I won't even try to summarize or analyse the content of the book; there are an abundance of reviews both of the book and of the movie adaptation available online. Interestingly, for this edition of the book David Mitchell includes a postscript reporting on how he was invited to participate in the creation of the movie, and how (recognizing the differences inherent in film vs. text presentations) he has been delighted with the movie's ability to capture the essence of the novel.
Unexpectedly, I decided that having seen the movie enhanced my enjoyment of the book; I think the nested "Matryoshka-doll-like" structure of the book would have been confusing had I not already seen the movie and understood the connections between the characters.
Herewith some random thoughts. Best turn of phrase in the book:
(of a teenage girl) "she has to lose her pre-Copernican view of a universe revolving around herself."New words/phrases to look up the meaning or etymology of:
sinnet, doolally, retrousset, sundered, crenellation, shagreen, scarper(v.), clement, sarnies, sheog, wuthering, “small ale,” hugger-mugger, “we got under weigh,” yorkered, mollyhawk, tournour.Re corpocracy:
"How the consumers seethed to buy, buy, buy! Purebloods, it seemed, were a sponge of demand that sucked goods and sevices from every vendor, dinery, bar, shop, and nook.Two references to the title:
Hae-Joo lead me to a stylish cafe platform where he bought a styro of starbuck for himself and an aqua for me. He xpalined that under the Enrichment Statutes, consumers have to spend a fixed quota of dollars each month, depending on their strata. Hoarding [money] is an anti-corpocratic crime.
"I watched clouds awobbly from the floor o' that kayak. 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. (Zachry, p. 308)I've already requested another of his books ("The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet") from the library.
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 posess, as it were, an atlas of clouds. (Cavendish, p. 373)
Readers are invited to leave their own mini-reviews (of the movie or the book) in the Comments.