Culture Magazine

Book Review: Cloud Atlas

By Storycarnivores

cloud-atlas-book-coverTitle: Cloud Atlas
Author: David Mitchell
Series: N/A
Publisher: Random House
Publish Date: 2004
Genre: Adult literary
Pages: 509
Source: Birthday present
Buy the Book: Cloud Atlas

There are some books that are beautiful in their simplicity.

And then there is Cloud Atlas, which is complicated and intertwined, and still manages to be gorgeous and engaging and compelling all at the same time.

I saw the movie on my birthday in late October, and fell in love. A few days later, I had the book. I just finished reading it today. Granted, I read two books in between, but still. This isn’t the kind of book you devour in a day or two. It’s a sipping kind of story. It can’t be skimmed and your attention can’t wander, or you’ll miss something important.

Cloud Atlas is six novellas, set in six different time periods (from the 19th century to the distant future.) The first half of each story is told, from the oldest to the newest, which is told in full, and then the second half of the others follows from the most recent and ending in the past. Each story is so masterfully woven with the others that it’s kind of breath taking.

One of my favorite things about Cloud Atlas is the language. Mitchell started with the very formal, almost stilted language of the 19th century, through to a strange, difficult dialect of the far future. While the dialect in the futuristic part is difficult to read, it was still fascinating and the story it told was worth the time it took to decipher.

The way the stories tied together was so well done. The book itself mimicked the symphonic Cloud Atlas that one of the characters wrote, intertwining up through time and then back down. The lives of the characters from each story impacted the lives of the characters from the next. It would have been easy for this book to come across as gimmicky
or contrived, but instead it reads like an incredible puzzle the author is inviting the reader to unravel.

I fell so deeply in love with the film version of Cloud Atlas that I was a little afraid that reading the book would ruin it for me. I’d heard that there were differences. (There were.) I wasn’t disappointed though, and I’m actually looking forward to watching the movie again, now that I’ve read the book. The far-future part was my favorite in the movie, but not in the book. The Somni story was my favorite part of the book, by far.

One interesting thing. The movie made a much bigger deal about the idea that the characters were actually reincarnations. That doesn’t come through as strongly in the book. It’s there, sort of, but the movie actually uses the same actors for each part. I’m not sure that was necessary, except that otherwise there would have been a gigantic cast and using the same actors sort of reigned the story in.

Over all Cloud Atlas, the movie and the book, is one of my favorite stories this year.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Book Review: 14

    14 by Peter Clines My rating: 4 of 5 stars This is a good read. The story is about Nate Tucker, a lowly data entry person who is looking for an inexpensive plac... Read more

    The 01 June 2013 by   Bameskaur Pabla
  • Book Review: Because Every Raindrop is a HOPE

    Book: because every raindrop is a HOPE Author: Mansi Sharma and Shankalp Kohli ISBN: 9789380914435 Genre: Fiction/Romance Price: 125 ( I... Read more

    The 22 May 2013 by   Anjanroy
  • Review: “The Stud Book” by Monica Drake

    This book, wow. I don’t even know where to begin. I’m going to say right now that this is one of the most difficult books for me to review, I thin... Read more

    The 28 May 2013 by   Appraisingpages
  • Book Review: The Last Hour (Thompson Sisters Book #3)

    The Last Hour by Charles Sheehan-Miles My rating: 4 of 5 stars I have to admit that reading this particular book took me more than the usual amount of time it... Read more

    The 23 May 2013 by   Bameskaur Pabla
  • Book Review: Dream of Time

    Dream of Time by Nancy J. Price My rating: 5 of 5 stars Nancy J. Price has written a wonderful book called Dream of Time. The story revolves around a young... Read more

    The 03 June 2013 by   Bameskaur Pabla
  • Book Review: Reign: The Chronicles Of Queen Jezebel

    Reign: The Chronicles Of Queen Jezebel by Ginger Garrett My rating: 3 of 5 stars Although there exists accounts of Queen Jezebel and her husband, King Ahab in... Read more

    The 04 June 2013 by   Bameskaur Pabla
  • Book Review: Theodore Boone: The Activist

    Theodore Boone: The Activist by John Grisham My rating: 3 of 5 stars John Grisham is one of my favorite authors. The moment I started reading The Pelican... Read more

    The 26 May 2013 by   Bameskaur Pabla

Add a comment