posted 20 Feb 2006, 08:02 by Anonymous, Subdidact

I occasionally lurk here and haven't been motivated to post, but this thread has caused me to do so. "Cloud Atlas" was an appalling load of rubbish which should never have been nominated for the Booker, let alone won it. It was up against a bunch of novels far, far superior. Colm Toibin's "The Master" should, in my opinion, have won it. However, Alan Hollinghurst's "The Line of Beauty" which did win was certainly orders of magnitude better than Mitchell's tricksy, gimmicky, superficial "Cloud Atlas". "Cloud Atlas" is the perfect example of the postmodern, game-playing nonsense that characterises so much of the work of the last decade, and which will not even be mentioned in footnotes when the literary history of this period is written. Mitchell's series of uncompleted stories are poor examples of the individual genres in which they purport to be set; the central story is simply pretentious, unreadable drivel ripped off from many other writers (cf Russell Hoban) who at least did it better. Characterisation is shallow and the ideas are all second hand. In none of the stories does Mitchell convince the reader that there is more than a single author trying on funny voices in each story, like a comedian doing impressions. Collecting a bunch of incomplete, non sequitur stories into a single book does not make them a novel. Oh yes, there was a single theme: the strong prey on the weak. How original. There are a lot of bad books out there and when I read one I usually just express displeasure and move on. I rarely hate a book with a vengeance the way I do this one. I don't know why - maybe it's a reaction to all the positive reviews and the many readers and critics (such as the otherwise great Antonia Byatt) who have been conned. If I were a publisher I would have rejected Cloud Atlas for publication and suggested to Mitchell that he try some other line of work. view post

posted 30 Dec 2006, 03:12 by paddyenglish, Candidate

to the above critic I personnally loved cloud atlas and the distinctive writing style Mitchell used in its was one of those types of books that does not like to spoon feed the reader the overall underlying message, as in it is open to interpretation, by giving little sound bites of the peoples histories and surcumstance the reader had the ability to garner from the story that which one wanted. But in the end what can anybody say, literature is about personnal taste in all its mediums I know some people who hate Tolkein for it's supposed simplisity. In the end I give a thumbs up to Mitchell and please try Ghostwritten before you nay say him as an author too much as I think it superior even though it's his first solo work :D view post


The Three Seas Forum archives are hosted and maintained courtesy of Jack Brown.