This "novel" is really 6 short stories. The gimmick is that the second story starts in the middle of the first and the third starts in the middle of the second and so on. Only the sixth story is complete and then we get the finish of the fifth, fourth, third, second and first stories. The stories occur in the 1840s, 1930s, 1970s, present, 100+ years, 200+ years.
On one level, the author is making his philosophical point that mankind is inheritently greedy and willing to kill and enslave other humans. The ultimate result is a corpocracy that destroys everything as we see in the final two stories.
On another level is a great wordsmith who gives each story a different voice and even a different language while staying true to his message. In the second story, a composer writes to his physicist friend(see third story) that he has conceived a major work which he will call the "Cloud Atlas Sextette." Each of the six parts will be a different instrument and will be interrupted by the next part and finished in descending order by the remaining parts: 12345654321. The composer asks: Is this a conceit or genius? And each listener should probably ask the same question.
The readers are excellent and it is immediately clear which of the six stories is being read. There are a lot of interesting discussion issues raised by this book. I would buy it again but I imagine that many would not really enjoy it.
This is a very entertaining crime saga. It begins in 1958 with a multiple murder and kidnapping and then flashes back to 1936 where we are introduced to newspaper man Jack Corrigan and newsboy Connor O'Conner. The mystery then unfolds over the ensuing 65+ years.
The story is set in the fictional California coastal city of Las Piernas. The author does a great job of showing how the newspaper business changed over time. The same is true for police investigative techniques and tools.
After listening to this book, I discovered that newspaperwoman Irene Kelly, who does not show up in the book until the 1970s is the main character in a number of other books by the same author. What this books does is fill in some of the history of Las Piernas and the newspaper beginning in the 1930s. It's an excellent listen with a good reader.
This is a pretty good story. It moves quickly and has some nice plot twists. I know lots of people are happy with this sort of book. The writing is comic book style. The dialogue and description are very weak. The characters are barely developed. If you like action movies, you will probably like this book.
that this book ended. Fortunately, the story effectively continues in "The Girl Who Played with Fire." This is a police procedural novel except that detective is a magazine journalist. What makes it exceptional is the character Lisbeth Salinger who is simply the most remarkable, fascinating character I have ever encountered in fiction.
The reader is also perfect. He is totally into the rhythm and timing of the prose without being noticeable (compare Scott Brick, who is very good but one is always aware Brick is the reader.) He is very good with the female voices. This is one of the best audiobooks I have listened to. I can't wait for the third book in May of 2010.
The story moved quickly and held my interest. The writing was more appropriate to a comic book or juvenile. I was disappointed.
This is a well written novel about spying in Europe and the US before Pearl Harbor. Anyone who has enjoyed Alan Furst's WWII European spy novels would enjoy this one. I know I did.
If you read the blurb, you know the basic story. It is a true story. It is true. It is written in the present tense. This makes it much more powerful. James cried. I cried. You will cry.
Strip away everything not involving Fintan Dunne and you are left with a 1930s detective story in the fashion of Dashiell Hammett. When you add in the other story lines that crop up from time to time the result is an audio book that starts slowly and is a little difficult to follow. The other story lines involve eugenics, the pseudoscience that the Nazis used to justify genetic cleansing and the holocaust. The book improves as the several story lines come together and the ending is satisfying.
Michael Connelly shifts from police procedural to defense lawyer in this stunning courtroom novel. All of the elements that have made his Harry Bosch novels so good are present here. If you like Connelly (as I do) this is a great listen. I listened almost straight through.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys biography. I was constantly entertained and learned more than a bit of history. The author emphasized Roosevelt the man (his ideas and family life) rather than trying to detail every moment of this public life.
This book is a straight forward conspiracy mystery set in the world of equity capital. The writing is competent and the reading, by Scott Brick, is excellent. The author has written an entertaining book but seems not to have aspired to great literature. It is a fast, exciting listen largely unspoiled by meaningful character development. If you prefer Dan Brown or Robert Ludlum to John LeCarre then this is a book for you.
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