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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 (4291 )
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  •  
    Beth 11-18-12
    Beth 11-18-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
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    Story
    "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
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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
    4
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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
  •  
    Julia 06-04-12
    Julia 06-04-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good read, but wouldn't re-read"
    What disappointed you about Cloud Atlas?

    I liked a couple of the sub-stories, but I wanted more of each of the six sub-stories and instead they were simply strung together. In other words, it had was well done in terms of craft (rich, quality descriptions; entertaining narratives), but I was left a little unsatisfied for some reason. Not quite sure why. And even though it was really well done, it wasn't good enough that I would re-read it. I will see the movie, though. :)


    Would you recommend Cloud Atlas to your friends? Why or why not?

    Yes, only because its major theme is an important one across history (power and predation between humans) and one that I personally find significant.


    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elena Hoboken, NJ, USA 06-22-10
    Elena Hoboken, NJ, USA 06-22-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ingruiging novel but political undertones"

    I want to give this book 5 stars- I really do. The plot(s) is really interesting. I cannot wait to get into my car in the morning and hear what happens next. I love the whimsical travel through time and the birthmark and plot lines that connect the characters. And the actors are amazing- really felt like each story was narrated by its writer.

    But sad to say, the book has a political undertone- not very pronounced and heavier near the end- that was not necessary and left a bad taste in my mouth. Instead of focusing on the struggles of mankind throughout history and in the future, the book teeters on becoming a socialist/anti-capitalist manifesto. The author infused his ideology into this book through unnecessary snide comments and a completely one-sided portrayal of corporations in the Louisa Ray story.

    That said, I still had to finish it!

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alan Amissville, VA, United States 10-20-07
    Alan Amissville, VA, United States 10-20-07 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Pretentious but brilliant"

    Really enjoyed this all the way through. I agree with other reviewers that the linkages between stories were rather weak, but as stand-alone efforts they showcase a flair for different writing styles while still maintaining some thematic unity.

    The only disappointing part was the story line read by Cassandra Campbell. The woman cannot read - a nasally monotone and several glaring mispronunciations ruined an otherwise stellar cast of readers. The reader for the Zachr'y segment was outstanding and probably made the audio version miles better than the printed version - which only underscored the weakness of Campbell's reading.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margo Newnan, GA, USA 08-03-05
    Margo Newnan, GA, USA 08-03-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "still waiting. ."

    half way thru listening to part two, and still waiting for the "good" part!! yawn.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Penny B 03-12-13
    Penny B 03-12-13
    ratings
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    35
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    Performance
    Story
    "Huh?"
    Would you try another book from David Mitchell and/or the narrators?

    Dunno if I would. What's the author's other books like?


    What could David Mitchell have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    If all the chapters could have been connected, I might have figured out what the book was about


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    Loved the accents, emphasis, acting...all well done for the characters they represented.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Yes. Each story was okay by itself, but as a collective, I have no idea what it was about.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BeijInga Norway 02-19-13
    BeijInga Norway 02-19-13 Member Since 2013

    Reader in Norway.

    ratings
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    "High expectation"
    Where does Cloud Atlas rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This was my first experience with audio books from Audible, and the experience was good. I liked it that different people read the voices in the different chapters. They accents were appropriate and the way they spoke, the words they used, helped create the illusion of being in the past or in the future.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    The ending came very quickly and suddenly it was all over. I think I expected something more to happen to tie it all together, something more than the letters and music, etc. In stead it kind of fizzled out...


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

    I have not, but I liked them.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Honestly, I have no idea, that's maybe the reasons the movie has failed too. I've seen the trailer and it's 10 minutes long, totally confusing if you dont know a little of what it's about.


    Any additional comments?

    The books is worth the read, but I have 25 other books I'd recommend before recommending this one. It's a very long book, so I got value for my money at Audible as I bought it with my free welcoming credits. It was a good way to learn how to use Audible.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Hendersonville, NC, United States 01-09-13
    Amazon Customer Hendersonville, NC, United States 01-09-13 Listener Since 2008

    Love2Listen

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Masterpiece!"
    If you could sum up Cloud Atlas in three words, what would they be?

    Awesome, unique, thought provoking.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked all six of the stories and they way they were arranged, the first half of five stories with the middle story whole, then the other half of the first five in reverse order.


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    All six narrators were brilliant!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Robert Frobisher was my favorite character and his story had a sad ending.


    Any additional comments?

    My favorite Frobisher quote: “Whoever opined, “Money can’t buy happiness,” obviously had too much of the stuff.”

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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