Cloud Atlas Group Read: Spoiler Thread Week One

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Cloud Atlas Group Read: Spoiler Thread Week One

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Gen 12, 2011, 8:41 am

This will begin on Saturday. It is a tough book to break up but it looks like the book is in 2 parts. Let's read the 1st section, which is about 236 pages and the following week will be the 2nd half, starting with "Sloosha's Crossin An Everthin' After".

Once again, read at your own pace, this is just a suggested reading schedule. Let's have a good time!

Gen 12, 2011, 8:48 am

Thanks for setting this up, Mark!

Gen 12, 2011, 8:52 am

I added this thread to the wiki.

Gen 12, 2011, 4:09 pm

I found the following in Garrison Keillor's Writers Almanac for today, January 12, 2011, and thought it might be of interest to people reading Cloud Atlas. Since it is kinda a spoiler I put it here.

It's the birthday of novelist David Mitchell, (books by this author) born in Southport, England (1969). He went to the University of Kent to study literature, and to pick up some extra money, he babysat for a professor's sons. He made up stories for them, and to make the stories more interesting, he would switch between different literary styles.
He used that same trick many years later, when he was writing his third novel, Cloud Atlas (2004). It has six linked stories, one within the other, from six different genres — a 19th-century diary relating a sea adventure in the South Pacific; a slow-paced set of letters from a 1930s musician serving as the personal aid to a brilliant old composer in Belgium; a 1970s California environmental thriller, in pulp-fiction style; a contemporary gangster story of a small-time British publishing crook; a near-future dystopia set in Korea, filled with clones, advanced technology, and an oppressive totalitarian regime; and finally, the story of a tribal, post-apocalyptic culture in the South Pacific. Cloud Atlas was a best-seller, an award-winner, and got great reviews.
But after being praised for his clever linguistic twists and turns, Mitchell's most recent book is a straightforward piece of historical fiction set in 18th-century Japan, and many reviewers are calling it his best book yet. It's The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (2010). He said: "Midlife crisis. Age. The heart gets more interesting than structure. I've got kids, I've got a wife, we're stuck with each other for a while. And suddenly there's an understanding that this is what life is — it's actually the mess, it's the mud, it's the tangle. It's not the clean, hygienic ... fireworks. It's the little invisible novels that get written between two people every day of their lives. It's the subtle power shifts. It's the love, it's the less-noble sentiments that make every single day either good or bad or not so good or wonderful or moving through all these things at the speed of West Cork weather. This is interesting stuff. Why go out there in search of extraterrestrial life when it's already here?"

Gen 15, 2011, 1:20 pm

"Why go out there in search of extraterrestrial life when it's already here?"

Love this quote!
I'll start. I'm into the second "novella" now, the set of letters. Love the fact that our wastrel composer has gotten hold of Ewing's diary, but not a part we have seen. Also love his disgust at it dropping off abruptly, because that had been my reaction to the first section. It wasn't exactly the same. I was disgusted because I felt the author had broken my trust. I trust that an author has a reason for having me read each word, and when it drops off like that, it's like saying this little bit about the prayer meeting is trivial hogwash, and you thought I cared about it. Ha ha! Well, I should have had more faith. He was playing it for the reaction his letter writer had. In a sense, it was a technique to interweave the pieces together.

Also, I found the first section interesting because I've been having some LT conversations about Kipling lately, and the fact that much of Kipling's works haven't worn well because of all his "white man's burden" stuff. Well, if I had thought Ewing's diary was actually a bit of fiction from the late 1800s, I probably wouldn't have stayed with it because of the "white man's burden" stuff long enough to know that it is a different sort of piece. His handling of the stowaway and his history of the Maori and the Moriari make this clearly a less naive work than those of the true time period. It almost makes me wonder if Cloud Atlas isn't going to be on some level about colonialism? About assumptions foreigners make about cultures they are visiting?

And yes, of course, Cloud Atlas is about structure. It's a metafiction, just as Life of Pi which I just read is. It's about intertextuality. Which makes it even more ironic that I'm picking this up after Life of Pi which is similar to the first section in more ways than cannibals and teeth.

Gen 15, 2011, 7:24 pm

Benita- Thanks for sharing that! Great stuff! I told you, I love having you around these things! Wow, this guy is a heck of a writer!

Katie- When I was nearing the end of the first section, the words just ended at the bottom of the page. I thought something was wrong with the printing of the book.
I stopped at the library on the way home and checked their copy. Same thing! He's a sneaky SOB and I love it.

I'm well into the 2nd part and loving every moment of it. I have to admit, it took me a couple pages to get used to his quirky literary style but then wham, I was off and running.
"The stationmaster's whistle blew on time, the locomotive strained like a gouty proctor on the pot before heaving itself into motion."
The prose is loaded with these nuggets.

Gen 15, 2011, 8:02 pm

>5 cammykitty: and 6: Katie and Mark, I had the same 'what the heck?' reaction when the diary stopped in mid-sentence. Then, in the next section, when Robert was just as flummoxed as I was by that blank space, I had my "aha" moment that Mitchell is still the brilliant author he was in Black Swan Green and Jacob de Zoet. It took me awhile to get into Jacob, too, so I should have expected that here.

Gen 16, 2011, 12:18 am

I'd read If on a winter's night a traveler so I suspected the abrupt ending was deliberate. I paged to the back of the book and found the words picked up where he left off. The little s___! We're in for a ride!

I'm enjoying the very different voices of each section. Ah, and the old fashioned swearing.

Gen 16, 2011, 9:43 pm

Okay, just finished reading the mystery section. I like how it is connecting with the previous sections and I'm wondering how he is going to continue this. But is it just me, or is that section not as well written as the others? It felt like it was trivializing it's genre. Or perhaps it was just rushed? I found myself getting into it, but if it had been a stand alone mystery, I wouldn't have kept reading it.

Gen 17, 2011, 3:53 am

#9: I just finished up the first section, so I am not up to you yet, Cammy.

Gen 17, 2011, 3:25 pm

#10 I'll be looking forward to what you think!

Very vague spoilers ahead...

As for my reaction to Louisa Rey, bingo!!! I feel pleasantly vindicated. My interest in the book has been restored.

As for poor Mr. Cavendish, absolutely brill. ;)

Gen 17, 2011, 5:02 pm

Just finished the first section. At first I was befuddled but now I am intrigued. I couldn't really say when that change took place, but somewhere on the ship.

I have never been so glad for the Kindle's dictionary feature as I was reading this though.

Gen 17, 2011, 5:44 pm

I'm somewhere midway through the third section (Louise Rey). Intrigued by everything I've read but worried that at the end of the book I won't be clever enough to understand it! I think I would have been happy reading any of the sections so far as a full book.

#6 "When I was nearing the end of the first section, the words just ended at the bottom of the page. I thought something was wrong with the printing of the book. I stopped at the library on the way home and checked their copy. Same thing! He's a sneaky SOB and I love it." - LOL! Like cammykitty I paged to the back of the book at that point and saw it picked up the thread later.

#12 I've also had to google quite a few of the words so far to check definitions. Glad it's not just me!

My thoughts/questions so far (and I'm not expecting anyone to answer them - more that the book will answer them for me as I read):

Cloud Atlas - why?
All the different narratives - the first one seems to be a book within a book - is that going to be true for all of them. Are any of the narratives 'real'?
Is any of this going to make sense at the end or I am going to want to throw the book at the wall?

Must keep reading...

Gen 17, 2011, 8:16 pm

soul> Good questions! I know "Cloud Atlas" is the name of Frobisher's most famous musical piece, made in six sections, but I think that's just part of why the name. As to your other questions, I'm wondering too. Is he doing an epic where people are running into their ancestors in print unknowingly? Is he being too clever for his own good? Is he going to pull this together? So far, I have faith in him... mainly because he answered my question, why isn't this a really good mystery. But then... why would an owner of a vanity press be invited to the "Lemon Awards" ceremony?

Gen 17, 2011, 8:55 pm

I finished the "Louisa Rey" and "Timothy Cavendish" sections, enjoying them both. I was shocked by the ending of the former.
No answers yet just questions.

Good to see you Heather!

Gen 17, 2011, 9:45 pm

Just finished the second section. Good heavens that was fun. I've moved from skeptical to enthusiastic.

Gen 18, 2011, 6:26 pm

I think this book is all about style. Not only does the author tell different stories he tells them in different literary styles. That is why you noticed that there was a difference in the "quality" of the writing. I think the author is doing this deliberately to take us not only into different stories but into different literary styles. Whether or not he is successful or the technique is effective is the question.

I will tell you guys that I am an unabashed fan of this book. It was one of my best reads of the year back when I first read it. Shamefully, I have not read another of his books, but I believe that Black Swan Green has some of the same characters in it. I don't think it is a sequel but it is connected.

I have a hard time deciding which of the stories is my favorite. The one about the petty English criminal that ends up in an institution as well as the one set in Korea have stayed with me. I do not generally like dystopian novels, but this one is an exception. Don't despair, the many and varied pieces of this puzzle do fit together.

Gen 18, 2011, 6:28 pm

#14 cammykitty

I didn't know that "Cloud Atlas" was a real musical piece. That sort of changes the way I might look at this whole book. I may have to try to find out more about this composition. If the music is real is the back story about the mental and physically debilitated composer also based in fact?

Gen 18, 2011, 8:13 pm

Benita- Thanks for stopping in and adding some insights! Always appreciated.

It was a little tougher getting into the "Somni" but I eventually got there.

I posted Week Two, for those of us reading ahead: Right Here

Gen 19, 2011, 12:18 am

18# Benita - I think he made up "Cloud Atlas," the musical piece. He mentions it in the Louisa Rey section as being the deceased scientist's friend's famous work. If you did research on it, I don't think you'd find anything although some of the composers mentioned as guests are real.

Gen 19, 2011, 5:29 pm

Just joining in. Read the first two sections last night and am half-way through Luisa Rey.

#5 I found the diary of Adam Ewing to be interesting because of the Maori/Moriori history too. I read Come On Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All: A New Zealand Story as a ER book, and it was a fascinating memoir of a grad student who was doing research on New Zealand and its history, and ends up marrying a Maori man. She quotes many passages from first hand accounts of the first Maori/White Man interactions, and they are fascinating. I must confess that the only other New Zealand related book I've read is The Bone People.

As for the missing first 90 pages of the diary, I caught on to that when Adam refers to Rafael in ways that indicate he'd written about him before. The abrupt ending kept me awake a bit last night though. I finally decided that the parasite, or the cure, had killed him off. I guess not though, from what you are saying. Hmmmm

#6 Unbelievable, Mark! I was going to mention that line too! It is just so evokative--I can see the train struggling to pull out of the station...

I found Richard, the main character in pt. 2, to be rather unlikeable, and then he sold his hosts' books and I really disliked him. I'm surprised that some people have advised skipping the first part. I liked it much more than the second!

Gen 19, 2011, 9:40 pm

labfs39> Interesting! I'm assuming Mitchell must have done some research, and I enjoyed seeing the clash of cultures.

Gen 19, 2011, 11:36 pm

As far as I can tell from some hasty research, the story of the Moriori, even the the dendroglyphs (tree carvings), is accurate.

Well, I'm up to the Cavendish chapter. Not quite sure what the tie in is yet. Wasn't there a previous reference to the Lemon Prize though?

Gen 20, 2011, 11:16 am

There might have been another Lemon Prize mention in Louisa's or even Frobishers. It sounded familiar when they hit it, but I was wondering if I'd heard it before as a slam on the Orange Prize. ???

Gen 20, 2011, 7:19 pm

I just read the first two sections (finally) and wanted to mention two of my favorite quotes. From the first section:

Earlier, I stepped on a squid that had propelled itself over the bulwarks! (Its eyes & beak reminded me of my father-in-law.)

From the second part:

"Are you mad?"

Always a trickier question than it looks. "I doubt it."

Lots of humor so far for me. For some reason the first part reminded me of Melville. I guess because of the characters and the ship.

I hope to catch up to everyone this weekend.

Gen 20, 2011, 10:26 pm

billiejean> LOL! Thanks for the quotes.

Modificato: Gen 21, 2011, 5:38 pm

I was curious about why the title of this book is Cloud Atlas. I checked in Wikipedia and a "Cloud Atlas" is a pictorial key to the nomenclature of clouds. the first cloud atlas was published in 1890. I don't think this is connected to the book and so started investigating further.

Mitchell has noted that the characters Robert Frobisher and Vyvyan Ayrs in the "Letters from Zedelghem" were inspired by Eric Fenby and Frederick Delius. Fenby was an amanuensis to the English composer because Delius was blind by the late 1920's. The best work from the collaboration between Fenby and Delius was "A Song of Summer." This is a tone poem for orchestra that was completed by the two of them in 1931. A Song of Summer is derived from an unpublished 1918 symphonic work written by Delius that was originally called Poem of Life and Love. In 1921, Delius told an interviewer that he had misplaced most of that score. In the 1920's, after Delius started working with Fenby work was resumed on it. Delius dictated the notes to his amanuensis, Eric Fenby, and then dedicated the finished score to Fenby.

I think the connection is that this tone poem is a series of six separate pieces that are connected. The book is made up of six separate novellas that are connected. Mitchell said in an interview that the stories are nested in much the same way as a set of Matryoshka dolls. This is the same as the musical piece.

Gen 21, 2011, 1:09 pm

There is an hour long interview with David Mitchell that was done on the BBC's World Book Club. It is available as a podcast and is also listed on iTunes. Here is the link if you want to listen to it. I found it very interesting.

I have a friend who listens to these podcasts religiously. They are very indepth.

Gen 21, 2011, 1:42 pm

Thanks benita! That's interesting that there were real people who inspired that passage.

Gen 21, 2011, 2:54 pm

>27 benitastrnad: Good points, Benita! Helps give some structure to the book.

Well, so far, I love this book and I want to toss it away!

It is very entertaining and yes, quite humorous at times. Each story has potential. Although the styles of writing vary, much of it is well written.
My biggest complaint is that I feel like I am constantly starting a new book (the least enjoyable part to me - of most books - is the beginning). I just get comfortable with the characters and it's on to something else.

I do so fervently hope this will come together before I forget all the separate pieces. I'm already seeing connections, but they are vague as I can't remember enough detail. I have to keep looking back and it drives me nuts.

Perhaps this is a good thing to expand my standard, conservative expectations.
A decidedly different experience in reading!

Modificato: Gen 21, 2011, 4:47 pm

Claudia, I think this is one of the problems I have with 'collections' of stories that are supposed to be tied together. Like you, I just get to where my brain says "AHA" and I have to go to not only different characters, but new settings, and often, a different style of writing. I've finished the first two chapters, and am finally feeling like I'll be able to get through, and in the end I think I will be able to say it's a really good book, but's like having a root canal!

And many thanks Benita for the link to the podcast. My download limits here in the woods disallow me from listening here at home, so I've marked it and am planning to listen to this one while I'm on vacation in a couple of weeks.

Gen 21, 2011, 5:51 pm

Yeah, Tina. I thought that too at the end of two chapters. Now, a few chapters later, not so much. Still confusing.

Is this what a root canal is like??? eeeeeek

Gen 21, 2011, 5:58 pm

The 'Orisons' section of the book for me was the hardest to get through. I almost think that Mitchell got too 'cutsey' with the language in that section.

Gen 21, 2011, 7:22 pm

Benita- Thanks for all the Mitchell info! You are invaluable. I DLed the podcast. Wow, there's a lot of great authors interviewed on there.

I'm a sucker for linked stories! These are harder to link, but I'm enjoying them regardless. The "Orison" & "Sloosha" segments are very slow going, be forewarned, but also be patient, there are rewards waiting.

Gen 21, 2011, 7:46 pm

Urgh. I wrote a whole message and it disappeared into the ether with a keystroke. Trying again...

#27 I was wondering if anyone is reading Cloud Atlas as an ebook. Could you do a word search on "cloud" and see what comes up? Perhaps there is a clue in the text as to the meaning of the title. So far the only reference I've noticed is in Letters (p. 54): "Cumulonimbi were reaching critical mass."

Interesting that Mitchell calls the stories matryoshkas. Two of Ayr's compositions were called "Matryoshka Doll Variations" and "Society Islands" (which are in the South Pacific north of Chatham Island).

Another little story trick I noticed was that Luisa's mother lives in Ewingsville CA, south of San Francisco where Adam Ewing was heading.

Modificato: Gen 21, 2011, 7:55 pm

Mark, here's another description that I found so easy to picture:

Sometimes the fluffy bunny of incredulity zooms round the bend so rapidly that the greyhound of language is left, agog, in the starting cage. (p. 168, Ghastly Ordeal)

And because I'm an insomniac, I liked this too:

He (Rufus Sixsmith) mops up the spillage with a kitchen towel, turns on the TV with the sound down low, and trawls the channels for M*A*S*H. It's on somewhere. Just have to keep looking. (p. 90, Half-Lives, emphasis is the author's)

#33 It's so funny which chapters people find the most interesting--truly, one person's trash is another's treasure. So far I liked Pacific Journal, Ghastly Ordeal, and Orison the best. Didn't care for Letters or Half-Life. I feel like a fish on the end of a hook with a skillful angler teasing the line. I have increasing expectations for a wow second half. Hope he can pull it off!

Gen 21, 2011, 8:35 pm

I am cross-eyed from reading the first five sections of this book. Earlier today on my thread I mentioned something about trying to decide if Mitchell is brilliant or just bizarre. Right now I'm thinking he's both.

I am trying so hard to keep an open mind. It helps to read that others are feeling somewhat frustrated right along with me. I've enjoyed the various quotes that have been shared. There is no question in my mind that Mitchell is an excellent writer. My main problem is my prejudice against pretentiousness. I can appreciate the structure of the book and the mastery of writing in different genres, but do these "gimmicks" make a good story or are they an experiment in which I'm that "fluffy bunny of incredulity"? Mitchell himself poses the question of revolutionary or gimmicky? through the voice of Robert Forbisher explaining his palindromic musical composition.

Thanks, Mark, for the encouragement in Post 34: there are rewards waiting. Like I said, I'm trying to keep an open mind. *Forging ahead into the abyss of post-apocalyptic Hawaii* Yes, I read ahead...that's where I got cross-eyed!

Gen 21, 2011, 10:25 pm

Lisa...I looked up "cloud" on my Nook and got three pages of definitions! (Maybe Mitchell did the Nook dictionary!)

1. a visible mass of particles of condensed vapor (as water or ice) suspended in the atmosphere of a planet or moon.
2. something resembling or suggesting a cloud as
a) a light filmy, puffy, or billowy mass seeming to float in the air
b) (1) a usu.visible mass of minute particles suspended in the air or a gas
(2) an aggregation of usus. obscuring matter esp. in interstellar space
(3) an aggregate of charged particles (as electrons)
c) a great crowd or multitude
3. something that has a dark, lowering, or threatening aspect
4. something that obscures or blemishes
5. a dark or opaque vein or spot

1. to grow cloudy
2. a) of facial features to become troubled, apprehensive or distressed in appearance
b) to become blurry, dubious or ominous
3. to billow up in the form of a cloud
a) to envelop or hide with or as if with a cloud
b) to make opaque esp by condensation of moisture
c) to make murky esp with smoke or mist
4. to make unclear or confused
5. to taint or sully
6. to cast gloom over

IMHO this sorta makes the title very obvious - the whole thing is cloudy, obscure, foggy, confused, etc etc etc.

Gen 21, 2011, 10:42 pm

"... the whole thing is cloudy, obscure, foggy, confused, etc etc etc "

LOL, Tina!

Gen 21, 2011, 11:09 pm

>38 tututhefirst:: Tina, thanks for clearing up my cloudy thoughts on this book!

Gen 22, 2011, 12:08 am

#38 Ah, but now we have a map of the obscurity! Could you also use the Nook to search the book itself for instances of the word cloud? I've tried to watch for references to clouds, but a word search would be much more thorough.


Ok, so I'm through Orison and starting Sloosha's Crossin', and thought I would share my thinking to this point before switching over to the next thread.

It seems to me that so far the book has been an ascension (to steal a concept from Orison). In terms of technology certainly, but also in terms of the structure of the book. The first section is a diary, which is meant for one person, the writer. The next section is letters, which are meant for two people, writer and recipient. Then comes Half-Lives, which we learn is a novel, and has a much wider audience. Next is Ghastly Ordeal, which is a movie, in my opinion a step backwards, but certainly broadly accessible and probably people do spend more time watching tv and movies these days than they do reading novels. Finally, in Orison we have a recorded interview which is being created with the express purpose of being archived, thereby effecting all of posterity. Okay, the last may be a stretch, but I do think there is some sort of progression in the very structure of the book and the formats that Mitchell uses to tell the stories. I don't think it is random.

Equally important, I think, is the increasing complexity of language. As was mentioned in #33 and #37, the language in Orison is so extreme as to seem pretentious or gimmicky. I wonder though if Mitchell isn't trying to link the complexity of language to the advancement of civilization or intelligence? Sonmi talks about how the first sign of Yoona's ascension was the increasing complexity of her speech (p. 188). Was Mitchell trying, in Orison, not to be pretentious but to try and speak in a way that was more complex than our own in order to emphasize that this was a future time and a more advanced civilization (although of course we know what happens to civilizations such as Sonmi's--think of the fall of Rome)?

It raises interesting questions about the linkage between both language and intelligence, and language and civilization. Scientists use language as a yardstick for measuring intelligence in other species, can we use it within our own as well? Or is it pretention? Should Descartes have said, "I think, therefore I speak?" Certainly our language abilities have evolved beyond what the Neandrathals used, will it continue to evolve as civilization does? What might that look like? Or the inverse, can a civilization advance without increasing complexity of language? Does complex language drive advances in thought/civilization or does advancing thought/civilization drive advances in language?

Lots of questions raised, but I have no idea where Mitchell is going with this. I'm hooked though!

Gen 22, 2011, 5:29 am

#41 Those are really interesting points Lisa, thank you!

Gen 22, 2011, 6:13 am

The link for Week 2 is in MSG #19!! I'll be back!

Gen 22, 2011, 3:08 pm

labfs41 > Thanks for your comments. I think you are right on the mark. I was looking at the form, diary to letters to novel etc as a history of writing. The diary/journal that was really fictional preceded the epistolary novel etc etc. Whatever he is doing, it isn't naively done. I'll comment more on the language on the next thread. I'm on Sloosha right now, and the language is making my "consistency" editor freak out.

Modificato: Gen 23, 2011, 11:48 am

I listened to the recorded BBC interview with Mitchell and found it fascinating. It explains much about the novel. According to that interview, ascension is indeed one of the themes of the novel. I found the first part of this novel slow going but the last half I couldn't put the book down and read far into the night. The story that has stayed with me for the longest is "Orison" and in fact it is this story that makes me think seriously about reading Never Let Me Go because I want to see what other authors have to say about cloning.

Gen 23, 2011, 2:43 pm

#45 I would encourage you to read Never Let Me Go. I thought it was a very well-written and thought-provoking book.

Gen 28, 2011, 5:54 pm

Coming late to the party, and I'm sure everyone has moved on, but I did want to express my appreciation for this group read. I had started on CA before (in March 2007) but it was the wrong book at the wrong time and thus abandoned after perhaps fifty pages. It's been languishing on my shelves ever since and would probably have continued to do so for quite some time had it not been for this thread. I'm enjoying it tremendously, so am very grateful for the virtual kick in the behind.

I have just made it to Sloosha's Crossing and must say that (unlike most of you, it seems) I liked the Orison section best of all. I laughed out loud at having Orwell and Huxley referred to as "Optimists" and also enjoyed the third "Optimist" being honoured in Sonmi's name. How fitting to have a character called "451" draw attention to herself by reading books...

Gen 28, 2011, 5:57 pm

>46 labfs39::

I'm seconding the thumbs up for Never Let Me Go and would like to add that it works very well as audio book, if that's of any help to anyone...

Gen 28, 2011, 6:29 pm

47- you certainly aren't too late....I'm still only about 1/2 done. I'm finding I'm enjoying it more as I go along, but it is a book that requires some investment of uninterrupted time that isn't happening for me this week.

Gen 28, 2011, 9:38 pm

#47 Good catch on the "451!" I missed that till you pointed it out.

I had great difficulty switching between the chapter voices initially, but have come to expect it now. I was also excited to see some of the voices return in the second half of the book. (So, I cheated a little!)

I love how it progresses from diary, to letters, to a book and a movie and then archives. Interesting idea, although, personally, I was disappointed to have two of the stories turn out to be "fictional" within the book. I was taking them at face value and "real." (That would be The First Luisa Rey Mystery and The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish.)

What is with the birthmark? I don't see these people as descendants of each other, so are they reincarnations (but some are "real" and some characters are "fiction"), or is there some detail that ties them together that I am missing?

I actually really enjoyed the An Orison of Sonmi-451. All those big words reminded me of Richard (although he would string them together in more melodious manner, of course). Perhaps I should read on....!

Modificato: Gen 28, 2011, 10:33 pm

littlegreycloud> Welcome, & you aren't too late. I'm done reading, but still checking back. For me, the Sonmi section is the pivotal piece of the book. She's the backbone, the fighter.

50> The bit about them being reincarnations, but one of the reincarnations (Luisa) being fictional really bothered me. I don't think Mitchell really pulled this idea off. As for the Ghastly Ordeal, I'm reading it as "real" but dressed up for Hollywood, although much of the Ghastly Ordeal is quite preposterous, starting with the Lemon ceremony. :) Quite amusing though. -- Note to self: Never write a negative review of OJ Simpson's If I did it.

Gen 29, 2011, 7:00 am

I have finally passed the halfway point with this book. I found the Sonmi-451 part riveting, but I have enjoyed each part. I was also wondering about the birthmark. I am trying to figure out how it all ties together. I told my daughter on the phone yesterday that I thought she would really like this book.

Loved all the comments here on the first half!

Gen 29, 2011, 7:19 am

I'm happy everyone is still chugging along and at the 2 week mark, as well. Never to late to jump onboard and enjoy this most rewarding book.
These have been some great discussions.

Gen 29, 2011, 8:44 am

I also wanted to mention, the link for Week 2, is in msg#19. The comments there, are wonderful! Don't miss it.

Gen 31, 2011, 10:55 am

I don't think any reading or posting is "old" as long as people are still contributing to the thread. This is a wonderful book with lots of things going on in it. I don't think that Mitchell manages all of the sections equally well, but I think he gives it one heck of a go. Overall I'd say the ride is worth it.

And there are lots of things that I missed while reading the book, so am glad for the comments from others. It makes the reading much more interesting.

Gen 31, 2011, 12:38 pm

I'm still checking the threads too, even though I finished a while back. There is so much to be gotten from this book, and everyone has a different take and catches different "clues" or references. Like I never really thought about Luisa Rey being fiction yet reincarnated. To tell the truth, I didn't focus much at all on the reincarnation angle. I'll be interested to see what people have to say about that aspect.