Monday, September 17, 2012

This is not the CLOUD ATLAS you're looking for.

CLOUD ATLAS would normally be exactly the kind of book that I'd be looking to carry.

It's a 'cult' favorite with fantasy leanings with a movie coming out (starring no less than Tom Hanks.)

But to my great surprise, I've been getting in used copies of the book, so I thought I was covered.

Had a customer in last week looking for it, and she said the author was 'Mitchell' but I couldn't find it, but I was certain I had it so I kept looking and -- there -- under Liam Callahan, was a copy of THE CLOUD ATLAS, with a very fantasy looking cover with kind of airy ships in the sky.

"No I don't think this is it," she says.

"I think it must be," I says.

But I start reading the back of it, and it's a novel set in Alaska and I'm pretty sure from the movie trailer that isn't right.

Anyway, long story short, it is a different book, that came out in October of 2004. The CLOUD ATLAS by David Mitchell came out in August of 2004 -- which means they came out within two months of each other, which probably means they didn't even know about each other.

In other words, not a cynical attempt to grab another author's audience. It's THE CLOUD ATLAS that I have in stock, not CLOUD ATLAS.

By the way, you apparently can't copyright a title, so if you feel like your book simply must be called GONE WITH THE WIND, have at it.

I'm going to immediately order CLOUD ATLAS, since, like I said above, it's the type of book I would normally carry (and read for that matter.) I'm also going to do my customers a favor and remove the copies of the other book so no one buys it by mistake. Ouch.

ADDENDUM. I say it's the type of book I would normally read, but that doesn't seem to be all that true anymore.

I haven't read a lot of the "cult" books lately -- The Alchemist, or Ishmeal, or House of Leaves. Those sorts of things I read when I was younger, they seem a little too earnest to me nowadays.

Maybe a mistake -- I mean, I would've hated to miss GAME OF THRONES. Then again, I was already a huge fan of George R.R. Martin because of FEVRE DREAM and TUFF VOYAGING and I read him before he was quite so popular.

That's right, you jump-on-the-bandwagon-come-latelies: I read it first.


Unknown said...

Are you sure you don't mean an actual atlas of different types of clouds? That's the kind of book I would read. :)

Duncan McGeary said...

Yeah, what the heck is a cloud atlas?

Duncan McGeary said...


"A cloud atlas is a pictorial key to the nomenclature of clouds. Early cloud atlases were an important element in the training of meteorologists and in weather forecasting..."

yokem55 said...

It's a great book if you can get past the various era specific writing styles. The 19th century journal and the post-apocalyptic yarnin' are probably the hardest to understand, but the distinctive writing really adds an extra character to the book. Also, if you set out to read it, take the time to read the Wikipedia entry to understand how the novel is structured as you would be completely lost without it....

I'm really curious to see how the Wachowski siblings do with the source. The trailer looks incredible, but the proof will be in how the whole thing turns out.