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Cloud Atlas Audiobook

Cloud Atlas

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: This is an ingenious novel composed of six embedded stories interconnected with subtle nuance and utter finesse. Brilliant prose, sharp social criticism, and six distinct narratives combine to make this a superb listen. The varying narrations provide unique tones and voices for each story, perfectly mimicking Mitchell's writing. I'd have given Mitchell the Booker Prize for this. —Chris Doheny

Publisher's Summary

From David Mitchell, the Booker Prize nominee, award-winning writer, and one of the featured authors in Granta's Best of Young British Novelists 2003 issue, comes his highly anticipated third novel, a work of mind-bending imagination and scope.

A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan's California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified "dinery server" on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilization: the narrators of Cloud Atlas hear each other's echoes down the corridor of history, and their destinies are changed in ways great and small.

In his captivating third novel, shortlisted for the Booker Prize, David Mitchell erases the boundaries of language, genre, and time to offer a meditation on humanity's dangerous will to power, and where it may lead us.

This audiobook is available exclusively as an audio download!

Note to customers: The complicated format of this novel makes it seem that the audio may be cutting off before the end of a story, accompanied by a change in narrator. However, this is the author's intention, so please continue to listen, and the stories will conclude themselves as intended.

©2004 David Mitchell; (P)2004 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

  • 2005 Audie Award Nominee, Literary Fiction

"[Mitchell's] exuberant, Nabokovian delight in word play; his provocative grapplings with the great unknowables; and most of all his masterful storytelling: all coalesce to make Cloud Atlas an exciting, almost overwhelming masterpiece." (Washington Times)

"[Cloud Atlas] glows with a fizzy, dizzy energy, pregnant with possibility and whispering in your ear: listen closely to a story, any story, and you'll hear another story inside it, eager to meet the world." (The Village Voice)

"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." (The Guardian)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (4210 )
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4.3 (3292 )
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Performance
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  •  
    David Danbury, CT, USA 09-24-05
    David Danbury, CT, USA 09-24-05 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    178
    2
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    "Interesting but links are weak"

    Each of the six stories are excellent, but the links between them are weak.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sue Corpus Christi, TX, USA 08-19-05
    Sue Corpus Christi, TX, USA 08-19-05 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    73
    ratings
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    131
    10
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    "Wonderful narrators"

    The full cast with their distinctive voices really add to this book. It's a complex book, but definitely worth the effort.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy Santa Fe, NM, USA 07-02-05
    Nancy Santa Fe, NM, USA 07-02-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    49
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    14
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    "A masterpiece"

    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.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim 06-25-05
    Tim 06-25-05 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "extraordinary novel"

    Fascinating layout, gripping stories and a virtuoso comand of the language made this the most enjoyable book I've encountered in a long time.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Myron 01-08-05
    Myron 01-08-05 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
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    24
    2
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    "Really imaginative"

    The future as predicted by the past through a series of what initially do not seem to be very inter-connected stories but that do lead to the post-science world of Zachry in Hawaii. The message of the need to heed our humanity and tolerate our differences is told in a remarkable weaving of stories loosely but very cogently interconnected occurring from the 1850's through to a distant (or maybe not so distant?) future. The readers are all incredibly talented and add greatly to the enjoyment of the novel.

    5 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ARG 06-05-12
    ARG 06-05-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
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    42
    19
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    Story
    "Spare me the agenda, show some real insight"
    Would you try another book from David Mitchell and/or the narrators?

    No. My impression is his perceptions are thin, and he is captive to a world view / cultural identity (liberal) which blinds him for truly perceptive and creative work. Nothing wrong with the identity, but the author needs to move beyond it's limitations if he is going to offer anything really interesting, inspiring or creative. Section 3 was so trite I wanted to scream.


    Has Cloud Atlas turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, my assumption is this author is just limited in his abilities.


    Have you listened to any of the narrators???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This was multi-narrator book. They all do a very good job.


    What character would you cut from Cloud Atlas?

    The entire 3rd segment is insipid and thin. It relies on superficial tropes about corporate conspiracy and evil doing that is unbelievable. I couldn't bear it. Don't just give me a rehash construct of cultural war perspectives. Give me something that is truly observant of our world, of life, of human nature and of people. I can do with out the superficial rehash of the liberal culture war. It isn't the fact that it is liberal. I would be just as harsh on such a silly effort by someone captive to the conservative agenda. It isn't what I read fiction for. I get enough of this garbage in the news and general media, don't want it


    Any additional comments?

    One of the more disappointing titles I have ever experienced from Audible. Some others have been a little flat or boring, had other limits. But given the reviews for this I expected a lot more. Note sure why people think this one is particularly interesting. Found it quite shallow, predictable, and thin.

    5 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Candace Houston, TX, USA 08-22-05
    Candace Houston, TX, USA 08-22-05 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
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    0
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    "I am confused"

    on 1st story and the reader reads so fast I cannot keep up with what is going on. I will keep listening

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth 11-18-12
    Beth 11-18-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "COM--which I do not--PLETE--recom--NONSENSE---mend"

    Warning this book contains liberal propaganda.

    I suppose in that light, it's actually quite amusing the book is written in stories that cut off (some of them mid-sentence) without any transition or connection and a new story begins (in the middle). Complete confusion which all pieces together into nothing (but don't worry, they will tell you, at the very end, what they want it to mean).

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Howard Cumberland, MD, United States 09-14-12
    Howard Cumberland, MD, United States 09-14-12 Member Since 2010

    When I like something I'll let you know. If I don't, I'll let you know that too!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    415
    ratings
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    68
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    "Read it before the movie premieres!"

    Got the book after seeing the first trailer for the movie of the same name being release in October 2012. It can be a difficult story to follow at times requiring careful listening, or relistening, but I found it well worth the effort. Many things are left unanswered at the end of the book, an interesting twist the author has given his reader. Such a bold collection of stories, perhaps intertwined or not. Part of the pleasure of Cloud Atlas for me was completing in my own mind the canvas the author has boldly created and placed in front of me.

    As always, very good narrators read a very good book! Thanks Audible. This is a book I expect I will be relistening to again (and likely several more times after that.)

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N. Gibson 06-14-12
    N. Gibson 06-14-12

    Mysamba

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    19
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    "I got pulled in by an excellent review. It sucked!"
    What would have made Cloud Atlas better?

    This book was a total waste of my money and I am not happy about it. Audible was showing this sterling review of it and I got sucked into buy it.


    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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