Her Royal Orangeness's Reviews > Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
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's review
Jul 30, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2012, prize-booker, best-of-2012, 5-stars, author-mitchell, authors-i-heart
Read from August 01 to 04, 2012

David Mitchell is a GENIUS. That's one of my primary thoughts about Cloud Atlas.

But Mitchell never gets in his own way. So often in experimental/postmodern literature, the author seems to be center stage throughout the whole book, demanding to be noticed and congratulated for their cleverness. I never felt that way when reading Cloud Atlas.

Cloud Atlas is constructed of six vignettes. Half of each story is told and then the book moves on to the next story, and when each has been revealed, the second portion of each story is told in reverse order. Each vignette is written in a very distinctive style, in diverse time periods, with strong characterizations and plot, and Mitchell does this very very well.

What really blew my mind, though, was how each of the vignettes were linked - little pieces of other character's lives are intricately woven into other stories. This interconnectedness - how everyone and everything is somehow part of something else - is the overarching theme of Cloud Atlas. There are smaller themes that each story has in common as well...betrayal, redemption, hope, loyalty. And there is a very subtle commentary on the evolution of mankind, how communication changes but basic human personality traits remain constant.

The construction is brilliant, the storytelling superb, the message profound...all in all Cloud Atlas was a solid 5 Star book for me.

And I'm very curious to see how all of this will work in the movie adaptation which is scheduled to open in theaters in October. It looks like a fabulous film!
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Reading Progress

08/01/2012 page 88
16.0% "Initial impression: Well, isn't this odd?"
08/02/2012 page 276
51.0% "Compulsively readable. And oh-so-clever!"
08/03/2012 page 391
72.0% "The second half is even better than the first!"

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Her Royal Orangeness I've only just started....I'll keep you updated!

message 2: by Jayme (new)

Jayme I have this on hold at the library. Can't wait to read it. nice review.

Her Royal Orangeness Hope you enjoy it Jayme!

Her Royal Orangeness Thanks Kirsty! I don't feel like I really said anything in the review; it was very difficult to write. Quite a complex book.

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