Theory of Clouds

Although it had been favorably reviewed, The Theory of Clouds by Stephane Audeguy became a disappointment. I did enjoy the beginning where the hero’s, (Howard), theory of clouds is described and then the subsequent discovery of his work by a weathy Japanese scholar (Kumo), as well as the charming relationship between Kumo and his assistant, Virginie.

But soon after the tale of Howard's Abercrombie Protocol was introduced, my interest began to flag and then as the nature of the Protocol was revealed, I thought the book became rather coarse, indeed, more and more so as this altogether too lengthy portion of the novel dragged on forever.

Perhaps the first part of Audeguy’s novel might have made a fine short story. That’s about it. Nevertheless, I did make note of some noteworthy passages and will pass along a few.

…thinking is hard work and can be done only under the right conditions. You need quiet, free time, a regular schedule and discipline.

Like the vast majority of people, Virginie never found her calling in life.

Our works alone mark the deserted landscapes of our lives.

He was like an evaporating pool of water with no source refreshing it, and he knew that as time passed he would gradually and relentlessly continue to diminish.

It would be so much simpler, just as things could always be so much simpler than they were, except that there are so few people able to achieve such simplicity.

He was furious that he had to die in order not to live all curled up like a larva. He wasn’t killing himself for a particular reason, or to demonstrate anything, but simply because he had no other choice. The only living option—being a decrepit and tedious old man—was of no interest to him.