Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell - Book Review

Cloud AtlasCloud Atlas by David Mitchell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Patience’s design flaw became obvious for the first time in my life: the outcome is decided not during the course of play but when the cards are shuffled, before the game even begins. How pointless is that? - Timothy Cavendish

Is this actually a design flaw? Or is it Karma?


There are thousands of reviews written on this book that will tell you how good or bad it is.

Loving or hating the book. Was this part decided before too? It is anyway inconsequential.

The hunger for power makes us lose our power over the hunger.

History repeats, mistakes duplicate, learning and unlearning happens.

The cycle of carbon to carbon transformation called as life goes on.

Will we ever learn? We'll never learn? Two sides of the same transparent coin.


The first half of the book introduces you to people. The second half (the better half) tells you that circumstances change, people don't.

Feel like my soul has turned into steel
I’ve still got the scars that the sun didn’t heal
There’s not even room enough to be anywhere
It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there
I can’t even remember what it was I came here to get away from

- Not Dark Yet by Bob Dylan


Frobisher was a wunderkind, he died just as he got going…

Cloud Atlas Sextet holds my life, is my life, now I’m a spent firework; but at least I’ve been a firework. - Robert Frobisher

Souls cross ages like clouds cross 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. Who can say where the cloud’s blowed from or who the soul’ll be ’morrow? Only Sonmi the east an’ the west an’the compass an’ the atlas, yay, only the atlas o’ clouds. - Zachary

Three or four times only in my youth did I glimpse the Joyous Isles, before they were lost to fogs, depressions, cold fronts, ill winds, and contrary tides… I mistook them for adulthood. Assuming they were a fixed feature in my life’s voyage, I neglected to record their latitude, their longitude, their approach. Young ruddy fool. What wouldn’t I give now for a never-changing map of the ever-constant ineffable? To possess, as it were, an atlas of clouds. - Timothy Cavendish


I loved The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish. I quite liked Sloosha’s Crossin’ An’ Ev’rythin’ After and Letters from Zedelghem. The others were threads that weaved the fabric of time spanning centuries, back and forth.

We just flew on the magic carpet ride.


Mr. David Mitchell, I thank you for a lovely book that I will remember, every once in a while...

View all my reviews

Friday, November 2, 2012


For Your Eyes Only. It’s been more than a decade since I saw my first Bond movie on a VHS tape. I still vaguely remember the weird coldness Dad and me shared saw the movie together. Him a veteran of several of the Bond movies and me, a pubescent, acne-ridden teenager who was yet to know what Bond, James Bond was all about. I bet Dad thanked the stars that it was a Roger Moore movie and did not have the notoriously (nasty) famous Bond Sean Connery.

From that time on, I saw some of the old Bond movies (Connery included) and some with the stylish Bond as presented by Pierce Brosnan. None of them with Dad, though all of them on TV. The panache of Mr. Connery, the patriotism of Mr. Moore, the style of Mr. Brosnan (and the others) was all fine till came the ruthlessness of one Mr. Daniel Craig. Now that’s the Bond I could associate with. A vulnerable, human Bond. Yes, the gadgetry, the cars, the splendor, and the women were all fine from the rest of the movies. Nevertheless, something was missing. Something that appealed to me. That something was the mad action that happened in the opening scene of Craig’s Casino Royale. Yes. Beating up villains is not just about style, it’s about making a mark. A deep, scarred mark. But yes, I saw Casino Royale on DVD. No big-screen super action.

Then came Skyfall and along with that my decision to see it on the big screen. I was a bit apprehensive to see it since I had missed out on Quantum of Solace (QoS) as there is some link between them. However, when I read that you can actually appreciate this one more if you haven’t see QoS, I was all set.
I liked Skyfall. It is not Casino Royale. It’s more a battle of words or wits than weapons. (More, not entirely!) The storyline is not very strong, but Craig, Xavier Bardem, Dame Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes more than make up for it. The second half is better, so stay in your seats. There are amazing references to old Bond movies and those who are Bond fanatics will love them for sure! Do watch it if you like the Bond franchise, a fabulous villain, and dialogues like:
JB: “So, a gun and a radio. We aren’t having much of a Christmas, are we?”
Q: “What did you expect, an exploding pen?”

There is even a poem quoted in the movie:
Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

-    Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Ulysses

Well, time to go and order a shaken-not-stirred.