This book is made of several different stories, spanning different epoques. As such, each of the stories would need a separate review. The fact is that the stories are only superficially, almost artificially connected among themselves. It almost feels like the author needed an excuse to show the public how well he could write a novel in the "memoir" style, another one in the "thriller style", another one in the "letter form" and in the "sci-fi" style and so on, in juts one single book. once said that the stories are all enjoyable and the narrators are all extremely good. worth the time, but cannot call it a masterpiece.
I loved the complicated structure and the intertwined story lines. I would have liked this to go on forever.
Cloud Atlas takes literary device to what one would think would be ridiculous levels. The book has a nested doll structure that five times stops the reader mid-story. You get to see the front of a doll before it is swallowed by its companion. The sixth doll swallows the fifth and you get view it front and back before 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 are released so you may view their backsides.
Each story has its own reader and they all do commendable work, with a particular tip of the hat to the reader of the sixth story who makes a thick dialect sing.
I loved listening to this book. The story was continually engaging, entertaining and thought provoking. One thing I would suggest. Don't worry when the first story jarringly turns into the second. It's by design. Enjoy the ride from the past to the distant future and back.
Extraordinary. A true literary achievement. The writing and imagination of a genius able to span the history of the world and a spectrum of minute emotions. Every narrator is good and don't be alarmed when the first story seems to end suddenly, it will return.
I am new to audible, and audio books in general. This book and my previous audio fiction "The Bonfire of Vanity" show me what I have been missing. Instead of reading a book and try to imagine the characters' voices, I now really enjoy voices done by professionals, whose voice add realistic dimensions to the story's characters.
I listen to Audible's Cloud Atlas and follow the narration with the book open. Bristish accents, illiterate Hawaii herder's accent for example all become alive and real, with emotions! (The book adds visual spelling of names, foreign phrases for memory's aide, and also add proper demarcation of italics or parentheses not easily discernible from narrator's pause or reading.)
A very well made audio production combined with an intricate thought provoking novel.
This book attempts to be innovative and unique but as each story stone is dropped into the soup it becomes more convoluted...somehow the book needed some sort of ingredient to bind the various ingredients into a literary stone soup that could be nourishing, interesting, and intellectually palatable. As it was it was one of those recipes with so many ingredients that they could never simmer into an enjoyable "read."
This far-reaching set of interconnected stories has a lot of reach, and it takes you many hours of listening before you start to put it together. When you do, it's a fascinating concept carried to a conclusion that gets stretched a bit. The writing is virtuosic; as Mitchell jumps between centuries, so do his dialog and style.
I am a voracious reader and long-time Audible member (2006). My favorite narrators are Simon Vance and Davina Porter.
I kept plowing through this story hoping that things would come together in some brilliant way but was sorely disappointed! While there were bits and pieces of interesting storytelling, the Louisa Rey vignettes mostly, the piece as a whole was a real loser.
This is by far the dullest book I've ever listened to. Some of the parts were OK, but by and large, it was not a very good listening experience
The linked-story structure of the book made it very interesting. It's the type of book that would generate a rich discussion. I'm anxious to recommend it to friends so we can try to figure out connections - what's the meaning of the shared birthmark, how do the stories touch and influence each other, etc. The actors were absolutely splendid, embellishing and enriching the narrative. Truly professional. I found that I was anxious to find excuses to listen to the end of a section. Good read!!