I think I’m a day early in posting my thoughts for the final half of Cloud Atlas, but oh well. I’m ready to be done with it all! But before I move on to my ranting thoughts…thanks to Care and Melissa for organizing this readalong and finally motivating me to get this book read! Despite all the negativity ahead, I am glad I read it.
So when last we left off at the end of the first half I was thoroughly absorbed in the story. So much so that I just kept on going so I could find out what happens to everyone.
In my first Cloud Atlas post, I outlined the five stories that are told in the first half of the book. The second half starts with a new character, and then moves on to wrap up the stories of the other five, going backwards this time so that we end with Adam Ewing, everyone’s least favorite dude (and boy was that a mistake…ending the book with the most boring character, so that when your reader finishes (or at least this reader), all they can think is “thank god that’s over”).
So while it was fun to get back to everyone’s stories, it also turned un-fun. Because this is is where (in my opinion) Mitchell started to get all clever. And too much cleverness can sometimes be a bad thing.
I wanted to know what happens to everyone (not that I wanted everything tied up in a neat bow, but you know, when you get sucked in to everyone’s stories, closure is kinda important), and for the most part I got that. If you’re wondering, this is what happens to everyone:
But first!: We get a new character, Zachry. Picture Mad Max meets Hawaii. Only not. Unlike most people, I didn’t mind the Hawaiian interlude, other than the fact that I wanted to know how it all fit together. Little hints about Sonmi and orisons didn’t quite cut it. (More ranting below.)
Sonmi: Who the hell knows because this is where things got all muddly. Did she or did she not know what she was doing? Was she a plant? Apparently, she really did get to go to Hawaii. However, since this was the point in the story that I also stopped trusting anything in the book and got all pissy, I wasn’t as excited over Sonmi’s story as I was in the first half.
Mr. Cavendish: He escapes the retirement home and has grand adventures. Yay!
Luisa Rey saves the day. Sorry, couldn’t resist.
Robert Frobisher: No happy ending here. He gets all confused about love and then offs himself. Boo!
Adam Ewing: Our resident boor realizes the evil doctor has turned him into an addict and with the help of a guy he previously helped, he detoxes and heads home. To live happily ever after, I assume.
But what I didn’t get, and what continues to bug the shit out of me, is that Mitchell totally ignores the world he’s created.
In other words, HOW THE FUCK DID THE WORLD GET SO FUCKED UP????
Answer me that, Mr. Mitchell. Oh wait no, you can’t, because you’re too busy being all precocious and clever and shit. I will never forgive him for that thing he did throughout the book about planting suggestions that the previous story was just a book, or a movie, or exaggerated, or whatever. I don’t want those kind of mind games!
And then there’s this quote from the author-man himself: “All of the characters are reincarnations of the same soul … identified by a birthmark. … The “cloud” refers to the ever-changing manifestations of the “atlas”, which is the fixed human nature. … The book’s theme is predacity … individuals prey on individuals, groups on groups, nations on nations.”
Predacity? Who the heck talks like that?? Certainly not my spell-checker.
*sigh* I just wanted it to be a story. But that would’ve prolly been too trite for Mitchell.
Also…re: the upcoming movie. Who the heck does Tom Hanks play? Ewing? And if so…ugh.