greystockings, August 4, 2012 (view all comments by greystockings)
"Cloud Atlas" is the best book I have read in quite a while and probably top five overall; it works its way in to somewhere deep. While there are a couple of sections that don't brim over with exciting events the book is so well written in a perceptive, witty and subtly probing manner that I didn't mind at all- and most of the story does move well and draw in the reader. I have since read two more of David Mitchell's novels, "Ghostwritten" and "Number 9 Dream", both of which I enjoyed slightly less than "Cloud Atlas" but which still have Mitchell's enviable writing and arguably faster plots. I now have his latest, "The Thousand Autumns of Jacob Zoet" (I believe that is the title) sitting on my shelf as I relish the ability to pick it up at a time of my choosing. I highly recommend "Cloud Atlas" and any of David Mitchell's work.
Kenneth Fricklas, August 4, 2012 (view all comments by Kenneth Fricklas)
David Mitchell, one of the great young(ish, these days) authors of the 21st century, manages to create a story that exists in around 10 voices, over 400 years, but all interweaves into a fantastic story that involves cannibals, the state of newspapers, music history, murder, and more, and pulls it all off seemingly effortlessly. Amazing.
jdlowry, January 22, 2010 (view all comments by jdlowry)
I don't know which characteristic of this novel is the most awe-inspiring--Mitchell's effortless transitions between wildly diverging genres, the way all those genre-stories fit together into something that transcends genre, or the wrenchingness of the fate Mitchell postulates for intelligent human life. This is a book for a long stay on a desert island--I could read it 100 times and still find new thinking points.
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PERSEUS DISTRIBUTION -
While it was hard to narrow down my list to just five "best of" picks, I didn't have to think twice about what would be my favorite book of the year. In Cloud Atlas Mitchell again uses the format of connecting short stories with recurring motifs into a larger, almost epic narrative that spans the globe and centuries of human history. Filled with wonderful characters, effortless shifts in style, and more imagination than you can shake a stick at, Cloud Atlas will be a tough book for its author to top. Personally, I cannot wait to see him try.
For readers who enjoy good stories wrapped around an inventive structure. Each tale is obliquely connected to another moving forward through time. And each has a totally different voice and style.
by Michal D.,
If you haven't read David Mitchell's previous novels, let Cloud Atlas be your introduction to his incredible imagination. Here six convincing and wonderfully realized worlds, filled with surprise and originality, loosely intermingle. Each story, inhabited with equally compelling characters, proves the genius of this amazingly gifted writer.
by Michal D.
"Review A Day"
by Laura Miller, Salon.com,
"David Mitchell is a spookily protean writer. His favored technique — he used it in his first novel, Ghostwritten — is to build a long narrative out of shorter ones, stories told in vastly different voices and styles, then cinch the whole patchwork together with some supernal device that reveals their underlying connections. In Ghostwritten, he couldn't manage to pull off that final, unifying gesture, but his third novel, Cloud Atlas, is far more convincing, a genuine and thoroughly entertaining literary puzzle." (read the entire Salon.com review)
by Publishers Weekly,
"Atmospheric and moving, this is an impressively assured debut."
by Kirkus Reviews,
"Great Britain's answer to Thomas Pynchon outdoes himself...maddeningly intricate, improbably entertaining....[O]ne of the most imaginative and rewarding novels in recent memory....Sheer storytelling brilliance."
by Michael Chabon, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Adventures of Kavalier & Clay,
"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, which are all one world, which is, in turn, enchanted by Mitchell's spell-caster prose, our own."
by Tin House magazine,
"A boomeranging historical novel moving from the Age of Discover to post-apocalyptic Hawaii with stops on the way in China Syndrome-era California and dystopian capitalist Korea. An amazing performance of ventriloquism and brains."
by Justine Jordan, The Guardian (U.K.),
"[A] remarkable book....It knits together science fiction, political thriller and historical pastiche with musical virtuosity and linguistic exuberance: there won't be a bigger, bolder novel next year."
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