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The Theory of Clouds

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The Theory of Clouds Cover

ISBN13: 9780156034814
ISBN10: 0156034816
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The novel tells the story of Akira Kumo, a retired couturier living in Paris, owner of the world's largest collection of books about clouds, and Virginie Latour, whom Kumo hires to help catalogue his library. While they work he tells her the story behind three figures in particular, all British, all obsessed by clouds: Luke Howard, a real-life Quaker who in 1802 wrote the first treatise classifying clouds (we still use it today); a painter named Carmichael, clearly based on John Constable, one of the most famous cloud painters of all time, and a fictional amateur meteorologist named Richard Abercrombie, who aspires to write the definitive book on cloud description, which would come to be known in cloud circles as the Abercrombie Protocol. Kumo sends Virginie Latour to London to buy the Protocol. By the end of the novel, we learn the Protocol's great secret; we understand what binds these men together; and and we learn that Kumo himself is a survivor of the Hiroshima blast, in whose cloud his family vanished.

Review:

"'A specialized, sensual history centers this novel from French historian Audeguy, winner of the Acadmie Franaise's Prix Maurice Genevoix. Virginie, an aimless young librarian, is hired by Hiroshima survivor and Paris couturier Akira Kumo, who seems much younger than he is, to categorize his obsessive library of cloud and meteorological-related material. While Virginie works, Kumo tells stories of other cloud gazers in history, including the fictional John Constable — like painter Carmichael, who spent a year painting clouds, to the consternation of his father, and the photographer Abercrombie, who left behind the much speculated upon cloud book that bears his name. As Kumo's past begins to come into focus, Virginie is drawn into his life. Audeguy's prose, lyrical in translation, mostly manages to contain sudden shifts of time and explorations of cloud lore. Beautifully written and imaginatively structured, Audeguy's book is as diaphanous as its subject. (Sept.)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Next time you're lying on the grass staring at the sky, consider that one of those puffy white clouds floating overhead weighs millions of pounds. That ordinary miracle comes to mind while reading Stephane Audeguy's strange first novel, which is equally buoyant and weighty, and puts one in the mood for reverie. Winner of the prestigious Maurice Genevoix prize in France, where the author teaches art... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Slyly fabulist in the manner of Paul Auster, and expressing great feeling for life and scorn for arrogance, Audeguy's witty, erotic, and expansive novel subtly contrasts humankind's love for nature and pursuit of scientific knowledge with our thoughtless pillaging of the living world and tragic habit of war." Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"Unconventional and memorable." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"This is an extraordinary bit of fiction....An exquisite, eccentric read." Baltimore Sun

Review:

"[A] novel of great ambition. It may be read simply for the stories of its many characters....But it is as intricately plotted as any thriller, with gems skillfully embedded throughout." South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Synopsis:

"An amorphous story, alternately static and turbulent, a subtle mixture of history and fiction, tragedy and comedy…. Sit back, stare up at this book: The weather's fascinating." — Washington Post Book World

Akira Kumo miraculously survived Hiroshimas mushroom cloud. Now an eccentric couturier living in Paris, he he hires Virginie Latour to catalog his collection of literature on clouds and meteorology. As they work, he tells her the stories of those who have devoted their lives to clouds, including the late-nineteenth-century amateur meteorologist Richard Abercrombie, a photographer who may have created the only definitive catalog of clouds—but only one copy exists, and it has never been seen. Kumo dispatches Virginie to London to track down the fabled Abercrombie Protocol, a quest both surprising and wondrous, where love, like clouds, forms and transforms lives.

"[W]ise and oddly tender…Audeguy reminds me of the late, great W.G. Sebald." — Minneapolis Star Tribune

"An all-encompassing and startlingly erotic meditation on all the shapes to be found in nature. Beautiful, sensuous, cerebral, this novel is the work of a major talent." — Seattle Times
 
STÉPHANE AUDEGUY lives in Paris, where he teaches the history of cinema and arts.

Synopsis:

Akira Kumo miraculously survived the mushroom cloud over Hiroshima. Now an eccentric couturier living in Paris, he has the worlds largest collection of literature on clouds and meteorology, which he hires Virginie Latour to catalog. As they work, he tells her the stories of those who have devoted their lives to clouds: the English Quaker who first classified clouds, the painter who became obsessed with capturing clouds on canvas, and the wealthy late-nineteenth-century amateur meteorologist Richard Abercrombie, a photographer who may have created the only definitive catalog of clouds—but only one copy exists, and it has never been seen. Kumo sends Virginie to London to track down the fabled Abercrombie Protocol, a quest both surprising and wondrous, where love, like clouds, forms and transforms lives.

Sensual, hypnotic, deeply erotic, The Theory of Clouds is a novel of clouds—both historical and imaginative—and how they shape our passions, our storms, and our stories.

About the Author

Stephane Audeguy lives in Paris, where he teaches the history of cinema and arts.

Table of Contents

Contents

part i

The Study of the Skies 1

part ii

Toward Other Latitudes 89

part iii

The Abercrombie Protocol 179

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Kay Weeks, November 25, 2008 (view all comments by Kay Weeks)
"The Theory of Clouds" by Stephanne Auberguy is an outstanding book, which can be read on
many levels (e.g., head in the clouds or scientifically). It is the most engaging book I have read all year. The notion that the molecules from people who died in the Hiroshima blast rose into the atmosphere and became part of a cloud is mind-blowing. Once having read the book, you can never look at a fluffy cloud the same way.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(4 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780156034814
Author:
Audeguy, Stephane
Publisher:
Mariner Books
Translator:
Bent, Timothy
Author:
Guy
Author:
Stephane Aude
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20080908
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 0.56 lb

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Theory of Clouds Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.95 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Harvest Books - English 9780156034814 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'A specialized, sensual history centers this novel from French historian Audeguy, winner of the Acadmie Franaise's Prix Maurice Genevoix. Virginie, an aimless young librarian, is hired by Hiroshima survivor and Paris couturier Akira Kumo, who seems much younger than he is, to categorize his obsessive library of cloud and meteorological-related material. While Virginie works, Kumo tells stories of other cloud gazers in history, including the fictional John Constable — like painter Carmichael, who spent a year painting clouds, to the consternation of his father, and the photographer Abercrombie, who left behind the much speculated upon cloud book that bears his name. As Kumo's past begins to come into focus, Virginie is drawn into his life. Audeguy's prose, lyrical in translation, mostly manages to contain sudden shifts of time and explorations of cloud lore. Beautifully written and imaginatively structured, Audeguy's book is as diaphanous as its subject. (Sept.)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Slyly fabulist in the manner of Paul Auster, and expressing great feeling for life and scorn for arrogance, Audeguy's witty, erotic, and expansive novel subtly contrasts humankind's love for nature and pursuit of scientific knowledge with our thoughtless pillaging of the living world and tragic habit of war."
"Review" by , "Unconventional and memorable."
"Review" by , "This is an extraordinary bit of fiction....An exquisite, eccentric read."
"Review" by , "[A] novel of great ambition. It may be read simply for the stories of its many characters....But it is as intricately plotted as any thriller, with gems skillfully embedded throughout."
"Synopsis" by ,
"An amorphous story, alternately static and turbulent, a subtle mixture of history and fiction, tragedy and comedy…. Sit back, stare up at this book: The weather's fascinating." — Washington Post Book World

Akira Kumo miraculously survived Hiroshimas mushroom cloud. Now an eccentric couturier living in Paris, he he hires Virginie Latour to catalog his collection of literature on clouds and meteorology. As they work, he tells her the stories of those who have devoted their lives to clouds, including the late-nineteenth-century amateur meteorologist Richard Abercrombie, a photographer who may have created the only definitive catalog of clouds—but only one copy exists, and it has never been seen. Kumo dispatches Virginie to London to track down the fabled Abercrombie Protocol, a quest both surprising and wondrous, where love, like clouds, forms and transforms lives.

"[W]ise and oddly tender…Audeguy reminds me of the late, great W.G. Sebald." — Minneapolis Star Tribune

"An all-encompassing and startlingly erotic meditation on all the shapes to be found in nature. Beautiful, sensuous, cerebral, this novel is the work of a major talent." — Seattle Times
 
STÉPHANE AUDEGUY lives in Paris, where he teaches the history of cinema and arts.
"Synopsis" by ,
Akira Kumo miraculously survived the mushroom cloud over Hiroshima. Now an eccentric couturier living in Paris, he has the worlds largest collection of literature on clouds and meteorology, which he hires Virginie Latour to catalog. As they work, he tells her the stories of those who have devoted their lives to clouds: the English Quaker who first classified clouds, the painter who became obsessed with capturing clouds on canvas, and the wealthy late-nineteenth-century amateur meteorologist Richard Abercrombie, a photographer who may have created the only definitive catalog of clouds—but only one copy exists, and it has never been seen. Kumo sends Virginie to London to track down the fabled Abercrombie Protocol, a quest both surprising and wondrous, where love, like clouds, forms and transforms lives.

Sensual, hypnotic, deeply erotic, The Theory of Clouds is a novel of clouds—both historical and imaginative—and how they shape our passions, our storms, and our stories.

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