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This title in other editions

The Theory of Clouds

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The Theory of Clouds Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A kira Kumo, miraculous survivor of Hiroshima, reinvented himself as someone twenty years younger. Now an eccentric couturier and collector of all literature having to do with clouds and meteorology, he hires Virginie, a young librarian, to catalog his library. While she works, he tells her stories of those who have devoted their lives to clouds: the Quaker Luke Howard, contemporary of Napoleon and Goethe, who first classified clouds; the painter Carmichael (based on John Constable), who spent a year painting clouds; and the mysterious Abercrombie, a photographer who cataloged clouds around the world. Virginie's trip to London in search of the suppressed Abercrombie protocol becomes a quest no less wondrous and strange than Kumo's own. Sensual, hypnotic, and filled with stories both true and fanciful, The Theory of Clouds is a masterful first novel.

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:

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.

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

Product Details

ISBN:
9780151014286
Author:
Audeguy, Stephane
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Translator:
Bent, Timothy
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20070917
Binding:
Hardback
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 Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$0.95 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Harcourt - English 9780151014286 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 ,
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.

"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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