Cloud Atlas is like no other book. What can possibly follow it? I think I am hypnotized. I feel sorry for my next listen.
But - Caution - it is definitely not for everyone. Either you get it -or you don't. If you are looking for something light and easy - forget it.
I would love to take a collage class on this book. When you finish it - you want to talk to other people who read it. You want to immediately go back and hear it again.
All the narrators are talented, magnificent voices that bring the characters alive. Wonderful presentation. The absolute best I have encountered with an audio book. Love hearing all the strange invented words and languages pronounced aloud.
David Mitchell has written a novel of human experience that will be studied for years to come. I know a lot of people hated this book and found it unreadable, I wish they could have stayed with it. In my opinion, nothing can compare to it. This is the finest book I have experienced in years. There are no words left exciting enough to describe it. Mitchell used them all.
I really enjoyed this audiobook. I found that all of the readers were very good, a couple of them were excellent, really adding something to the already intesting characters that they are portraying/reading. The story itself is probably not for everybody. A mixture of sci-fi and social commentary, it has multiple storylines. If you enjoy well written, extremely creative books that challenge you to stretch your imagination - I highly reccomend it! If you enjoy a more straightforward traditional yarn this will probably not be for you.
I found this book to be very disjointed and, in truth, rather boring. Supposedly, the stories going forward and back close and knit together. I found the thread to be very thin and superficially imposed. Even worse, were the final pages, where the rather obvious moral of the book unfolded.
The most enjoyable thing about Cloud Atlas is the continual wonder it evokes: You wonder how anything this bad could have been published, let alone won a prestigious award. You wonder at the stilted language, the numerous cliches, the deadly silly plots, the unbelievable characters, the painful dialog. It's a veritable celebration of how to write an annoying novel. Of particular note is a subplot involving a journalist who uncovers secrets at a nuclear plant. The characters here were so unidimensional, they make Dick and Jane seem deep and nuanced by comparison. And the plot is full of holes and anything but suspenseful. When an author in the next subplot throws a critic out the window, I couldn't help thinking that the book critics who awarded this drivel an award could only have acted out of fear of the same fate.
Finally, I could almost forgive the generally histrionic readers on this recording. Surely, overacting may have been the only plausible way to handle prose like this.
slow and disjointed, this book left me wishing i'd never been drawn in by the award and the reviews. I found the characters uncompelling and the sense of timing felt like a jim jarmusch movie in slow motion. I felt like the author was thoroughly enjoying his pretentious writing style more than developing characters or a story line. Other people really enjoyed this?
I have only listened to the first part and a portion of the second part. I found the archaic language and accents of the readers very difficult to follow. Just as I was getting onto the wave length of the first reader, it abruptly ends in midsentence; the second story starts in; and the language is even more difficult to follow. I am giving up for now. Perhaps, I'll try again some other time, but beware this book is not easy to follow.
The full cast with their distinctive voices really add to this book. It's a complex book, but definitely worth the effort.
Of all the novels I have read in the last year, this one stands out. The author has a remarkable ability to write in different voices. The book is six stories woven together -- starting in 1840, moving up through a post future iron age and then coming back down for the second halves of each of the first five stories. Each piece is written in an unique voice and each works. From a bisexual rake who is also a talented musician wheedling his way into the home of a famous European composer in the 1930s to a cynical, down and out publisher avoiding creditors and having madcap adventures in the present day, to a genetically modified "fabricant" living in the future, Mitchell pulls each voice off amazingly. With a mixture of humor, poinency, irony and extreme intelligence he weaves together the six stories, any of which could stand alone as a fully formed narrative. Brilliant. I loved it so much that I wanted to "read" another by him, and even read a real book, as none other was on audible. Have to say that "Number Nine Dream" cannot compare. This may have been Mitchell's best. I picked it orignially becuase it was a finalist (and the presumptive favorite) for the Booker prize, usually a reliable indicator. And indeed it was.