The women do get a little more interesting in the "Half-Lives" chapter of Cloud Atlas. Finally, they have back stories, and thoughts! Although Luisa's still a young, naive object of desire (god knows why, in her blue suede suit...), she's got some bite. Witness this sassy comeback to her creepy boss:
"If Bob Woodward had told you he suspected President Nixon had ordered a burglary of his political rival's offices and recorded himself issuing the order, would you have said, 'Forget it, Bob, honey, I need eight hundred words on salad dressings.'?"Oh, snap!
But my favorite females in "Half-Lives" are: 1) Janice from Esphigmenou, Utah, that "stony matriarch" with a "mountainous bust" (Is Mitchell just really horny? Hard to believe if you've listened to audio of his lilting British accent...) who subdues Luisa's hotel-managing-assailant and then tells a weird little ghost story, and 2) Fay Li, that stone-cold business woman who transfers her horny co-worker to the middle of Kansas in the middle of January. Damn!
Three chapters in, and we've left some of the earlier dream-motifs behind. But what seems to be a common thread are the wanderers, travelers, characters on the fringes who are slinking their way through borderlands.
This chapter was a little slow, and not nearly as charming as Frobisher's tale. But I hear there are bananasuit-wearing billionaires just around the corner. And, more boners!