Sunday, 26 May 2013

31BPC 11-The Last Book You Read

The last book I actually read wasn't really much of anything so I'm going to tell you about the one I'm currently reading-Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.*
A couple of weeks ago I was persuaded (by way of a free ticket) to go and see the film when it was on at my Student Union's cinema. I had never really heard about it before so I had no idea what to expect but I really enjoyed it as it was very cleverly done. It tells six different stories set over six different time periods-from the distant past to the distant future-although they are all connected and linked to each other across the generations and are repeated groupings of the same souls or spirits throughout and across time. In the film this is cleverly represented by using the same 10ish actors across each time line in the sameish roles-this infographic explains it much better than I can, although is by no means comprehensive and misses out some of the roles/actors.
In the book, it's different-the stories are not presented  to you intertwining together but rather one at a time. But here's the wonderful yet annoying thing: they all stop midway through when the character has reached a critical moment-some even stop mid sentence! It's infuriating (but brilliant) because you just start really getting into the story, getting to that stage where it's wrapping itself around you and you need to know what happens next, and then bluntly and without warning, it just stops. It's a genius way of writing because I've had five cliffhangers in a row, each more dramatic than the last, and now I have got to finish the book to find out the endings of each one. Not that I wouldn't have finished it anyway-I'm really enjoying it-and as one of the characters writes in a letter "A half-read book is a half-finished love affair".
I'm really, truly captivated. I feel like I'm reading five different books all at the same time (I have yet to begin the sixth story) and every time I turn the page over in excited anticipation of what happens next to find another title page I feel both annoyed and desperate to find out more. That's why I haven't started story six yet-I'm still riding the emotions left from story five and don't want to confuse them with new characters, new actions, new voices.
And of course, I know what happens because I've seen the film but there's something about discovering it for yourself in the pages of a book that makes it more magical for me. I'm torn-I really want to get to the end to get closure on the five unfinished stories swirling around my brain but at the same time I don't want to because no-one ever wants to finish a good book. I'm really looking forward to realising how the stories all pull together as it's not yet obvious-they're 6 loose strands waited to be plaited and woven together and it's going to be interesting and beautiful and probably a little bit heartbreaking.

For a book that never seems to finish a story, this is the perfect place for me to review it because then you'll never find out the ending(s), or not from me at least.
In short, I love it, it's very very wonderful.

~Nail Art Novice~

*NB I am writing this post in advance so I will no doubt have actually finished it by the time this post goes up. In a way then, it is the last book I read.


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