Monday, January 07, 2013

Cloud Atlas

I'm rarely au fait with the latest literary sensation and tend to discover wonderful works long after everyone else has, but better late than never! Was alerted to this 2004 Booker contender - who the hell beat him?! - by its film trailer which was run before The Hobbit (more about that anon). I knew immediately I had to see the film and then I realised it was originally a book. Mirabile dictu. Off to the library and had it read in two days (would have been one but Finn was home and her thesis had to be proof-read. Omigod, I barely grasped what it was about - she's an Earth and Ocean scientist - but I was a great help with the syntax). Could hardly believe the writer is a young man and this is only his third work. Will be getting the others pronto. Apparently he lives in Ireland though he's English. I doubt it's for the tax haven as artists are only left unscathed up to €40,000 and he's definitely made more with film rights alone. Anyhoo, it's one of those curl-up-on-the-sofa-all-day- or lie-awake-all-night-in-your-bed-because-you-can't-put-it-down sort of books. Delicious stories. Brilliant characters. Nail-biting moments. Exquisite writing. My only quibble: though the pearly string of the universe (yes that is an allusion to string theory) is beautifully drawn, the necklace itself - ultimate Reality - and the neck upon which it is hung - the One! the One! - is left unwritten. Well, he's young and probably doesn't believe in answers, only questions.

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