Tuesday, 25 October 2016

The Circle of Life - Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell - A Book That Should Have Been Unfilmable

Nicki Edgell

One thing about this book is that it engenders strong viewpoints. Readers seem to either love it or hate it. For me it is one of the cleverest, most original and ultimately satisfying books, I've ever read. The stories are arranged in a Russian Doll like structure with the opening story also being the last. This structure along with the chronological setting of each story gives the book, as a whole, a wonderful symmetry as we (the reader, and the human race) end where we begin.

The stories are loosely linked, but could stand alone as independent short stories. What is particularly remarkable is the authenticity and attention to detail displayed in the writing styles ranging from the 19th century journals of pacific seafarer Adam Ewing through to goat herder Zachry who phonetically narrates a vision of a post-apocalyptic society that has imploded leaving man once again scrabbling about in the dirt worshipping icons he does not understand, rather like the primitive monkeys in front of the obelisk in Arthur C Clarke's 2001. My favourite story is the preceding sci-fi tale which follows the adventures of a genetically modified fabricant, Somni, bred to work 21 hours a day in a fast food diner; a thinly disguised satire on McDonalds. Workers strive to earn the stars that will earn them a happy retirement to "xultation" in Hawaii (or in Somni's case to godlike status in the Zachry story!). A brilliant, thought provoking, vast novel - 5 McDonald stars for the author!

About the Author

Nicki Edgell

I am a clinical Psycho-neuro-immunologist, Metabolic Balance Coach, Natural Nutritionist and Independent Nikken Consultant. I practice in Brighton in the South of England, helping individuals and groups towards the health, vitality and the life they want for themselves. I work under the principle that wellness depends on a balanced holistic approach to living, in all areas of your life: your body, mind, family, community and financial health all have an impact on your wellbeing.


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