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Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Cloud Atlas (original 2004; edition 2004)

by David Mitchell

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12,615538189 (4.13)4 / 1211
Title:Cloud Atlas
Authors:David Mitchell
Collections:Your library

Work details

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (Author) (2004)

  1. 120
    If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino (Ludi_Ling)
    Ludi_Ling: Different yet both well-written approaches to meta-fiction.
  2. 112
    The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet: A Novel by David Mitchell (pgmcc)
    pgmcc: Really enjoyable set of related stories with the author's well deomonstrated skill
  3. 81
    The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson (TomWaitsTables, PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: A theme of reincarnation used to balance Karma flows through the story.
  4. 40
    Black Swan Green by David Mitchell (PghDragonMan)
  5. 84
    A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (jbvm, souloftherose)
    jbvm: Without giving anything away, after you've read both you'll understand my recommendation.
    souloftherose: Both novels are occasionally experimental in style with interconnected short stories. They are also both very good.
  6. 40
    Number9Dream by David Mitchell (PghDragonMan)
  7. 51
    Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban (Rynooo, browner56, pfeldman)
    browner56: Highly imaginative works, particularly the phonetic recreations of the English language
  8. 30
    Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (JenMDB, sturlington)
    sturlington: Both have unusual narrative structures and explore the theme of reincarnation.
  9. 30
    The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood (JenMDB)
  10. 20
    Gods Without Men by Hari Kunzru (Tinwara)
  11. 31
    Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann (novelcommentary)
  12. 21
    The Children of Men by P. D. James (JenMDB)
  13. 32
    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (Anonymous user)
  14. 10
    TransAtlantic by Colum McCann (suniru)
  15. 32
    Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (generalkala)
    generalkala: Similar multi-strand, multi-era novel.
  16. 10
    The Islanders by Christopher Priest (tetrachromat)
  17. 10
    Girl Reading by Katie Ward (rarm)
    rarm: Girl Reading isn't as intricately constructed as Cloud Atlas, but both books use linked stories to carry a theme through the centuries and into the future.
  18. 10
    The Castle of Crossed Destinies by Italo Calvino (Ludi_Ling)
    Ludi_Ling: For those interested in disparate yet intertwining narratives of a somewhat fantastical nature.
  19. 00
    The Stone Gods by Jeanette Winterson (Anonymous user)
  20. 00
    Join by Steve Toutonghi (47degreesnorth)

(see all 31 recommendations)


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English (521)  Dutch (6)  French (3)  German (3)  Spanish (2)  Finnish (1)  Czech (1)  Danish (1)  All (538)
Showing 1-5 of 521 (next | show all)

Now, I'm curious to see what's been done with this when it became a movie. ( )
  Kitty.Cunningham | Jul 19, 2017 |
Ooooohhhh.... David. What were you thinking when you composed this one? Thought you would go "big" and try and capture all of humanities misgivings - and provide a harbinger message for the future in three sweeping narratives? As well written as this story is - and kudos for nailing the unique narrative voices for each, shall we say, loosely connected story - my mind swims in a sea of words, settings and experiences that left me chomping at the bit, wondering when the shoe was going to finally drop. Well, drop it did. If you are looking for a key message to this story, just flip to the end and read the last 3/4 pages. If you are looking to be entertained... good luck with that. I found the majority of the book to be nothing more than well written six stories - six stories for the price of one! - only to have Mitchell leave a reader hanging at a key point and suddenly drop you in a new setting with new characters and a new story-line. I found this to be one of the most frustrating audiobooks to listen to because I felt that Mitchell was just spinning yarn after yarn after yarn. Even having six narrators taking their turn telling their respective stories did not help keep my interest.

As much as I loved Black Swan Green and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, this one just came across, for me, as an ambitious literary mess. Well written, yes, but still drove me crazy with the "where are we going with this one" constantly echoing in my head. ( )
  lkernagh | Jul 1, 2017 |
So...how to summarize? You know that book you wish would never end? Well, this wasn't one of those books. I was served sea cucumber once when living in Korea and I thought, who would take a look at this creature and think "I bet that'd probably taste good"? Yes, a bit obscure, but I saw a trailer for the film version of this and had never heard of it before. Plunge...check out the novel...and now done, I wonder who would read this book and think "I bet that'd make a good movie"?

Ambitious premise, but Mitchell doesn't execute well. Despite his use/invention of irritating dialects (the argument that such add authenticity is heard, weighed, and dismissed...they're still annoying and do not add to the story), Mitchell does show flashes of witty, good writing. Unfortunately, a homeopathic urge to dilute it must have overcome him.

Given the Hollywood propensity to kill more cogent works, I can't even imagine how they would deal with this. ( )
1 vote Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
Not all critically acclaimed books are liked by all readers and this book was NOT liked by me. It was torture trying to immersed myself into this story and when I read books I have to enjoy the characters and story in order to enjoy reading it, regardless of how beautifully written it is and I did not enjoy this story. I couldn't even bring myself to finish it after weeks of trying to trudge through it. ( )
  jthao_02 | May 18, 2017 |
Beautifully structured and beautifully written, not to mention a tour de force of originality. ( )
  Eye_Gee | May 8, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 521 (next | show all)
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, DavidAuthorprimary 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
Publisher series
Original language

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

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 7 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-apocalyptic world.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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