I’m loving this Booker nominated novel – don’t know why I missed reading it in 2004. It’s a great read that mixes spec fiction, dystopian fiction and realistic fiction in an intriguing pyramid-style narrative that spans generations – from the 19th to 24th centuries.
Theme: everything is connected. Cloud atlas is 6 intertwined stories in 6 time periods and genres – an 1849 diary of a Pacific Ocean voyage; letters from a composer to his friend; a thriller about a murder at a nuclear power plant; a farce about a publisher in a nursing home; an interview with a rebellious clone in futuristic Korea; and the memoirs of an old man who lived in a tribal community in post-apocalyptic Hawaii, far in the future.
Book review: “A postmodern visionary who is also a master of styles of genres, David Mitchell combines flat-out adventure, a Nabokovian lore of puzzles, a keen eye for character, and a taste for mind-bending philosophical and scientific speculation in the tradition of Umberto Eco and Philip K. Dick. The result is brilliantly original fiction that reveals how disparate people connect, how their fates intertwine, and how their souls drift across time like clouds across the sky”.
More reviews: http://www.amazon.com/Cloud-Atlas-Novel-David-Mitchell/dp/0375507256
“The novel is a series of nested dolls or Chinese boxes, a puzzle-book, and yet—not just dazzling, amusing, or clever but heartbreaking and passionate, too. I’ve never read anything quite like it, and I’m grateful to have lived, for a while, in all its many worlds.”—Michael Chabon.
Cloud atlas the movie opens 28 Feb. Directed by Tom Tykwer (Run, Lola, run) and Andy & Lana (previously Larry) Wachowski (The Matrix).
Movie review: “Cloud Atlas is profound in its reach, its visual and acoustic impact, its mesmerizing flow and its completely ground-breaking storytelling, and movie goers will see it and feel it in their guts. It is a movie that is a product of our age of internet-driven universal knowledge and vision, and the freedom we have to travel the world and jump between ages, genres, images and identities at our will. It reminds us that we are human and that we can still hear our heart beat, if we listen.” – C. Lutz
More details, trailer & reviews: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1371111/
Positive review: http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20121024/REVIEWS/121029991
Negative review: http://articles.latimes.com/2012/oct/25/entertainment/la-et-mn-cloud-atlas-review-20121026
Check the multiple characters played by stars (often unrecognisable) – Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Jim Broadbent: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1371111/fullcredits?ref_=tt_ov_dr#directors
Can’t wait to see it! And I definitely want to read more of Mitchell’s books (all nominated for awards).
Some good TV shows also coming up this year:
Batavia – 6 hour miniseries on Ch. 10, based on the book by Peter FitzSimons, about the 1629 wreck of a Dutch ship off the W.A. coast. “The book is a sea-faring adventure full of mutiny, love, lust, criminality, slavery and the birth of the world’s first corporation.”- IMDB.
Game of thrones – series 3 starts 1 April (Pay TV). This series of fantasy books by George R.R. Martin went to the top of the best-seller lists after the TV series was aired. Readers say the first 2 TV series follow the books very closely. Many senior students watch the show – it is often rather graphic – schools would have to carefully consider viewing episodes with senior students.
Chris Lilley – new 6 part series to be released in 2013. Let’s hope it’s better than the disappointing Angry boys – his first 2 series were excellent! http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/chris-lilleys-new-series-begins-shooting-20130220-2eqin.html
The walking dead – series 3 starts 12 Feb (Pay TV). Graphically gruesome – not really suitable to show at school, but students are watching it. The series has been nominated for several awards. Yes there are hungry & violent zombies but people are trying to survive as best they can – with the usual social & moral questions. The humans have some success – zombies are slow & they suck at climbing & swimming. Based on the Eisner award-winning graphic novel series by Robert Kirkman and others (popular in senior high school). There is also a web series based on the novels & TV series and video games.
Paper giants: magazine wars – Stars Rachel Griffiths as Dulcie Boling (editor New Idea), Mandy McElhinney as Nene King (editor Women’s Day) and Rob Carlton (Kerry Packer). Explores the rivalry of 2 powerful women in Australian publishing. Coming to ABC.
Power games: the Packer-Murdoch story – Set in 1960-75, the story of how the epic ambitions of Rupert Murdoch and Sir Frank Packer collided as they battled for control of Australia’s newspaper and television industries. Coming to Ch. 9.
The time of our lives – Follows 3 generations of a modern Aust. family. Stars Claudia Karvan, Shane Jacobson, William McInnes & Stephen Curry. Coming to ABC.