Book Review: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Title: Cloud Atlas

Author: David Mitchell

Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Mystery

Publisher:  Random House

Published: August 17, 2004

Page Amount: 509 pages

Blurb From Goodreads: A postmodern visionary who is also a master of styles and genres, David Mitchell combines flat-out adventures, a Nabokovian love of puzzles, a keen eye for character, and a taste for mind-bending philosophical and scientific speculation in the tradition of Umberto Eco and Philip K. Dick. The result is brilliantly original fiction that reveals how disparate people connect, how their fates intertwine, and how their souls drift across time like clouds across the sky. 

Why Read: Cloud Atlas was one of those unique books that I did not read before watching the movie. In fact, it was exactly the opposite way around. Having seen the movie and been in awe of Halle Berry, Tom Hanks, and the powerful effects of makeup – I felt the incessant itch to read the book. It had to be better, I reasoned, because the movie felt incomplete somehow – as though a critical piece was missing.

Review: I expected to enjoy this book. I went into the first page feeling the pages with something already akin to fondness, though I had not read a word. Luckily, I was right. Perhaps it was the fact that I had already seen the movie and had a fairly good idea of what would be in the book – and perhaps not. But I can say that Cloud Atlas was a like a breath of fresh air.

My books of late have been all over the place, whether the by strange things found on the Internet, or eBook deals from Book Bub, I haven’t had a clear trajectory of my reading habits for a few months. Cloud Atlas pulled me by the ankle and tugged me back to my roots, reminding me that I not only do I love my paperbacks, but that there’s more to life than thrillers and dystopias galore.

It’s difficult to describe the plot of Cloud Atlas. On one hand, I could simply tell you about how the different chapters meander and glide from one storyline to the next while you, the reader, slowly see the connections, the unmistakable similarities between them. But on the other, it was a story of how ultimately we as people don’t have to (and really shouldn’t) ignore the realities of the world we live in. Whether it be the plight of slaves, the internal struggles of ourselves, or the messed-up world made up fabricants: Cloud Atlas reminded me that the struggles are what makes us human.

Possibly my one complaint was a particular section of the story, in which the writing was attuned to the time period and the main character, Zachary, of that line. At least for me, it was a bit difficult to read and to keep track of what was going on.

Despite that, I would highly recommend this read for almost anyone. It’s a story, which stretches the boundaries of what we see as connected, while keeping you grounded in the stories of each character. 

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Review Coming Soon: Who Knows? 🙂

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