Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas 2

Hachette Essentials

by David Mitchell

Paperback / softback Publication Date: 09/09/2004

4/5 Rating 2 Reviews
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Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and 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*

ISBN:
9780340822784
9780340822784
Category:
Contemporary fiction
Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
09-09-2004
Publisher:
Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Country of origin:
United Kingdom
Pages:
544
Dimensions (mm):
197x138x35mm
Weight:
0.38kg

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

4 / 5 (2 Ratings)
5 stars (1)
4 stars (2)
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1 stars (0)
  • Great read if not a little challenging

    by on

    Great read and a great mashing of very different genre's. You get the sense that the David Mitchell got a lot of fun out of writing the book. The overarching theme is humans preying on other humans so from that sense an be a bit dark at times. It's annoying that each story takes a bit of time to build up and then ends on a cliff hanger. As soon as the story gets exciting, you're forced to move on to getting to know another set of new characters which you haven't invested the time in knowing really breaks the emotional chain and makes it hard to marathon. I found that I needed to put down and pick up cloud atlas across multiple attempts. Once you get over the middle though where the stories start to get wrapped up, it gets much better. Having invested the time and emotional energy to getting to know the characters, it's satisfying that each story is wrapped up with decent endings.

  • a marvellous read

    by on

    Cloud Atlas is the third novel by British author David Mitchell. The stories of six lives from five different centuries are told in differing formats. The first story, The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing is written, as the title suggests, in journal format and appears to be the fragment of a journal that American notary, Adam Ewing wrote whilst travelling the Pacific in the 19th century, in particular, Adams experience at the Chatham Islands near New Zealand with a native stowaway and the voyage to Hawaii. Letters from Zedelghem are written in 1931 by the disinherited, gambling, bankrupt composer and petty thief, Robert Frobisher, to his friend, Rufus Sixsmith, a physicist at Cambridge, and describe his experience as the amanuensis to a dying master composer Vyvyan Ayrs in Belgium. Half Lives -The First Luisa Rey Mystery is a narrative set in California in 1975, Luisa Rey being a reporter seeking out the truth about a nuclear energy facility after an encounter with physicist Rufus Sixsmith. The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish, a memoir set in the 21st century, details the accidental incarceration into a retirement home of the elderly but still quite capable Timothy Cavendish, and his attempts at escape therefrom. An Orison of Sonmi-451, a recorded interview with a clone named Sonmi-451, is set in Korea in the 22nd century when consumerism is the byword and clones do all the work. Sonmi-451 ascension to a higher state and the resulting events are described. And Slooshas Crossin an Evrythin After appears to be set in Hawaii in the 23rd century, after a breakdown of society has occurred. Zachry narrates the events of the visit of a Prescient named Meronym to the Nine Folded Valleys and her stay amongst the Valleysmen. Whilst each of the lives is seemingly unconnected, there are common elements in each (dreams, places, people, birthmarks, ships, music) that form a tantalising if tenuous link between each tale. Each story is nested within the next one, and Robert Frobishers description of his Cloud Atlas Sextet applies equally to David Mitchells novel: a sextet for soloists: piano, clarinet, cello, flute, oboe and violin, each in its own language of key, scale and colour. In the 1st set, each solo is interrupted by its successor: in the 2nd, each interruption is recontinued, in order. This is an interesting device and joins the separate stories, each containing hints and clues, into a compelling whole that gives the overall picture. In David Mitchells version of the future, propaganda, blackmail, corporate greed and corruption are still rife; little about the interaction between civilisation and savages changes over 500 years. That said, theres plenty of humour amongst the action and drama, as well as some beautiful prose: The room bubbles with sentences spoken more than listened to. It may be a long novel, but I would have relished more of Luisa Rey and Timothy Cavendish. A marvellous read.