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Der Wolkenatlas (Cloud Atlas) 17 Audio CDs…

Der Wolkenatlas (Cloud Atlas) 17 Audio CDs (original 2004; edition 2012)

by David Mitchell

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
13,521564265 (4.12)4 / 1263
Title:Der Wolkenatlas (Cloud Atlas) 17 Audio CDs
Authors:David Mitchell
Info:Kuebler Hörbuch (Intergroove) (2012), Edition: 1, Audio CD, 1 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (2004)

Recently added bynielsbom, Alvorn, rena75, AceFeminist, private library, vivir, cfulton20, scottkirkwood, kd_lawson
  1. 130
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    Ludi_Ling: Different yet both well-written approaches to meta-fiction.
  2. 112
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    pgmcc: Really enjoyable set of related stories with the author's well deomonstrated skill
  3. 81
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  4. 84
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  5. 40
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  6. 51
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  7. 40
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  8. 30
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    sturlington: Both have unusual narrative structures and explore the theme of reincarnation.
  9. 30
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  10. 20
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  11. 31
    Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann (novelcommentary)
  12. 21
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  13. 32
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  14. 10
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  15. 32
    Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (generalkala)
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  16. 10
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  17. 10
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  18. 10
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  19. 10
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(see all 31 recommendations)


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English (546)  Dutch (6)  French (3)  German (3)  Spanish (2)  Finnish (1)  Czech (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (563)
Showing 1-5 of 546 (next | show all)
At first I quite enjoyed reading this book but the further I got into it , it dragged on. I forced myself to finish it.
The centre chapter was the worst. and some of the revealing chapters left me with more questions than answers. ( )
  JulesGDSide | Nov 29, 2018 |
i really enjoyed this book ( )
  decaturmamaof2 | Nov 28, 2018 |
I'm not quite sure where to begin reviewing this novel. There is so much to unpack. It's a novel with six stories told within it, but each is interrelated without involving the same characters or without taking place during the same time frame. That is about as far as I can explain the structure of the novel without spoiling it.

When it is difficult to review a book without spoiling it, an alternative tact is to discuss its genre or type of book that it is. This is again problematic as each story is written in a different style and even in a different voice from the other stories. The style is that of a mix of well-crafted styles.

A third focus for reviewing the novel is by focussing on characterization, and this is where it should become apparent to someone who has not read the book why this book is so difficult to review without spoilers. The book begins with Adam Ewing, a notary who is amidst a nineteenth century nautical tale living with other characters from that era. Then the reader is thrust into a 1930s series of letters by Robert Frobisher, a would be composer living in 1930s Belgium with a composer, Vyvyan Ayrs and his wife Jocasta. As the reader gets into Frobisher's story, the reader is descended into a Cold War era world of intrigue surrounding a young reporter named Luisa Rey. The book continues like this with the constant changing of characters and setting before it unwinds back to the beginning, which is impossible to explain without spoiling it for others who haven't read it.

Perhaps the best way to tackle a review like this is to just say whether you liked it, and I did. It was wonderful. There were so many subtle hints about what was happening with the structure and the plot of the novel that it slowly unwinded in my mind until I began to recognize what was happening. It ended not with a flourish but rather with a thought provoking finish about our place in the world and why we are here. It was brilliant. I highly recommend it. ( )
  fuzzy_patters | Nov 19, 2018 |
Summary: Six stories told in a chiastic structure in different genres of writing, in different voices, from the past to a post-apocalyptic future, with characters whose lives and stories are connected.

This is one of those books I will probably re-read at some point. Not only are the six stories connected, one to the next, but the themes of power abused, of societal dissolution, flight, and the quest for significance leave one pondering.

Some have described this collection of stories as a series of nested or Matryoshka dolls because each story both exists on its own and is found within the next. That is the case, but the book has a chiastic ABCDEFEDCBA structure as follows:

A. The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing
B. Letters from Zettelghem
C. Half-Lives, The First Luisa Rey Mystery
D. The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish
E. An Orison of Sonmi - 451
F. Sloosha's Crossin' An' Ev'rythin' After
E. An Orison of Sonmi -451
D. The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish
C. Half-Lives, The First Luisa Rey Mystery
B. Letters from Zettelghem
A. The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing

The stories are connected by a birthmark all six main characters share, suggesting perhaps each is a reincarnation of the previous one. The stories connect as well. Adam Ewing's journal chronicles his time among the Moriori tribe on a Pacific island, and a desperate journey home while he is being treated for a brain parasite by his physician companion. The first half breaks off mid-sentence, which is being read by Robert Frobisher, the subject of the Letters from Zettelghem to his lover, Rufus Sixsmith. Frobisher, a young composer disowned by his family and desperate for funds attaches himself to a famous, but syphilitic composer as his amanuensis. While here, he composes the Cloud Atlas sextet--six instruments, distinctive individually, woven together evocatively, as are the six stories that make up the novel. Sixsmith, a nuclear physicist, appears some years later n the next story as the lone dissenting scientist in a safety assessment of a nuclear reactor. When this is quashed, he manages to get the report to Luisa Del Rey, an energetic young reporter, who is pursued by corporate hit men committed to seeing that her story doesn't get out. The account of her ordeal lands in the possession of publisher Timothy Cavendish, who escapes heirs of one of his authors only to be confined in a nursing home. The film, or "disney" of his ordeal is seen by a "fabricant," a clone, Sonmi - 451, who is part of an experiment to produce the first "ascended," fully human fabricant. As such, she is a threat to the totalitarian utopia of which she is a part, and her account is presented as an "orison," an interview before she is taken to the "Litehouse." Zachry, is part of a group of survivors, one of two tribes, fighting for a primitive existence in a post-apocalyptic world on the big island of Hawaii. A "Prescient," a visitor who arrives on a great ship, plays the orison of Sonmi - 451, who becomes a kind of god to him, guiding him as he and the Prescient ascend to the abandoned observatories on Mauna Kea, and achieve a harrowing escape from Zachry's tribal enemies, the Kona. As he escapes over straits to a neighboring island, he reflects:

"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 be 'morrow. Only Sonmi the east an' the west an' the compass an' the atlas, yay, only the atlas o' clouds."

The stories also share an element of flight--Ewing to the mainland for a cure, Frobisher, to Belgium and his composer, and then away to assert his own artistic greatness, Luisa Del Rey from the corporate hit-men, Cavendish, from the angered heirs, from debt, and from his nursing home captivity, Sonmi, from the society that perceives her as a threat, and Zachry, from the Kona. Each in some way is asserting their own existential worth against those who would deny it for their own ends.

Mitchell uses multiple genres--a travel journal, a collection of letters, a suspenseful thiller, first person narrative, an interview, and another narrative ("Sloosha") in a primitive form of English. It is a fascinating writing accomplishment to put all this together into a work that coheres.

Because of the unfolding connections of the stories, and the "souls" of this novel, I found myself liking this work far more than I anticipated I would. As one discovers how Mitchell is birthing each story out of the other, one is intrigued to see where all of this will go. Moreover, his stories explore the human condition, what it means to be human, a perennial question that spans ages, and civilizations. ( )
  BobonBooks | Nov 4, 2018 |
This novel is actually a series of nested stories of different genres set in time periods ranging from the 1800s to the post-apocalyptic future, loosely connected in ways both obvious and subtle. It's interesting, because the individual stories are decent but hardly exceptional, but the way it's structured is fascinating, and leads to the whole feeling like more than the sum of its parts. It is a structure that requires a certain amount of patience and attention, though, as first you're basically reading stories that don't seem to have endings, then later returning to pick up the threads of events that you've already moved on from. But it works, or at least it did for me. More in an intellectual way, perhaps, than a visceral one, but well enough, nevertheless. Certainly the more I think about it, the more connected the individual stories seem to be, in terms of recurring themes and motifs, and there's something interesting and satisfying in that. ( )
  bragan | Nov 3, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 546 (next | show all)
It felt like reading multiple stories from six different authors all on a common theme, yet all these disparate characters connect, their fates intertwine, and their souls drift across time like clouds across a globe.
Cloud Atlas is powerful and elegant because of Mitchell's understanding of the way we respond to those fundamental and primitive stories we tell about good and evil, love and destruction, beginnings and ends. He isn't afraid to jerk tears or ratchet up suspense - he understands that's what we make stories for.

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mitchell, Davidprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Campbell, CassandraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guest, Kim MaiNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heyborne, KirbyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Matthews, RichardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mijn, Aad van derTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oldenburg, VolkerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
For Hana and her grandparents.
First words
Beyond the Indian hamlet, upon a forlorn strand, I happened on a trail of recent footprints.
Oh, once you've been initiated into the Elderly, the world doesn't want you back.
Sometimes the fluffy bunny of incredulity zooms around the bend so rapidly that the greyhound of language is left, agog, in the starting cage.
The stationmaster's whistle blew on time, the locomotive strained like a gouty proctor on the pot before heaving itself into motion.
"Are you mad?"
Always a trickier question than it looks. "I doubt it."
Souls cross ages like clouds cross skies.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
The book consists of six nested stories that take us from the remote South Pacific in the nineteenth century to a distant, post-apocalyptic future. Each tale is revealed to be a story that is read (or watched) by the main character in the next.
Haiku summary
Looping, linking time/
chaining space, land seasalt drifting/
visual lyric threads
The literary
equivalent of Marmite –
you love or hate it.

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375507256, Paperback)

Now a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, and Hugh Grant, and directed by Lana and Andy Wachowski and Tom Tykwer

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 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.
“[David] Mitchell is, clearly, a genius. He writes as though at the helm of some perpetual dream machine, can evidently do anything, and his ambition is written in magma across this novel’s every page.”—The New York Times Book Review

“One of those how-the-holy-hell-did-he-do-it? modern classics that no doubt is—and should be—read by any student of contemporary literature.”—Dave Eggers

“Wildly entertaining . . . a head rush, both action-packed and chillingly ruminative.”—People
“The novel as series of nested dolls or Chinese boxes, a puzzle-book, and yet—not just dazzling, amusing, or clever but heartbreaking and passionate, too. I’ve never read anything quite like it, and I’m grateful to have lived, for a while, in all its many worlds.”—Michael Chabon

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:11 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Recounts the connected stories of people from the past and the distant future, from a nineteenth-century notary and an investigative journalist in the 1970s to a young man who searches for meaning in a post-apocalayptic world.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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