A postmodern visionary who is also a master of styles of genres, David Mitchell combines flat-out adventure, a Nabokovian lore of puzzles, a keen eye for character, and a taste for mind-bending philosophical and scientific speculation in the tradition of Umberto Eco, Haruki Murakami, and Philip K. Dick. The result is brilliantly original fiction as profund as it is playful...more
For me it was such a pleasant journey going through this book that I did not feel like picking up any other book...for fear of spoiling my taste.
Do read it..I assure you you will remember it for a long long time!(less)
This book proves David Mitchell can be any writer he chooses. The six novellas that comprise Cloud Atlas are forgeries - and they are original. Each adopts the voice of a distinct author. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, but all of the parts are superb. It is a sextet, like the one found within the novel, with piano, clarinet, cello, flute, oboe, and violin - every individual instrument pleasing, but when played altogether becomes something different and brilliant - the Cloud Atl ...more
Dear David Mitchell,
I’ve been trying to figure out the nicest possible way to tell you what I’m about to tell you. I sort of feel like I’ve failed you as a reader, but I just couldn’t suspend my critical mind for long enough to enjoy your book (“how I envied my uncritical…sisters” – I hate it when my own words come back to bite me in the ass, don’t you?). Don’t take it personally though. I’m the girl who didn't like The Matrix. I know, right? How could anyone dislike The Matrix? All of the neat- ...more
This book seems to be one of those hoaxes to call out hack reviewers. I'm slightly puzzled by the fact that Mitchell hasn't come forward yet six years after publication.
He hits all the usual clichés that are the hal ...more
I admit, the surpringsingly-and-terrifyingly-not-awful trailer for the upcoming movie adaptation of this book sent me plunging back into its hexapalindromic universe to re-solidify my own mental renditions of Frobisher's bicycle, Sonmi's soap packs, and Lousia's imaginary California, among other things. I emerge even more impressed with Mitchell's mimetic acrobatics, the book's deft allusive integument ("Is not ascent their sole salvation?" p. 512), the acrimonious satire ...more
why have i never read this book before??
do you see how it is wedged into a teetering, lode-bearing stack of books??
removing it was a tricky business, indeed, but i succeeded, and i am finally reading it. so thank you for badgering me about it, internet, because so far, i am really enjoying it! ...more
Then suddenly my heart was aching for the characters and their stories, and it did catch me by surprise.
And now it's been a week since I finished it, and I still find myself thinking about it. 'Okay, you win, book!' I have to admit grudgingly. You've wormed your way into my heart and I'd better make my peace with it.
Why did I resist liking it so much? Why did this book and I have such a rocky sta ...more
Jules: Well we'd have to be talkin' about one charming mother*****' pig. I mean he'd have to be ten times more charmin' than that Arnold on Green Acres, you know what I'm sayin'?
Vincent: Awright, check this out; I just finished reading this book called Cloud Atlas.
Jules: Cloud Atlas? What the f*** is that?
Vincent: It’s a pictorial key to the nomenclature of c ...more
The book consists of six nested stories; each is read or observed by a main character of the next, thus they progress in time through the central sixth story. The first five stories are each interrupted at a pivotal moment. After the sixth story, the others are closed in reverse chronological order, with the main character reading or observing the chronologically earlier work in the chain. Each story contains a document, movie, or tradi ...more
now don't get me wrong, i love all that 'russian doll' tale-within ...more
Look at the book you're reading...
...now back to me.
Now back at the book you're reading...
...now back at me.
Sadly, that book was (probably) not written by me. But if you'd check out my book, Cloud Atlas, you'd know that I could have written it if I just wanted to. Look back at the book...
...and now back up. Who's that?
That's me, the author of Cloud Atlas, which is the book you could have been reading. What's in your hand?
It's Cloud Atlas, which is a historical novel about a pacific ...more
It’s often described as a matryoshka doll or a turducken, but that’s not the best analogy, imo.
Imagine six very different short books, each open at roughly the middle, then pile them up - and that is the structure of Cloud Atlas (story 1a, 2a, 3a, 4a, 5a, 6, 5b, 4b, 3b, 2b, 1b). The structure is echoed in this c ...more
Stories are clouds… The same story told by a different raconteur changes form and it may also change a meaning.
I watched clouds awobbly from the floor o’ that kayak. Souls cross ages like clouds cross skies, an’ tho’ a cloud’s shape nor hue nor size don’t stay the same, it’s still a cloud an’ so is a soul. Who can say where the cloud’s blowed from or who the soul’ll b...more
Spent the fortnight gone in the music room, reworking my year's fragments into a 'sextet for overlapping soloists': piano, clarinet, 'cello, flute, oboe and violin, each in its own language of key, scale, and color. In the first set,...more
You probably wonder now and then if the chords of your soul reverberate through time. I do too. Or if those 21 grams caught in several dozen kilos of flesh fly away like startled little birds when our time to go strikes. Maybe that’s also possible. We probably haven’t awaken to such a degree of consciousness as to know the answer of this question and to be drawn to some hypothetical ‘beyond’ instead to the quite material and palpable ‘now’. ...more
An American notary crosses the Pacific and encounters many unsavory characters in the mid-1800s. In 1931 a young man fleeing his creditors cons his way into the home of a respecte ...more
I saw a lot of double bills in the heyday of independent cinemas.
They weren’t just two current release films that had been packaged to eke out some extra dollars for the exhibitor. They were carefully curated films that shared a theme and formed part of a whole season of similarly matched films.
Usually, the season was promoted by a poster that illustrated each film with a fifty word capsule review. For many years, I kept these posters in a folder, at least until I got ma ...more
I finished the book 10 days ago, and I still hesitate to start this review. The first reason is that I loved the book so much, I am left with a feeling of inadequacy :
The second reason is the nature of the story. I can't begin to explain why I think this is important to me without going into the message / the core of the narrative. All the stories assembled into this map of clouds/beliefs/attitudes are variations on a given theme, and the interrupted nature of the narrative is important in maint ...more
Spent the fortnight gone in the music room, reworking my year’s fragments into a ‘sextet for overlapping 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 th...more
In respect to the book and to the following incumbents: the author David Mitchell, the publisher, the editors, the printers, any reading groups, any member readers in GR, whether friends or followed or followers, any member of Management in GR, and even, yes! even the new owners of GR.
I, Kalliope of ...more
I don’t remember exactly when I learnt to count. It feels like one of my earliest memories, and one of my most profound. Things started to make sense right there and then. That mountain of peas on my plate felt a lot less menacing when I could count that there were only 36 of them. My collection of Dinky Toys was all the more impressive when I realized I had a whopping 24 miniature cars to play with. My enjoyment of candies increased when I realised 5 became 4 and 4 become 0 real quic ...more
Gosh I struggled with this book.
Is this book well written? No doubt about it.
Is this book overwritten and too stylized? At times, yes it was.
Were the stories wonderfully original? Yes they were.
Did the stories fail to move me? Alas, they did.
This was the main crux of the matter. The stories did not resonate with me one bit. At times I could enjoy them but I found them so empty and unsatisfying. These stories were intellectually brilliant but emotionally bankrupt. (there I sai ...more
I don’t mind having to do some thinking when I’m reading and, as a fan of Haruki ...more
This is the kind of book you want to pick up when you're ready to be totally absorbed in story. I mean, you need strap yourself in before you pick this up.
This is not a carefree or light read. My advice is to approach this when you're looking for something complicated & engaging where every little detail has the potential to mean something later on.
The book is comprised of the stories of 6 different characters, all of which are related to each other in ways that may not b ...more
(DISCLAIMER: This review was my knee-jerk reaction right after reading the book. Since then my admiration for CA has diminished. I will let the original review stay as it is. I disown this review though.)
WOW. With my vocab-deficit, I can't find the perfect word to express how reading Cloud Atlas felt. I will put spectacular as a placeholder. It has been quite some time since I read something this exciting.
So. The thing about Cloud Atlas is that everything explaining the central theme of the nove ...more
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