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
"[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)
Does not compare with other books I usually enjoy
Our lives effect others, in the past, present and future
The story was amazingly compelling with fantastic voice-acting.
I'd have to go with Sonmi~451, it was truly a fascinating story but they were all so great.
I loved them all.
NV, not NY
This novel is comprised of five very distinct stories all incorporating the theme, as Dr. Goose put it, "the weak are meat and the strong eat." The stories are wedding cake tiered upon each other meaning 4 of the stories are split into 2 parts with only the 5th, top tier, being told from beginning to end. Readers beware that the first story ends in the middle of a sentence so that you'll think something is wrong with the recording. None of the other stories do that.
Two of the stories are voiced with English accents, which I found a liitle disconcerting for the first several minutes, but I soon became accustomed. Actually, I was compelled to pay attention to the conversation (mostly first person narrative) due shearly to the fact that David Mitchell is so witty, humorous, and cleaver, I didn't want to miss anything.
I've never heard anything like the top tier story told from a Pacific Islander point of view. The Pidgen English of this narrative was also a little disconcerting at first, but after awhile I found myself marveling at the amazing vocabulary the author put together to pull this off. It must have taken an enormous amount of time and research.
I picked this book due to the good reviews and I'll pass it forward, though not for anyone looking for a light read.
I listened to Cloud Atlas and think it's a 5-star book with 5-star narration. That said, I don't think it's likely to please everyone. In fact, now I need to read the book to put some things together that went by too quickly in the spoken version. The novel is structured as a series of loosely related stories, which start, are interrupted, and then conclude. The characters are very interesting, and some appear more than once. My favorite character is Zachry, an islander living in post-apocalyptic Hawaii. Some of the characters/stories are a little tiresome. For me, those are the Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish and Letters from Zedelghem. A movie adaptation is supposed to be released in late October this year.
You might want to read the wiki article for a non-spoiler roadmap before you tackle this one.
I chose this book because I loved Jacob Zoet and wanted to see what else this author had to offer.
Oh Boy! Six individual yet related stories wrapped around each other.
When the first break came I thought my MP3 had glitched. Many tries to reset resulted in the same glitch so I went on line and researched the synopsis of the book:
I became totally intrigued.
David Mitchell takes you on a journey from the 1850's to the unknown future and back again through six stories each "interrupted" by the other, but each totally dependant upon the completion of their predessor to come to their own fruition. A Dagwood sandwich of individual lives and events.
A different narrator for each story allows the listener to segment and reserve the personality of each primary character and thus when the resume comes into play, to recall where we left off before the " interruption".
The stories each have a genre and personality of their own that bleeds into the next installment of a fantastic history of perhaps the same soul in many lives.
19th century, early 20th century, late 20th century, futuristic 21st century, pre-apocalyptic and finally post-apocalyptic lives that each reach forward and backwards to themselves.
I have to say Timothy Cavendish and his riduculous ordeal was by far my favourite story. I laughed and laughed, and wanted so very much for him to prevail.
However the apex or center story of a post apocalyptic future in the islands of Hawaii is a lesson in the cycle of life and of man's ability to return to his most agressive and tyranical instincts to bring about his own destruction. A great read for the historical fiction lover and the sci-fi addict. I happen to be both. Try it - it's more than worth the credit.
nerdly sparkly goodness
...and my very favorite audiobook. I had already read the book three times when I listened to it, and was delighted that I learned and noticed new twists and details about the story, characters and 'meta-story'. The performances are perfect.
I'm a little bit envious of those who haven't yet read or listened to this book - there's nothing else like it, and you're in for an engrossing, entertaining, and transformative experience. Seriously.
I enjoyed the book, but didn't love it. David Mitchell is a great writer, but like Salman Rushdie, he sometimes writes prose that just wanders, and with no particular relation to the story or the character. I loved Mitchell's recent book, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, but for me, this one misses the mark.
I found the stories entertaining, with some interesting visuals and even funny situations. Frankly though, and I don't mean to insult my intelligence, I found the author’s writing style hard to follow, and rather flamboyant at times. The author's use of the English language is quite impressive, but does he have to make a delivery effort to make it difficult to understand?
This audio book is very difficult listen when it shouldn't. The stories are at times interesting, but frankly not too exciting, hence the need to be flamboyant.
Immigration lawyer in Kansas City. I like Character driven dramas, fantasy (monsters, magic and witches oh my!) and coming of age stories. Favs include: The Book Thief, The Game of Throne series, Harry Potter Series, Dresden Files, Nightside series, anything by Neil Gaimen, 100 Years of Solitude.
I absolutly loved this book. It was a bit confusing at first, but I couldn't stop listening to it. It was captivating, and beautifully written. The narrators really added alot to the story the were great. The language was so elegant and rich, it will be a hard act to follow.
The short stories are interesting and some of them even fascinating, especially considering they have a such different styles and settings. What ultimately confused and even irritated me was the way the author tried to connect the stories. The stories really do not have anything in common (other than the author) and the attempt to relate them to each other seemed artificial and confusing (especially in the audio format).
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