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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

4.0 (4622 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Joseph Radziszewski Gray, ME USA 03-10-10
    Joseph Radziszewski Gray, ME USA 03-10-10 Member Since 2015

    joeradish

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Wow"

    Cloud Atlas takes literary device to what one would think would be ridiculous levels. The book has a nested doll structure that five times stops the reader mid-story. You get to see the front of a doll before it is swallowed by its companion. The sixth doll swallows the fifth and you get view it front and back before 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 are released so you may view their backsides.

    Each story has its own reader and they all do commendable work, with a particular tip of the hat to the reader of the sixth story who makes a thick dialect sing.

    I loved listening to this book. The story was continually engaging, entertaining and thought provoking. One thing I would suggest. Don't worry when the first story jarringly turns into the second. It's by design. Enjoy the ride from the past to the distant future and back.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan new york, NY, USA 02-11-10
    Jonathan new york, NY, USA 02-11-10 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "a"

    Extraordinary. A true literary achievement. The writing and imagination of a genius able to span the history of the world and a spectrum of minute emotions. Every narrator is good and don't be alarmed when the first story seems to end suddenly, it will return.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Quan Nguyen California 09-28-09
    Quan Nguyen California 09-28-09 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    57
    3
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    "best combination of stories and authentic voices"

    I am new to audible, and audio books in general. This book and my previous audio fiction "The Bonfire of Vanity" show me what I have been missing. Instead of reading a book and try to imagine the characters' voices, I now really enjoy voices done by professionals, whose voice add realistic dimensions to the story's characters.

    I listen to Audible's Cloud Atlas and follow the narration with the book open. Bristish accents, illiterate Hawaii herder's accent for example all become alive and real, with emotions! (The book adds visual spelling of names, foreign phrases for memory's aide, and also add proper demarcation of italics or parentheses not easily discernible from narrator's pause or reading.)

    A very well made audio production combined with an intricate thought provoking novel.

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Picky Purchaser Washington State 01-09-09
    Picky Purchaser Washington State 01-09-09 Member Since 2016

    Picky

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    "Literary Stone Soup"

    This book attempts to be innovative and unique but as each story stone is dropped into the soup it becomes more convoluted...somehow the book needed some sort of ingredient to bind the various ingredients into a literary stone soup that could be nourishing, interesting, and intellectually palatable. As it was it was one of those recipes with so many ingredients that they could never simmer into an enjoyable "read."

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. C. Pile Millwood, NY 11-30-08
    T. C. Pile Millwood, NY 11-30-08 Member Since 2010

    audiobookaholic

    HELPFUL VOTES
    272
    ratings
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    "Strung out across centuries"

    This far-reaching set of interconnected stories has a lot of reach, and it takes you many hours of listening before you start to put it together. When you do, it's a fascinating concept carried to a conclusion that gets stretched a bit. The writing is virtuosic; as Mitchell jumps between centuries, so do his dialog and style.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lanakila Holly Springs, NC, USA 02-18-08
    Lanakila Holly Springs, NC, USA 02-18-08 Member Since 2009

    I am a voracious reader and long-time Audible member (2006). My favorite narrators are Simon Vance and Davina Porter.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "So Where Does It All Come Together?"

    I kept plowing through this story hoping that things would come together in some brilliant way but was sorely disappointed! While there were bits and pieces of interesting storytelling, the Louisa Rey vignettes mostly, the piece as a whole was a real loser.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rich M. 12-12-07
    Rich M. 12-12-07 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    93
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    "Don't listen and drive. May cause drowsiness."

    This is by far the dullest book I've ever listened to. Some of the parts were OK, but by and large, it was not a very good listening experience

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheila Littleton, CO, USA 08-20-07
    Sheila Littleton, CO, USA 08-20-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Rich Read"

    The linked-story structure of the book made it very interesting. It's the type of book that would generate a rich discussion. I'm anxious to recommend it to friends so we can try to figure out connections - what's the meaning of the shared birthmark, how do the stories touch and influence each other, etc. The actors were absolutely splendid, embellishing and enriching the narrative. Truly professional. I found that I was anxious to find excuses to listen to the end of a section. Good read!!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Ballwin, MO, USA 08-27-06
    Michael Ballwin, MO, USA 08-27-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Great Listen"

    Cloud Atlas is simply the best-read audiobook I have ever heard. Its several stories each kept me engrossed for my entire listening, and I consistently wished I had more drive time to hear more. Each narrator is to be commended for so enlivening their stories - Thanks, to all! I look forward to more work from them and David Mitchell - these stories, and their link, are wonderful and wonderfully told, too.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Helmut 07-31-06
    Helmut 07-31-06 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    13
    3
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    "Disjointed"

    While the individual stories are interesting, the connection between them is tenuous and not inspiring. This is the first in aprox. 20 audio books that I haven't been able to make myself finish.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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