Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2004
Winner of the Richard & Judy Best Read of the Year
Souls cross ages like clouds cross skies . . .
Six interlocking lives - one amazing adventure. In a narrative that circles the globe and reaches from the 19th century to a post-apocalyptic future, Cloud Atlas erases the boundaries of time, genre and language to offer an enthralling vision of humanity's will to power, and where it will lead us.
*Please note that the end of p39 and p40 are intentionally blank*
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
An award-winning book made into a 2013 movie, Mitchell’s novel pushes the boundaries of its genre. Made up of six interlocking stories breaking into one another and forming a complex, dazzling narrative, it all melds together into an unforgettable novel.
At once audacious, dazzling, pretentious and infuriating, Mitchell's third novel weaves history, science, suspense, humor and pathos through six separate but loosely related narratives. Like Mitchell's previous works, Ghostwritten and number9dream (which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize), this latest foray relies on a kaleidoscopic plot structure that showcases the author's stylistic virtuosity. Each of the narratives is set in a different time and place, each is written in a different prose style, each is broken off mid-action and brought to conclusion in the second half of the book. Among the volume's most engaging story lines is a witty 1930s-era chronicle, via letters, of a young musician's effort to become an amanuensis for a renowned, blind composer and a hilarious account of a modern-day vanity publisher who is institutionalized by a stroke and plans a madcap escape in order to return to his literary empire (such as it is). Mitchell's ability to throw his voice may remind some readers of David Foster Wallace, though the intermittent hollowness of his ventriloquism frustrates. Still, readers who enjoy the "novel as puzzle" will find much to savor in this original and occasionally very entertaining work. Mitchell's novel may be more admired than read.
Out of this world— highly intelligent; yet adventurous! An interesting read with philosophical undertone.
Thank you, creative brain!
Simply sublime, a fabulous work of literature!
Reading through other reviews of Cloud Atlas, it's clear that whilst others have shared my own experience of being completely transported by this book, others have simply not 'got it' - five star reviews are interspersed with the odd one-star, but that's OK....great literature should be challenging, and there are more than a few supposed classics I'd be reluctant to read past page one!
So, how do I review Cloud Atlas?! I am a voracious reader, and I have very broad tastes, from the classics to Lee Child, from Tolstoy to Rankin, but never has a book so moved me as Cloud Atlas. Over the past three or four years I have read it half a dozen times, just to enjoy the progression of the narrative, to appreciate the way in which the seemingly separate parts interweave, to enjoy the way the author uses such different writing styles for each part. It's just a joy to read, a real tour de force that makes you care, generates emotion - joy, recognition, wistfulness and an overwhelming sadness for what has been, ultimately, lost.
Each part is a real story, though, an adventure, beautifully narrated. I can see how casual readers may be put off by the style of writing at the start, archaic prose, but please, please, please bear with it.....you will not be disappointed . If just one person is persuaded to read Cloud Atlas by this, and gets the level of joy I get by reading the book, I'll consider it worth my time recommending it, something I'm rarely moved to do!
An incredible feat of fiction
This is one of my favourite books of all time. I just find it breathtakingly inventive. I've reread it half a dozen times and still find new things to marvel at each time. It's not an easy book to read but your perseverance will be rewarded with one of the most unique and fascinating books you'll ever come across.