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Cloud Atlas: A Novel [Anglais] [Relié]

David Mitchell
4.1 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (15 commentaires client)
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Thursday, 7th November—

Beyond the Indian hamlet, upon a forlorn strand, I happened on a trail of recent footprints. Through rotting kelp, sea cocoa-nuts & bamboo, the tracks led me to their maker, a White man, his trowzers & Pea-jacket rolled up, sporting a kempt beard & an outsized Beaver, shoveling & sifting the cindery sand with a teaspoon so intently that he noticed me only after I had hailed him from ten yards away. Thus it was, I made the acquaintance of Dr. Henry Goose, surgeon to the London nobility. His nationality was no surprise. If there be any eyrie so desolate, or isle so remote, that one may there resort unchallenged by an Englishman, ’tis not down on any map I ever saw.

Had the doctor misplaced anything on that dismal shore? Could I render assistance? Dr. Goose shook his head, knotted loose his ’kerchief & displayed its contents with clear pride. “Teeth, sir, are the enameled grails of the quest in hand. In days gone by this Arcadian strand was a cannibals’ banqueting hall, yes, where the strong engorged themselves on the weak. The teeth, they spat out, as you or I would expel cherry stones. But these base molars, sir, shall be transmuted to gold & how? An artisan of Piccadilly who fashions denture sets for the nobility pays handsomely for human gnashers. Do you know the price a quarter pound will earn, sir?”

I confessed I did not.

“Nor shall I enlighten you, sir, for ’tis a professional secret!” He tapped his nose. “Mr. Ewing, are you acquainted with Marchioness Grace of Mayfair? No? The better for you, for she is a corpse in petticoats. Five years have passed since this harridan besmirched my name, yes, with imputations that resulted in my being blackballed from Society.” Dr. Goose looked out to sea. “My peregrinations began in that dark hour.”

I expressed sympathy with the doctor’s plight.

“I thank you, sir, I thank you, but these ivories”—he shook his ’kerchief—“are my angels of redemption. Permit me to elucidate. The Marchioness wears dental fixtures fashioned by the afore- mentioned doctor. Next yuletide, just as that scented She-Donkey is addressing her Ambassadors’ Ball, I, Henry Goose, yes, I shall arise & declare to one & all that our hostess masticates with cannibals’ gnashers! Sir Hubert will challenge me, predictably, ‘Furnish your evidence,’ that boor shall roar, ‘or grant me satisfaction!’ I shall declare, ‘Evidence, Sir Hubert? Why, I gathered your mother’s teeth myself from the spittoon of the South Pacific! Here, sir, here are some of their fellows!’ & fling these very teeth into her tortoiseshell soup tureen & that, sir, that will grant me my satisfaction! The twittering wits will scald the icy Marchioness in their news sheets & by next season she shall be fortunate to receive an invitation to a Poorhouse Ball!”

In haste, I bade Henry Goose a good day. I fancy he is a Bedlamite.

Friday, 8th November—

In the rude shipyard beneath my window, work progresses on the jibboom, under Mr. Sykes’s directorship. Mr. Walker, Ocean Bay’s sole taverner, is also its principal timber merchant & he brags of his years as a master shipbuilder in Liverpool. (I am now versed enough in Antipodese etiquette to let such unlikely truths lie.) Mr. Sykes told me an entire week is needed to render the Prophet- ess “Bristol fashion.” Seven days holed up in the Musket seems a grim sentence, yet I recall the fangs of the banshee tempest & the mariners lost o’erboard & my present misfortune feels less acute.

I met Dr. Goose on the stairs this morning & we took breakfast together. He has lodged at the Musket since middle October after voyaging hither on a Brazilian merchantman, Namorados, from Feejee, where he practiced his arts in a mission. Now the doctor awaits a long-overdue Australian sealer, the Nellie, to convey him to Sydney. From the colony he will seek a position aboard a passenger ship for his native London.

My judgment of Dr. Goose was unjust & premature. One must be cynical as Diogenes to prosper in my profession, but cynicism can blind one to subtler virtues. The doctor has his eccentricities & recounts them gladly for a dram of Portuguese pisco (never to excess), but I vouchsafe he is the only other gentleman on this latitude east of Sydney & west of Valparaiso. I may even compose for him a letter of introduction for the Partridges in Sydney, for Dr. Goose & dear Fred are of the same cloth.

Poor weather precluding my morning outing, we yarned by the peat fire & the hours sped by like minutes. I spoke at length of Tilda & Jackson & also my fears of “gold fever” in San Francisco. Our conversation then voyaged from my hometown to my recent notarial duties in New South Wales, thence to Gibbon, Malthus & Godwin via Leeches & Locomotives. Attentive conversation is an emollient I lack sorely aboard the Prophetess & the doctor is a veritable polymath. Moreover, he possesses a handsome army of scrimshandered chessmen whom we shall keep busy until either the Prophetess’s departure or the Nellie’s arrival.

Saturday, 9th November—

Sunrise bright as a silver dollar. Our schooner still looks a woeful picture out in the Bay. An Indian war canoe is being careened on the shore. Henry & I struck out for “Banqueter’ s Beach” in holy-day mood, blithely saluting the maid who labors for Mr. Walker. The sullen miss was hanging laundry on a shrub & ignored us. She has a tinge of black blood & I fancy her mother is not far removed from the jungle breed.

As we passed below the Indian hamlet, a “humming” aroused our curiosity & we resolved to locate its source. The settlement is circumvallated by a stake fence, so decayed that one may gain ingress at a dozen places. A hairless bitch raised her head, but she was toothless & dying & did not bark. An outer ring of ponga huts (fashioned from branches, earthen walls & matted ceilings) groveled in the lees of “grandee” dwellings, wooden structures with carved lintel pieces & rudimentary porches. In the hub of this village, a public flogging was under way. Henry & I were the only two Whites present, but three castes of spectating Indians were demarked. The chieftain occupied his throne, in a feathered cloak, while the tattooed gentry & their womenfolk & children stood in attendance, numbering some thirty in total. The slaves, duskier & sootier than their nut-brown masters & less than half their number, squatted in the mud. Such inbred, bovine torpor! Pockmarked & pustular with haki-haki, these wretches watched the punishment, making no response but that bizarre, beelike “hum.” Empathy or condemnation, we knew not what the noise signified. The whip master was a Goliath whose physique would daunt any frontier prizefighter. Lizards mighty & small were tattooed over every inch of the savage’s musculature:—his pelt would fetch a fine price, though I should not be the man assigned to relieve him of it for all the pearls of O-hawaii! The piteous prisoner, hoarfrosted with many harsh years, was bound naked to an A-frame. His body shuddered with each excoriating lash, his back was a vellum of bloody runes, but his insensible face bespoke the serenity of a martyr already in the care of the Lord.

I confess, I swooned under each fall of the lash. Then a peculiar thing occurred. The beaten savage raised his slumped head, found my eye & shone me a look of uncanny, amicable knowing! As if a theatrical performer saw a long-lost friend in the Royal Box and, undetected by the audience, communicated his recognition. A tattooed “blackfella” approached us & flicked his nephrite dagger to indicate that we were unwelcome. I inquired after the nature of the prisoner’s crime. Henry put his arm around me. “Come, Adam, a wise man does not step betwixt the beast & his meat.”

Sunday, 10th November—

Mr. Boerhaave sat amidst his cabal of trusted ruffians like Lord Anaconda & his garter snakes. Their Sabbath “celebrations” downstairs had begun ere I had risen. I went in search of shaving water & found the tavern swilling with Tars awaiting their turn with those poor Indian girls whom Walker has ensnared in an impromptu bordello. (Rafael was not in the debauchers’ number.)

I do not break my Sabbath fast in a whorehouse. Henry’s sense of repulsion equaled to my own, so we forfeited breakfast (the maid was doubtless being pressed into alternative service) & set out for the chapel to worship with our fasts unbroken.

We had not gone two hundred yards when, to my consternation, I remembered this journal, lying on the table in my room at the Musket, visible to any drunken sailor who might break in. Fearful for its safety (& my own, were Mr. Boerhaave to get his hands on it), I retraced my steps to conceal it more artfully. Broad smirks greeted my return & I assumed I was “the devil being spoken of,” but I learned the true reason when I opened my door:—to wit, Mr. Boerhaave’s ursine buttocks astraddle his Blackamoor Goldilocks in my bed in flagrante delicto! Did that devil Dutchman apologize? Far from it! He judged himself the injured party & roared, “Get ye hence, Mr. Quillcock! or by God’s B——d, I shall snap your tricksy Yankee nib in two!”

I snatched my diary & clattered downstairs to a riotocracy of merriment & ridicule from the White savages there gathered. I remonstrated to Walker that I was paying for a private room & I expected it to remain private even during my absence, but that scoundrel merely offered a one-third discount on “a quarter-hour’s gallop on the comeliest filly in my stable!” Disgusted, I retorted that I was a husband & a father! & that I should rather die than abase my dignity & decency with any of his poxed whores! Walker swore to “decorate my eyes” if I called his own dear daughters “whores” again. One toothless garter snake jeered that if possessing a wife & a child was a single virtue, “Why, Mr. Ewing, I be ten times more virtuous than you be!” & an unseen hand emptied a tankard of sheog over my person. I withdrew ere the liquid was swapped for a more obdurate missile.

The chapel bell was summoning the God-fearing of Ocean Bay & I hurried thitherwards, where Henry waited, trying to forget the recent foulnesses witnessed at my lodgings. The chapel creaked like an old tub & its congregation numbered little more than the digits of two hands, but no traveler ever quenched his thirst at a desert oasis more thankfully than Henry & I gave worship this morning. The Lutheran founder has lain at rest in his chapel’s cemetery these ten winters past & no ordained successor has yet ventured to claim captaincy of the altar. Its denomination, therefore, is a “rattle bag” of Christian creeds. Biblical passages were read by that half of the congregation who know their let- ters & we joined in a hymn or two nominated by rota. The “steward” of this demotic flock, one Mr. D’Arnoq, stood beneath the modest cruciform & besought Henry & me to participate in likewise manner. Mindful of my own salvation from last week’s tempest, I nominated Luke ch. 8, “And they came to him, & awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, & rebuked the wind & the raging of the water: & they ceased, & there was a calm.”

Henry recited from Psalm the Eighth, in a voice as sonorous as any schooled dramatist: “Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou has put all things under his feet: all sheep & oxen, yea & the beasts of the field; the fowl of the air & the fish of the sea & whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.”

No organist played a Magnificat but the wind in the flue chimney, no choir sang a Nunc Dimittis but the wuthering gulls, yet I fancy the Creator was not displeazed. We resembled more the Early Christians of Rome than any later Church encrusted with arcana & gemstones. Communal prayer followed. Parishioners prayed ad lib for the eradication of potato blight, mercy on a dead infant’s soul, blessing upon a new fishing boat, &c. Henry gave thanks for the hospitality shown us visitors by the Christians of Chatham Isle. I echoed these sentiments & sent a prayer for Tilda, Jackson & my father-in-law during my extended absence.

Revue de presse

“[David] Mitchell is, clearly, a genius. He writes as though at the helm of some perpetual dream machine, can evidently do anything, and his ambition is written in magma across this novel’s every page.”The New York Times Book Review
 
“One of those how-the-holy-hell-did-he-do-it? modern classics that no doubt is—and should be—read by any student of contemporary literature.”—Dave Eggers
 
“Wildly entertaining . . . a head rush, both action-packed and chillingly ruminative.”People
 
“The novel as series of nested dolls or Chinese boxes, a puzzle-book, and yet—not just dazzling, amusing, or clever but heartbreaking and passionate, too. I’ve never read anything quite like it, and I’m grateful to have lived, for a while, in all its many worlds.”—Michael Chabon
 
Cloud Atlas ought to make [Mitchell] famous on both sides of the Atlantic as a writer whose fearlessness is matched by his talent.”The Washington Post Book World
 
“Thrilling . . . One of the biggest joys in Cloud Atlas is watching Mitchell sashay from genre to genre without a hitch in his dance step.”Boston Sunday Globe
 
“Grand and elaborate . . . [Mitchell] creates a world and language at once foreign and strange, yet strikingly familiar and intimate.”Los Angeles Times

Détails sur le produit

  • Relié: 528 pages
  • Editeur : Modern Library (20 novembre 2012)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 081299471X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812994711
  • Dimensions du produit: 14,5 x 3,7 x 21,2 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.1 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (15 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 22.717 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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21 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent, trop peut être ?! 19 janvier 2005
Format:Broché
Sans revenir sur les nombreuses (et élogieuses) revues, dont certaines révèlent d'ailleurs peut être trop l'essence du livre, quelques remarques additionnelles et critiques. Cloud Atlas est un tour de force, qui enchantera tant les adeptes de la nouvelle (short story) que ceux du long roman épique. Véritable caméléon, il mêle le roman d'action, le polar, la science-fiction, le conte philosophique, le roman historique et le roman "psychologique", sans jamais craindre la comparaison avec le meilleur de chacun des genres. Plus fort encore, chaque histoire est servie par un style TRES particulier qui lui est propre, adapté tant au genre de l'histoire qu'a ses personnages. Et c'est peut être là où le bât blesse: D. Mitchell semble être tellement doué qu'il cède parfois à l'exercice de style. On sent que ce roman a été en partie conçu pour épater la gallerie, comme un pianiste virtuose qui non content de mêler en un seul concert les répertoires les plus divers, choisirait les morceaux les plus difficiles de chacun d'eux. Certes, s'il y réussit, où est le mal ?!
L'autre critique que je ferais, c'est la construction elle-même du roman. On l'a assez dit, l'enchainement des histoires est très habile, imbriquées les unes dans les autres à travers le temps dans un crescendo qui redescend brusquement pour mieux asséner la "morale de l'histoire" (eat or be eaten !) et au passage, livrer les clefs qui lient ces histoires entre elles. Cependant, j'avoue que je m'attendais à une "chute" beaucoup plus spectaculaire, à une imbrication plus originale. A moins que j'aie loupé quelque chose (?
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4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Good Writing but Overambitious 15 janvier 2013
Format:Broché
When I heard about the movie “Cloud Atlas,” I was intrigued enough about its unconventional storyline and narrative to want to read the book on which it was based. A story that spans several centuries and told from different voices and perspectives, with elements of thriller, historical and science fiction, seemed like a perfect match for my own interests. However, while it has certainly turned out to be a technically and narratively remarkable book, I was decidedly underwhelmed with it.

“Cloud Atlas” is comprised with six different stories, each of which except the sixth is punctured in the middle with the subsequent one, only to be returned to in the inverse order later on. The book has a form of one-dimensional nested Russian-doll. This is a very clever and technically challenging narrative structure, and with the right kind of material it could have been a real masterpiece. However, in the end I didn’t find this working out all that well. First of all, the stories are VERY loosely related to each other. Their tenuous connection relies more on insinuations, allusions, off-narrative developments, and certain stratagems (reincarnation?) that are never fully and explicitly developed and feel more like deus ex machina ploys than organic plot developments. Furthermore, it was really hard for me to get into most of these stories, with an exception of maybe one and a half of them. They seemed contrived, and it was not easy to start carrying for a whole new set of characters every forty pages or so. And once I did, the stories abruptly broke off, oftentimes at some of the most interesting points. By the time I returned to them, I had mostly forgotten what they were about in the first place, and cared even less about “what happens next.”

Finally, there is the whole issue of language.
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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Cloud Atlas 24 juin 2013
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Quand j'ai vu le film, j'ai dit à ma copine "au risque de paraître farfelue, j'ai adoré ce film", elle a répondu "moi aussi"! J'ai tellement aimé le film que j'ai acheté le livre.
Bref, ce n'est pas le genre facile, il faut être attentif et le sujet peut rebuter puisqu'il s'agit de réalités alternatives. Si vous ne vous êtes jamais posé la question de savoir quelle aurait été votre vie si vous aviez fait tel choix plutôt qu'un autre à un moment de votre vie... et bien ne regardez jamais et ne lisez jamais ce livre
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Le traducteur en question 8 octobre 2013
Par C. Nicole
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Le livre est une merveille, d'autres l'ont analysé mieux que je ne pourrais le faire, Mais ... que dire de la traduction ?
J'irai jusqu'à dire qu'il ne s'agit pas d'une traduction à proprement parler mais d'une "adaptation" . J'avais envie de tester l'apparente performance du traducteur, c'est pourquoi j'ai acheté la version originale, et bien m'en a pris . Le traducteur a la légèreté d'un éléphant dans un magasin de porcelaine . Il supprime des paragraphes entiers, invente des mots en bouleversant les paragraphes pour pouvoir les y insérer, et encore je n'ai pas terminé ma lecture car la langue est difficile mais le livre vaut la peine de faire l 'effort .

On a d'autres exemples dans la littérature, Baudelaire traduisant Edgar Poe par exemple, mais n'est pas Baudelaire qui veut ...
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 From the movie to the book 15 août 2014
Par boteko
Format:Broché
I like watching movies and when I found one really interesting I HAVE TO READ the book it comes from.
I started to read it a week ago and every time I got time I dive in the book.
Plus I buy it for less than 1€!!!

Amazone really offers good deals when it comes to books.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 fascinant...
Ayant vu le film, j'ai été saisi de l'originalité du scénario et notamment de sa construction temporelle. Lire la suite
Publié il y a 1 mois par Yves-Marie Lemaître
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Un peu lassant
Je n'ai pas été spécialement emballé par ce livre que j'ai trouvé trop long et quelque peu prétentieux. Lire la suite
Publié il y a 8 mois par Dim
1.0 étoiles sur 5 je me suis faite piéger
j' avais pas vu que c 'était une version en anglais j'ai payé pour un livre que je ne pourrai pas lire
Publié il y a 12 mois par tortajada francoise
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Le livre du film
Super, la narration est très bien pensé, les histoires se recoupent sans se croisé, c'est léger et distrayant et très bien écrit
Publié il y a 14 mois par Amazon Customer
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Une épopée...
... qui fait presque réfléchir. La fin, en revanche... On s'attend à tout un tas de rebondissements qui n'arrivent pas. Lire la suite
Publié il y a 15 mois par Latj
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Bon livre
Très belle couverture et agréable à lire.
L’histoire est très intéressante mais compliqué et très bien écrit. Lire la suite
Publié il y a 16 mois par Pierrick
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Comment trouver simplement se faire livrer un roman étranger...
Comment trouver simplement se faire livrer un roman étranger à bon prix...
Voila, tout est dit. Lire la suite
Publié il y a 17 mois par Lenormand
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Si vous avez vu et aimé le film, lisez absolument le livre !
Le livre dont est tiré le film est un véritable chef d'oeuvre !!

NB : attention toutefois, cette version est en anglais.
Publié il y a 19 mois par ADG
5.0 étoiles sur 5 cloud atlas
très belle histoire, je ne l'ai pas encore finis par manque de temps, mais je vais m'empresser de m’exécuter. Lire la suite
Publié il y a 23 mois par thomas versele
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