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)
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).
When the first story started with the flowery elaborate English narative,I knew I was going to be dissapointed.(actually this story line turned out to be my favorite of the 6..) BUT I was determined not to waste a book. So I stuck with it all the way. But it was a STRUGGLE. Like one other reviewer here, I had hoped that it would all come together at the end but it only barely connected the stories. I don't think I ever did connect the futuristic story to the rest. Possibly this would be a better pick to actually read & not listen to. I wanted to go back often & see if I had missed something but I listen on a iPod Shuffle & going back is not the easiest..The writing & actors were both very acomplished & I did marvel at the writer's brilliant command of the English language.
t p prince esquire international-- Switzerland / USA --Author publisher of adult and children's literature.
I am already re-listening to Clouod Atlas to discover the details and twists that eluded me on the first listen. The first listen was an awakening discovery, the second it a joy and beauty like seeing the brush strokes in a Matisse. The exquisit blending of suspense and humour is captivating.
I listen to many audio books while driving and walking my dog so have heard most of the performers before. They are most welcomed guests in my ears and have rarely failed to bring life and depth to the stories they interpret. Careful when you listen in the car because the performances can be enthralling to the point of distraction. I managed to get a speeding ticket when emotionally consumed in the listening. Can I use that as a case against Audible for reckless endangerment!!??
Only book I truly couldn't put down, second authors was slow but the rest of the book made up for it....outstanding
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book -- thoroughly. The stories are consistently intriguing (although there are a few errors of grammar and usage that should have been caught). One wonders whether it really adds up to much as a novel. The devices used to link the stories are contrived, and the author seems to be showing off his astonishing proficiency in various genres with no aim for the whole enterprise. Nevertheless, its episodic structure makes it terrific for the car, and the last part of the book is the best and most imaginative of all.
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