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)
The story in Cloud Atlas is great, and while every story is archetypal, there all very good.
Well, the individual stories compare well to other books, but few other books have such contrasting and stark narratives. The stories set in the distant future are straight Huxley, where as those set in the 19th and early 20th century remind me a lot of David Liss.
Varied, well done
I did not have an extreme reaction. Laugh? Sometimes. I really liked the Somni (sp, audio book) chapters set in the distant future. I thought, by and large, they were great totalitarian future imperfect stories.
There are 5 or 6 narrators in this book and only the Louisa Ray narrator stands out as being bad, in my opinion. For chapters that should be filled with over-emphasis, like an airport bookstore mystery novel, they're read like a computer program. Although that was probably my least favorite section in the book anyway, because it kept going on and on... But from the very start I didn't like how that chapter was read, too sterile, without the right pacing. But, otherwise, the book is very well read.
I'd listen again to tie all the pieces together, after I see the movie.
The turns in the second halves of the stories.
Each narrator gave their own time and setting to the story.
YES .....there is so much in this book that you have to listen to it again. I like that they have different actors reading each part of the book. I feel it makes the stories have greater depth.
I really like the last two stories in the book
Yes the book "Thirteen"
read the book or listen to it but don't pass it up
Better in many ways. I have both the print and listened. Having the different stories read by different performers really helped. And the language flows well.
Sonmi-451. It was the most gripping story, and I sympathized with her the most.
Timothy Cavendish was another great character. His story was well done and very funny, though completely different.
They all are very good stories on their own and different.
Sonmi and the statue of Siddharta
Wonderful puzzle of a book, interweaving the six very good stories in simple and complex ways.
It took me a while before I realized that the 451 in Sonmi-451 was a harkening to Fahrenheit 451 classic.
Yes, definitely. The range of expression and the choice of voice actors for the various stories really brought the characters to life. The singsong phrasing of Zachry's story was particularly fun to listen to.
It's tough, but I think I liked Timothy Cavendish the best. His sense of humor and self importance worked well to give his story a welcome break from the seriousness of the stories on either side.
Each narrator was really well suited to the character for their respective stories. They brought a depth to the book that I might not have found just reading the text.
If anybody asks me why I listen to audiobooks rather than read the text versions, all I have to do is direct them to this one. This is a great combination of a wonderful book and absolutely first-class narration that makes the whole more than the sum of the parts. This is easily one of the best audiobooks out there, and I can't recommend it enough.
The story was engaging and enthralling. The performances were done by a different actor for each story arc, giving the strong sense of jumping forward and backward, as the story does.
While it is not a book, the Movie Memento (2000) has a similar plot arrangement wherein the story is not told A to B but rather meets in the middle.
The ordeal of Timothy Cavandish was a laugh riot and an exciting escape story.
I've never been good with names but Cloud Atlas is spot on.
I started out reading the book version of Cloud Atlas, but after skimming a bit and seeing that the Audible version had a variety of narrators, decided that it would be more enjoyable to listen to the different voices--and it was! Some of the narrators are better than others, but in general they tell the story well. In fact, I enjoyed the story so very very much that I'm now reading the paper version. The story--stories, actually--are interwoven with a sure, but delicate, hand. Author David Mitchell is a genius!
This was a very good book and having a cast of voice actors reading each section of the book was a good choice. I did not find the time jumps confusing, but I knew they would happen.
If you love the English language and all of its great authors, you will love this book and this audio performance. I can only compare this to Moby Dick in its complexity or Charles Dickens in its story telling. The audio recording would have delighted Orson Wells. What is wonderful about this book is that it moves along at a nice clip, with stories that make you laugh out loud or gasp. Your mind is intoxicated. I am half way through the book and my greatest fear is that the book will end and I will have to rejoin the real world.
David Mitchell is a genius, the actors superb.
One of my favs!
I would compare Cloud Atlas to Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 becuase of its sci-fi flair and excellent characterizations.
I would take Adam Ewing because of his humanity.
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