“What a beautiful book of epic proportions. Beautifully coupled with the movie. Loved how the stories were interconnected and how everything fell into place. Beautiful”Carlo Go wrote this review 8 days ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Lost my interest”Mary wrote this review 9 days ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“An incredibly ambitious novel that spans an array of genres - historical fiction, dystopian futures, and suspense thrillers. It could have easily fallen flat, but each story is captivating on its own, as well as in connection to the others. "Cloud Atlas" won't be everyone's cup of tea, but it's certainly worth picking up to find out for yourself.”Sarah W wrote this review 9 days ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“May 11, 2013
So far the story of “Cloud Atlas”, by David Mitchell, appears to be a multiple-plot novel with very different characters and conflicts, though one commonality is the first person point-of view that attracts the attention of the reader. It has made setting details interestingly described. “Sunrise bright as a silver dollar. Our schooner still looks a woeful picture out in the bay.”(pg.5) as the protagonist, Adam Ewing narrates is one example of the authors use of figurative language to create more vivid images through comparisons that surprise the reader.Purposeful sentence structure, furthermore, comes through the stories told by the protagonists, who use such phrases as when Robert Frobisher, another main character, said, “Escape was not hitchless, sorry to report.”(pg. 43), using less elegant though more realistic language to give the book greater authenticity. Also, the point-of-view communicates the emotional states of the characters more effectively such as when Frobisher states “For God’s sake send whatever you can immediately.”(pg.58), expressing his desperation in a clear manner that appeals to the reader. The first person point-of-view unites this multiplot novel, making it interesting for the reader to follow.”
“A good book that intertwines 4 great stories. A little slow at first, but the different writing styles in each chapter and stories makes for a good read, where you can't wait to get back to the last story to see how it ends.”Marc wrote this review 2 weeks ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Very original in structure, with 6 stories in different times, but all connected through main theme (revolution/rebelling over parts of modern society) and through characters which in different ways learn of those in other stories. Author hints they might even be reincarnation of the same person.
All stories are different in style. Those particularly enjoyable are Robert Frobisher's, young composer's combination of his 1930s visit to Belgium, and of old publisher Timothy Cavendish jailed to mental institution, set in current times. Both are written superbly, each in its own way, and if they would be separate novels, both would be a 5-star review. Others are fine...
Overall, I would have thought connection between these stories will be stronger and was waiting for this to reveal in second part of the book. As it had not, Cloud Atlas stayed as enjoyable read, recommended, but not a masterpiece as some have been describing it.
“Cloud Atlas is a challenging book with rewarding elements. It helped to have seen the movie first so that I had a firm grasp of characters as I was taken across stories built within the framework of other stories. It was interesting (yet sometimes confusing) to observe the relationships between dialect and place in 6 stories. Style is definitely unconventional and the first half of the book lacks good flow, but the challenge of the puzzle is what eventually draws you further into the story. Ultimately, my goal for reading the book was to better understand the movie and I feel I accomplished this task.
My understanding of Cloud Atlas is that we are bound and connected to others. The characters were linked across time, despite circumstances, with souls evolving and changing over time. Actions in this time have the ability to impact the soul in the future. I liked the reminder that the impact of our choices today will be felt by future generations.
Several reviewers mentioned that they didn’t like how the book essentially stopped without a nice clean finale. But, if we are reading a story that essentially says that every action has a future action, then of course it never ends. The traveling of souls as “we cross and re-cross our old tracks like figure-skaters” would be a never ending process.
Favorite lines from the story:
My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet, what is an ocean but a multitude of drops?
Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others past and present. And by each crime and every kindness we birth our future.
Truths are singular. Its versions are mistruths.
Maybe I’m just trying to understand something…Why we keep making the same mistakes over and over.
Trivia: Cloud Atlas was named after music by Yoko Ono’s first husband.
Story elements: historical narrative, romance, mystery, action, comedy and sci-fi.
“I liked it, but it frustrated me that there wasn't a resolution in the end, more than just saying "We believe in reencarnation". Although I read the book first, I liked the movie best (and it might be the only time I'll ever say that), I found it more dynamic and interesting.”Alice Dielens wrote this review 3 weeks ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This book was brilliant, but so complex. Each time I talk about it with a friend I gain insight into the themes, and structure. I would never have figured out the nested stories on my own. It was definitely worth doing a little research about the book, before reading it.”Lynn F wrote this review Monday, April 15, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No