Bläeckfisk is the Swedish translation for the word octopus. I am not Swedish, but I do own a lot of furniture from Sweden and I like octopuses while admiring their multi-tasking ability. I would like to travel to Sweden at some point, plus I think it is a pretty cool looking word. Anyhow, speaking of words, I guess you could say that is why we are here. Words are the foundation for way we try to wrap our thoughts around everything in the galaxy. The tendrils that lead to emotions and curiosity. I am not here to solve the mysteries of the universe, just to discuss words in general. Specifically words written by other people and have been printed off and slapped between two slices of thin card stock. Many of these sandwiches go on to bigger and better things, some bigger and better than others. So, I guess we will be talking about those as well. If you share an interest in words or enjoi seeing what they can look like in action....välkommen! (Swedish for welcome.)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

B1: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (529p)

"I watched clouds awobbly from the floor o'that kayak. Souls cross ages like clouds cross skies skies, an’tho’ a cloud’s shape nor hue nor size don’t stay the same it’s still a cloud an’ so is a soul.”

Thus begins the Blaeckfisk blog. 

David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas is an epic tale that interweaves several stories that take place over several genres of time. Starting back in 1850 and ranging all the way to an ubur post apocalyptic future with just about everything in between, this sprawling book covers a lot.  Taking on this book is a little bit like strapping on your hardly used sneakers and running to the adjacent town 18 miles away. There is a lot to see, your patience will be tested and your brain will definitely be fatigued by book’s end. With that said, the framework for this novel is truly amazing. Each story is interlocked with the next sequential installment and each gets cut off roughly in the middle. The staircase leads you all the way into the far off future, then back down again, completing each of the stories all the way. A current of predatory human nature runs throughout the book along with the notion of reincarnation. Slavery, love triangles, corruption, attempted murder, the Mob, futuristic Korea, post apocalyptic Hawaii all have a hand in the construction of this story.

“I smelt lethe, a soporifix added to Soap. The usual dosage for a fabricant server is three drops, but Rhee had drunk a half liter bottle. If I had called a Medic immediately, maybe his life could have been saved. But how to xplain my intervention?”

Anyone passionate about literature would surely appreciate this massive undertaking by Mr. Mitchell. Trying to wrap your brain around each component of the story is a bit like trying to hold hold water in your cupped hands, but all in all it is worth the effort. While paying homage to Herman Melville and Mark Twain, Mitchell writes in a tone that is ingenious and heartfelt. While I cannot say that I loved this book, I can say that you will be glad you put on your shoes and took a jaunt through the mind of David Mitchell.  I would have loved to have had the Lego pieces connecting each story to be a little more prevalent, but that is just me. Plans are in the works for a big screen adaptation, directed by the Wachowski brothers.
Should be epic.

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