Saturday, August 29, 2015

cloud atlas

Cloud Atlas is probably fairly well known as a movie--I'm sure I've seen bits of it but after reading the book I'm sure I didn't see the movie. I'm also not sure how you'd make a movie from this story but I can see how some of the confusing parts might be simplified with the addition of visual clues.

Cloud Atlas is almost a short story collection, held together by more than a common theme. It's more of a story arc--maybe story loop is s better term--that runs though time connecting up various characters from each along the way. Characters that can almost feel these other characters from afar.

What was fun was Mitchell's shifts in style and language according to the time and place these segments occur, from the past out into the dystopian future. A future that I think helped lay the groundwork for The Bone Clocks. A future that I can see similarities in in Paolo Bacagalupi's work, incidentally. What I think they share is a keen awareness of the state we are currently in and they both are forecasting bleak futures of our own making. 30 years ago dystopian futures were made of nuclear winters or planetary subjugation by aliens. A younger breed of writers sees environmental disaster as our undoing. These two see more specific losses at the hands of corporate mismanagement of the environment and our natural resources.  Death by mega-corp, now with 100% less calories. I made a little joke

Cloud Atlas is an engaging blend of novel and soft-SF. It's not a lazy read, it takes some attention and I like that. A friend who's also read it suggested I see the movie now, so I'll look for it at the library.

I borrowed a few books fro the library for vacation this past week, so I have one or two more books coming up soon.

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