What I’m Reading Now

… Two editions of the Sunday NYTimes, a very old New Yorker, two books about the Cane River (more about that later), and recovering from Carsick, still unconvinced that it’s nonfiction.

For entertainment it’s Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. Once again I don’t know who recommended it, but so far it’s been a wild ride.

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  • It starts with “The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing,” who hitches a ride on a ship in the far away islands off New Zealand with a gout-ridden captain, a stowaway, etc. The chapter ends abruptly in mid-sentence.
  • The next chapter introduces a deadbeat with some musical talent who insinuates himself with a reclusive composer (and his wife) in 1931 Brussels and recounts his activities to a fellow Brit.
  • Chapter three features the recipient of the deadbeat’s letters, a scientist with a huge secret who becomes entwined with a writer for a National Enquirer type scandal sheet in twentieth century San Francisco.
  • At a little more than one hundred fifty pages in, I have just embarked on a chapter entitled “The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish.”

Cloud Atlas is so far one of those books in which one reaches the end and has read again just to make sense of all the bodies that keep dropping like, well, like bodies.

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