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Book of Clouds [Paperback]

Chloe Aridjis
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

4 Nov 2010
Tatiana, a young Mexican woman, is adrift in Berlin. Choosing a life of solitude, she takes a job transcribing notes for the reclusive Doktor Weiss. Through him she meets 'ant illustrator turned meteorologist' Jonas, a Berliner who has used clouds and the sky's constant shape-shifting as his escape from reality. As their three paths intersect and merge, the contours of all their worlds begins to change...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (4 Nov 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099539594
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099539599
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 159,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Chloe Aridjis has achieved something quite astonishing: a rethinking of one of our most complacent forms, the historical novel.... The writer she calls to mind is the Modernist Haruki Murakami, with his unsolved riddles and ultra-cool characters. It is a book that you press on friends" (Helen Rumbelow The Times)

"[An] exceptional debut novel.... a beautifully turned piece of writing of extraordinary assurance... As natural as breathing. Both vivid and dreamlike, at once very precise in its images and also enchantingly broad-brush atmospheric, this is a debut more captivating than any I've read in some time" (Daniel Hahn Independent on Sunday)

"The debut novel by the New York-born, now London-based, Aridjis comes highly recommended by literary heavyweights Paul Auster and Ali Smith, a choice emphasising both Aridjis's transatlantic appeal and her literary sensibilities" (Lesley Mcdowell Scotsman)

"A hypnotic first novel about a young Mexican gal in Berlin who stumbles into friendship with an eccentric historian and the madness that ensues. This book has the power of dreams and still hasn't left me" (Junot Diaz)

"A stirring and lyrical first novel by a young writer of immense talent" (Paul Auster)


Chloe Aridjis has achieved something quite astonishing in a first book by a young writer: a rethinking of one of our most complacent forms, the historical novel….the writer she calls to mind is the Modernist Haruki Murakami, with his unsolved riddles and ultra-cool characters. It is a book that you press on friends even though when they ask you what it is about it sounds like nothing at all. - The Times, Helen Rumbelow

‘this is a haunting debut with an individual, poetic slant.’ - The Herald, Alastair Mabbot --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sebald meets Murukami 18 Jun 2010
By Ellie
Rare for a first novel to be written with such understated confidence. Put Sebald in a blender with Murukami, and you get a sense of Aridjis's style and concerns. Pared down, nuanced, and clever, Book Of Clouds is very much a book for anyone who knows Berlin, or who is about to get to know it! A writer to really look out for...
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Space and time 25 Oct 2010
'Book of Clouds' is not a long novel, nor does it contain the obvious 'traditional' plot. Instead, it is a novel about the resonance of the past, in which Tatania, a foreigner living in Berlin, is haunted by events in the spaces they occurred. Along the way, she takes a job with an elderly academic, has a half-hearted affair, and becomes interested in a mentally disturbed woman who seems virtually to represent Berlin as a city dogged by psychosis.

I found the author's light, unhurried style bewitching and intriguing, although I felt the characters were a little too distant. Not a novel for anyone who demands a cracking yarn, rather a read to be savoured.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars poetic and unusual 8 Dec 2009
This is a very special book. At times I wished for a bit more plot, at times I wished it were a little longer -- but this is without doubt one of the most unusual novels, not just debut, that i've come across. The voice reminds me of Sebald and Bernhard but it's also very much its own.
Book of Clouds is a strikingly layered book, nuanced and poetic, worth reading more than once.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Berlin, clouds and beautiful writing. 12 Dec 2010
By Ann Fairweather TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was immediately attracted by the book's title and cover, and when I saw that it was set in contemporary Berlin, simply bought it. And was not disappointed. It is a very meditative, leisurely, poetic, astute, observation of today's Berlin through the eyes of Titiana, a young mexican woman who comes to live in Berlin for as long as she will enjoy it. She is a very solitary, sensitive being and settles a little awkwardly in a vast and indifferent metropolis. She works for a recluse historian, typing down his recorded stories of the city, alone all day and hardly meeting anyone at all. Yet she does not decline the timid courtship of a young man (student of meteorology and lover of clouds) but seems certain that it will lead nowhere, as it does. This is not under any circumstances your usual novel, but more a glimpse of a possible life in a different city, tasting it, trying it, loving it and hating it sometimes in equal measure. It is beautifully written and certainly gives the reader an appetite for more by the same author. The book feeling very autobiographical, I hope that Chloe Aridjis will share more of her poetic adventures with us soon.
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