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Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Cloud Atlas (original 2004; edition 2005)

by David Mitchell

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
12,466532194 (4.13)4 / 1202
Title:Cloud Atlas
Authors:David Mitchell
Info:Sceptre (2005), Edition: First Edition, Paperback, 544 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:dystopia, apocalyptic, mystery, epistolary

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. 71
    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. 51
    Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban (Rynooo, browner56, pfeldman)
    browner56: Highly imaginative works, particularly the phonetic recreations of the English language
  6. 40
    Number9Dream by David Mitchell (PghDragonMan)
  7. 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.
  8. 30
    The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood (JenMDB)
  9. 30
    Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (JenMDB, sturlington)
    sturlington: Both have unusual narrative structures and explore the theme of reincarnation.
  10. 31
    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (Anonymous user)
  11. 20
    The Children of Men by P. D. James (JenMDB)
  12. 31
    Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann (novelcommentary)
  13. 20
    Gods Without Men by Hari Kunzru (Tinwara)
  14. 10
    TransAtlantic by Colum McCann (suniru)
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 10
    The Islanders by Christopher Priest (tetrachromat)
  18. 32
    Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (generalkala)
    generalkala: Similar multi-strand, multi-era novel.
  19. 00
    Measuring the World by Daniel Kehlmann (JuliaMaria)
  20. 00
    The Stone Gods by Jeanette Winterson (Anonymous user)

(see all 30 recommendations)


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English (516)  Dutch (6)  French (3)  German (3)  Spanish (2)  Finnish (1)  Czech (1)  Danish (1)  All (533)
Showing 1-5 of 516 (next | show all)
I really liked this movie and always said I wanted to eventually read the book. It only took 5 years, that's not too bad considering some of the books that have been sitting on my shelves for 10, 15 or even 20 years.

Anyway, I did this on audio, the narrators were great and in this case there was a different narrator for each story. I LOVED IT! The story about the old folks home was the funniest, but many of the other stories were so witty and well-written that I was swooning over this book through at least the first half and then laughing my ass off through the last half. Each of the settings was so "real", I felt like I really was time travelling between them, although I do have to admit I got a bit lost on the future stories.

So needless to say I'll be reading more from Mr. Mitchell, especially since all his books are on audio, which makes them more "accessible" to me and my limited reading time. ( )
  ragwaine | Apr 23, 2017 |
I had a ten-hour Greyhound trip through the mountains and got my course readings done in advance so I could have the luxury of a "miscellaneous" book for the ride. In a way, it suited the course of my trip. Constantly climbing mountains, ascending by increments the further we got from Vancouver. I made it halfway through by the time I hit my destination, absurdly fitting given the books mirroring structure. The second half was like falling. Mitchell ties the stories together again in a way that is mostly satisfying. Favourite episodes were Robert Frobisher and Adam Ewing making me eager to return to their stories, penultimate and final respectively, which meant suffering the brilliant tension of wanting to read those chapters immediately while knowing that the quicker I read them the sooner the book would be finished, and I didn't want it to end.

A brilliant bit of Fate that the book would be fond of was that when I'd arrived in Golden to visit my sister and showed her the book that accompanied my trip she laughed and turned to her shelf and pulled out an identical copy that she had just begun. ( )
  likecymbeline | Apr 1, 2017 |
I hate this when this happens. You finally get to a book that is generally loved by others and about halfway through it you realize that you don't like it, don't even want to keep reading it, and somehow, someway you've missed all the goodness, and can only focus on the badness?

Ughh, that sums up Cloud Atlas for me. It's suppose to be the stunning post-modern look at life and the connections that bind us together. I see 6 disparate uninteresting novellas tied together with an author twist merely designed to try to be cool.

( )
  bhuesers | Mar 29, 2017 |
I was doing okay following this story along until about halfway through the book and then I just got lost. Once the story slungshot back to Louisa's story I picked up a little of the interest I started with but, mostly, I was just curious about how it was all going to work out. The middle perspective with the made up language was almost unreadable. I ended up listening to this book on audio and I could still barely figure out what was being said most of the time; I can't imagine trying to read it physically. It seemed to go downhill from there for me. I didn't finish the book feeling like I understood anything. The connections between each perspective didn't flow as well as I thought it might, and ultimately I'm still scratching my head about what the whole point of the book was about. ( )
  Kassilem | Mar 7, 2017 |
Confusing. Need to read again. ( )
  KarenAJeff | Feb 25, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 516 (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 (15 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
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Canonical title
Original title
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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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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

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 6 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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