Cloud Atlas: A Love-Hate Relationship
Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell is a pretty good book… or at least it was until a bit shy of half-way through. Allow me to explain.
When my Irish friend James McShane posted on Goodreads that he had just finished (or was it started) the book, I immediately got a copy. James has a good track record with book suggestions, so I not only dove in, but bought three of Mitchell’s books, leaving Cloud Atlas to read after I’d gotten the author’s rhythm down.
The first two books, Ghostwritten and Number9Dream were very good. Very different, but very good. I was immediately jealous of this man’s talent.
About the time I started reading Cloud Atlas news of the film started to circulate, and this heightened my interest.
Now, back to the “hate” side of this affair.
Mitchell breaks one of my rules for writing, and he does it severely. Yes, I know that my rules don’t mean anything to a writer who has had the critical success that David Mitchell enjoys. But still… but still…
And the rule? Writing in heavy dialect. From what I can see, the largest part of this multi-part book is written just that way. Using apostrophes, made-up, mixed-up, or oddly used words. It is a struggle to read. I understand that he is something of a linguist, and I can appreciate that, but enough is enough. This whole section is told in the first person and it reads like an explosion in an alphabet.
There are ways to give this effect other than confusing, boring, and annoying your reader.
But then, like I said, he’s sold a lot of books, and movie rights as well.