What Do You Mean ‘Needs More Dogs’?

Ah! The Telegraph: ever-enchanted by the pure-breed charms of Elizabeth Hurley; the finest source of obituaries for eccentric Wing Commanders in Britain; and a cryptic crossword so simple that Jordan’s left tit can solve it (to get you going – today, 1ac. ‘watercress’, 1d. ‘wane’, 6ac. ‘cole’ – but I’m sure you won’t need my help).

They’re not reviewing Cloud Atlas. Does anyone in the audience know why this might be?

That’s right. It’s because they are stupid.

Even their explanation is wrong and stupid:

“The historical bits are awash with ludicrous olden-days dialogue: ‘O, diresome bad things was gettin’, yay.’

I might be wrong here, but that looks to me like it’s from the middle narrative, ‘Sloosha’s Crossin”, which is post-apocalyptic language-wrench Science Fiction (resembling nothing so much as John Crowley’s mighty Engine Summer), not a ‘historical bit’.

The simplest thing to say about Cloud Atlas is that it is tremendously enjoyable: Mitchell loves stories, and it’s an exciting book to read: there’s nothing more intoxicating in literature than wanting to know what happens next, and this is the kick of the book: it’s not an indulgent post-modern meditation, it’s ripping fun with real depth.

It upsets me to see the public insulted by this sort of thing – patronising discussion of literature from addled tards who struggle to reach the end of anything that isn’t a delicately constructed tale of a spinster’s late-blooming love. But I guess Telegraph readers have already debased themselves by taking it as their paper, and so deserve this treatment.