Good news for people who like good news:
While Cloud Atlas in particular shows his capacity to switch
authorial voices, it’s hard in a tent in Hay to make the imaginative
leap into his new scene: a standoff between exotically named seamen and
investigators following up a suspicious fire on board a ship – in 1798
– read out by this boyish-looking Englishman in crew neck and t-shirt.
Mitchell seems to know it, apologising ahead of one character’s
speech: "I should be wearing a monocle for this bit." But it’s still a
treat. He breaks off occasionally: to ask Ho Davies of the last
paragraph, "That’s got to go, hasn’t it?"; or to see if anyone in the
audience knows how many guilders the burnt cargo of figurines might
actually have been worth in 1798 for historical accuracy: "I can’t find
it on the internet or anything."
No due date for this bouncing baby, but I salivate. I’m in a little bit of a reading slump after finishing Varieties of Disturbance, one of those lots to choose from, unable to choose situations. All this David Mitchell news, methinks maybe I should crack one of the two by him I have yet to read – number9dream or Black Swan Green…