Monday, May 31, 2010

Review: Cloud Atlas

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.


  1. I just pre-ordered Mitchell's new book The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet due for release in late June. Can't wait! I haven't actually read Cloud Atlas, but based on your review, I think I need to check it out before Autumns comes. Cloud Atlas has always been really intriguing, and it sounds incredibly inventive. Thanks a great review!

  2. Wow cool review ! I bought Cloud Atlas a few weeks ago and didn't really know what the book was about ! I'll move it up in my TBR pile !

  3. It's such a wild and wonderful book. A unique reading experience and like Greg I'm looking forward to reading the new one.

  4. yay! as you know, I adore this one!


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