Thursday, March 23, 2006
There are times (often) when I wish I was a better writer. After reading Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, I wish I could write better if to only write a decent review of this genius novel. Five narrators transcend time, space and the page, leading the reader through a maze of dialogue, characters and intrigue. The sixth part has yet another narrator with an odd Irish brogue-like diction that somehow makes the preceding chapter and thus, all the other chapters, make sense. Then, Mitchell deftly takes us back to the other narrators in descending order tying up loose ends along the way. More often than not, Mitchell neatly depicted the fine way each narration and story line was intricately linked to the prior one, as well as to the next. What may appear to be six separate sections of a novel are six distinct voices, each telling their story directly to the reader, making an immensely universal story, personal. And to me the hallmark of a great writer is being able to make the specific universal and the universal specific.
I could possibly have more to say on this book, but I have to think about it a little more before I try my hand at explaining it. I think better at night, when the quiet of night is broken only by my laborious typing and Coltrane's guidance.
Kate Atkinson Case Histories
Just bought/on deck:
Cynthia Ozick Heir to the Glimmering World
Barbara Croft Moon's Crossing
Robert Stone Outerbridge Reach