I have never gotten as many comments about a book I have bought or checked out of the library than Cloud Atlas. I'm not talking about comments on my review of a book, but comments on a post where I said I was planning on reading a book. Now that I've actually read the book, I can see why.
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell is incredibly strange, totally different, and really wonderful.
Cloud Atlas is six loosely connected stories - the first a journal of a sad sack clerk crossing the Pacific in 1850, then jumping forward in time to a bisexual grifter/composer in post-WWI Belgium, jumping again to a journalist in 70's California, to a hapless vanity publisher in England, to a condemned clone in futuristic Korea, and ending with a man in post-apocalyptic Hawai'i. Then, wonderfully, we begin to go back again, finishing each story, and learning a bit more about what connects these characters.
Some of the stories have a happy ending, some left me teary-eyed. Each was markedly different from the next in tone and setting. Despite the fact that I usually don't like short story collections (which this is not, but it resembles), I loved this book. I highly recommend it.
Buy Cloud Atlas: A Novel on Amazon.