The Next Best Book Club discussion

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Group Read Discussions > Cloud Atlas

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message 1: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (TNBBC) | 9625 comments Mod
**Remember to mark your spoilers using the html code listed in the (some html is ok) link**


message 2: by Tina (new)

Tina | 143 comments I am waiting for my library copy but did see the new movie trailer online. Looks fantastic ... can't wait to start the book and go see the film when it's out in October. Very good timing!


message 3: by Janice (JG) (new)

Janice (JG) | 28 comments I was a little impatient with the opening chapter... I wasn't sure I wanted to read journal/diary entries from the 1800's, but in no time at all I was engaged in the character and his story. I am now just beginning the second character's story, and looking forward to all the characters I will be meeting.


message 4: by Marius (new)

Marius Hancu Great book, but stylistically it's all over the place, perhaps in an effort to cope with different periods and lifestyles.


message 5: by Ethan (new)

Ethan | 1257 comments I read this book earlier in the year. While it can be a challenging read, I think it is one of the most interesting novels ever written. I look forward to discussing the many layers of this novel with this group.


message 6: by Jeane (new)

Jeane | 4891 comments I read Cloud Atlas about two years ago when my team leader gave me the book and like someone else said, the start can be slow and challenging but it's a great book. I hadn't expected but am glad I read it.


message 7: by Brian (new)

Brian Cleveland (Tripolie) Loved this book as a whole. The first chapter starts a little slow as does the middle, but I couldn't put down the rest and flew through it.


message 8: by Ioana (new)

Ioana I think this will be my next book to listen to...has anyone tried the audio version, what did you think about it?


message 9: by Ethan (new)

Ethan | 1257 comments For those who have finished the novel, what was your opinion of the book as a whole. Personally, I appreciated the unique form and structure of the novel, but I couldn't help but feel a bit cheated by the ending. It all ended up a bit hollow.


message 10: by Janice (JG) (new)

Janice (JG) | 28 comments I've rounded the corner and am now making my way back up (down?) the timeline. While I was reading the chapter about Zachry I progressed from irritation at the idiosycratic narrative to disappointment when I realized that I would not be meeting with Zachary again once the chapter was over.

So far my overall opinion of the book is that it is an unusual and intriguing story and I am thoroughly enjoying this read.


message 11: by Nikks (new)

Nikks | 19 comments I just started to read it - am very excited :)


message 12: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Newcomer (nancynew) This is one of my favorite all time books. Want to read it again. Curious to see how the movie works out.


message 13: by Janice (JG) (new)

Janice (JG) | 28 comments I finished this a few days ago. I had mixed emotions all through the book, partly because of the formatting, and partly because the threads connecting the different eras seemed very thin, almost non-existent. Obviously, I was going to have to find my own connections and metaphors.

The stories in each jump in time are very realistic in that there is no backstory and no easy segue into the past or the future -- very much like how we live in real life without the big picture explanation of how it all got to this, or where it's all going to end up. But. This is also frustrating because I am so used to normal storytelling techniques.

What kept me going was that each of the segments & stories were completely captivating in themselves (I did get a little annoyed with Zachry's dialect for a while, but that passed).

In the end, however, I find as the days go by since I finished it, and as I ponder its disappearing impression, I have a very positive feeling -- a kind of satisfaction and warmth -- about the whole experience.

And I am really looking forward to seeing the movie.


message 14: by Chelsea (new)

Chelsea | 112 comments I know I'm a little behind but I finally finished.So now that the movie has been out a bit, has anyone seen it? Opinions on how close it compares to the book? I'm hopefully going to see it today. Does anyone have any opinions on the significance of the birth mark? I found it challenging to switch styles with every story- it takes a tallented writer to write in not just so many different time periods but the voice of each narrator was so drastically different! It took my brain awhile to get used to it in each section. I loved how some of the same themes kept running through multiple stories.


message 15: by Janice (JG) (new)

Janice (JG) | 28 comments There was a very dynamic and educational discussion of Cloud Atlas recently at the Constant Reader book club. Also, there's an excellent guide to many of Mitchell's references and themes in BOnnie's GR review --

http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

Haven't seen the movie yet, and the reviews I've read are just as complex as the book discussions... can't wait.


message 16: by Tina (new)

Tina | 143 comments It took a while for me to receive my library copy and so only finished it last night. I really enjoyed the unusual way the author crafted the different characters who are tied together through time and places. I loved that Hawaii was one of the focal points. I did have a chance to visit two of the islands for a total solar eclipse, but wasn't able to visit the observatory at that time. I plan to see the movie very soon.


message 17: by Chelsea (new)

Chelsea | 112 comments I really liked the movie. There is so much in the book I guess I didn't get...unless the movie wasn't what Mitchel had in mind. Either way, I liked the movie's interpretation. It cleared up a few of the things I was wondering about in the book. However, I don't think people who have not read the book will be able to follow that movie. Instead of going to each story twice, it bounces back and foreth every five minutes or so-so I think it would be pretty hard to follow if you have not read the book. But that did make it easier to see all the connections that were harder to remember when it was all spread out over 509 pages.


message 18: by Nikks (new)

Nikks | 19 comments I finished the book Sunday and saw the movie Monday, it was such a treat to experience them so close together. I absolutely loved the book, although a challenge at times, I loved the different times, characters, stories and language. Each story could have been a book in it's own right.

The movie was awesome, although a little different. Actors playing multiple parts was very enjoyable. I was a little disappointed in the very end, which was not in the book.

I went with a group of friends, those who had not read it came out a bit baffled and confused as to what they'd seen. The stories jump around so much it's hard to follow. Those of us who had read it came out buzzing. We loved it.

Thanks to David Mitchell for such an amazing and thought provoking book.


message 19: by Chelsea (new)

Chelsea | 112 comments So my interpretation of the movie was...(view spoiler)


message 20: by Janice (JG) (new)

Janice (JG) | 28 comments Chelsea wrote: "So my interpretation of the movie was...[spoilers removed]"

I think it's close to what Mitchell had in mind... the birthmarks on each main character in the book connected the characters in a way that could be interpreted as reincarnated souls.

I don't think it's a spoiler to say that when on Letterman's show the other night Tom Hanks did say that the story is about his character slowly evolving through reincarnation until he reaches enlightenment. I can see how that could be one interpretation, especially since the movie uses the same people to play different characters (both Tom Hanks and Halle Berry play 6 different characters in the film).


message 21: by Dani (new)

Dani (The Pluviophile Writer) (PluviophileWriter) | 237 comments To me, this book is an expression of how we all interconnect and how our actions and mistakes are capable of shaping and changing our world and ourselves; I would also say, that certain sets of characters represent a transition of personal growth or journey of the soul through the reincarnation of these characters in complete different places in time. For example, (view spoiler)

Cloud Atlas is beautifully written and I enjoyed how unique each chapter was with the exploration of new characters and worlds. Each chapter transitioned well into the next and left me hanging in all of the appropriate spots!I particularly enjoyed the story of Sonmi-451, I found that story the most intriguing.

I think many people expect some sort of wrapped up conclusion when finishing this book, I know I did initially, but the more I thought about the book the more it came together for me. It is an expression and transition of our human soul and how we are all interconnected and how our souls will continue to grow and progress over time.


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