I loved Cloud Atlas! I have yet to read another Mitchell. Which one would you recommend? I have a friend that really wants me to read The Bone Clocks next.
I liked Cloud Atlas too!
Cloud Atlas is his best IMHO. David Mitchell just nails it. Its intelligent, moving, shocking and stays with you for a long time afterwards. It is epic in scale covering many characters, centuries and continents. So don't be put off when you start of reading about a naval voyage a couple of hundred years ago, you will soon be in Europe, then America in the 1970s, then in the future. I cant recommend this book highly enough.
His early books are Ghost Written and No 9 Dream. Then a complete departure from Mitchell's usual style is Black Swan Green. This is a semi autobiographical book about a sensitive, poetic boy with a stammer growing up in a tough blue collar town. The focus is much smaller than his other novels but its just as good. No giant canvas here. I read one review that said Black Swan Green is like finding out Jackson Pollock can paint a tiny perfect miniature of his mother.
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob Da Zoet is about a tiny Dutch trading post in the last days of the Japanese - it then grows and grows and covers a noble Samuri and a sinister monastery where the monks live a suspiciously long time and babies disappear. It was made into a movie which I haven't seen starring Anthony Hopkins. A very good review of it is here: http://www.greatbooksguide.com/thousandautumnsjacobdezoet.html
I just finished the Bone Clocks 2 weeks ago. I absolutely loved it. It is almost though not quite as good as Cloud Atlas.
Both books feature:
- 6 stories
- ... all of which are first-person accounts
- ... spanning decades
- ... starting in the past (1984) and extending far in the future (2043)
- ... and ending on a roll rather than winding down, as if they were cut prematurely
The themes are similar, too:
- Man's selfishness & cruelty, especially towards each other
- The yearning for safeguarding our knowledge/self/experiences for posterity
- Growing old
- Dystopian future
The Bone Clocks seems to be asking "How far is it OK to go in the fight for survival?" - Is it OK to kill someone else to live longer? And if you are horrified by that, is it really different than our generation causing certain death and misery to future generations by selfishly and recklessly exploiting the world's resources?
If you haven't yet discovered this author, I am jealous of the treat you have in store for yourself.
I love all your descriptions @Hornette!! They're so helpful! I especially like that comparison to Pollock about Black Swan Green. I think I'm leaning toward reading The Bone Clocks next. I will let you know how I like it once I read it!I just have so many books in my TBR pile...
I also have a huge pile by my bed of "want to read"s. Then I go to my book club and come home with usurpers which jump the queue.
Would like to hear what you think about The Bone Clocks.
Firstly, YES Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca - such a favourite of mine. That book itself is like a dream.
And, to answer this -
I'm an honorary poster for the UK! I'm British but have been living in NY for a couple of years now. In fact the whole Riffle team is pretty international - our fearless leader, Neil, is Canadian
Also, Rebecca is fantastic! Such delicious read!
Love the Hitchcock movie of Rebecca too. So atmospheric.
Woah so many readers.
I'm Emily, and i'm from the UK.
I'm a University Student, working on my second degree.
Avid book reader - mostly mystery/thriller/fantasy but have read all kinds of things.
Just looking for book discussions and general chitchat really.
P.S - Don't be afraid to say hi!
Hi, I am Helen (HKelleyB), an editor, proofreader, and reviewer.
My favorite fiction book is Pat Conroy's The Prince of Tides.*
Hi Emily! Just wanted to salute another UK poster. waves from cloudy London.
I have to say, my favorite fiction book changes with my mood and my most current crop of books! Going Postal by Terry Pratchett, Hot Money and To The Hilt by Dick Francis, I'm loving Lynsay Sands Argeneau series, and Eleven on Top by Janet Evanovich are currently at the top of my list.
My friend and I started out as just us in a club and tried to expand to some co-workers and both attempt fizzled. Third time was the charm when we invited 1 co-worker to join with her fiance and he brought three of his other friends. And the my friend's husband decided to join too. It's gotten bigger in the last three years. We have about 10 members total, though not everyone reads or attends every meeting or reads every book.
Hi Janelle and Everyone
My name is Christine and I live in Ontario, Canada. I've been an avid (some would say compulsive) reader for as long as I can remember, but I come by it honestly ... my mom was a reader and I've raised two fairly avid readers as well.
The first fiction book I fell in love with? Hmmmm ... that's a tough one. Of course I read Nancy Drew as a girl and then went on from there. As a "grown up" (I thought) my first real memory is "Carrie" by Stephen King. He made me fall in love with all things horror and he is still at the top of my list of "must buy" authors but over the years that has turned into quite a well populated list.
My reading tastes are pretty eclectic although I usually stay away from books about war, westerns and hardcore sci-fi.
I've recently starting blogging at constantlymovingthebookmark.blogspot.ca
My reading quest is to find the "best ever" ghost story. I've read quite a few and right now Joe Hill's "Heart Shaped Box" is holding steady at #1. Any and all suggestions about that would be welcome.
So far, our attempts to have other people join [edit: my two-person bookclub] have also fizzled! But maybe we just haven't found the right people yet. You're book club sounds great though. You should get them on Riffle too!
Hi @Christine_Ellei! Sounds like you're a fan of Horror! Have you seen the Horror discussion board yet? I bet @Greg_Fisher, our Horror editor, has some great suggestions for ghost stories. You can check out the horror introduction thread here.
Welcome to Riffle discussions though! I look forward to getting to know you on the boards.
Aww. Maybe more it's just still a work in progress, versus a fizzle.
Though in my other online book discussion experiences, 'lurking'
is a puzzling and unsolvable issue. Through moderating groups,
participation - active members commenting regularly - sits at
about 10% of the membership base. But this reflects sites that
have specific groups, and not just a general, open forum like Riffle
Discussions. As well, people are able to connect in easier ways with
other readers who share comparable tastes in books. I feel if there is
better integration between Riffle Books and Riffle Discussions, along
with people being able to connect and comment more intuitively, the
Discussion space will evolve.
I am hoping this eventually works well for Riffle.
Oh, I was referring to a book club that I have outside of Riffle! I can see the confusion, the replies don't really show up underneath the comment you're replying to in the most obvious way. And I should have been more clear as to what I was talking about. Oops!
But yes, Riffle Discussions are getting bigger little by little as more people make their way over here. I also understand what you mean about lurkers...I am often one of the lurkers on other boards elsewhere. But I do think the more open forum layout here is a bit more attractive, at least to me. Part of the reason I "lurk" elsewhere is because the discussion is so specific that I don't always know enough to comment!
Ah - I did totally miss you were referring to an club outside of the Riffle Discussions. My apologies!