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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 (4657 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Rich M. 12-12-07
    Rich M. 12-12-07 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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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
    1
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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
    9
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    2
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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
  •  
    Alexandra 04-23-06
    Alexandra 04-23-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Genius! Rewarding."

    Cloud Atlas is like no other book. What can possibly follow it? I think I am hypnotized. I feel sorry for my next listen.
    But - Caution - it is definitely not for everyone. Either you get it -or you don't. If you are looking for something light and easy - forget it.
    I would love to take a collage class on this book. When you finish it - you want to talk to other people who read it. You want to immediately go back and hear it again.
    All the narrators are talented, magnificent voices that bring the characters alive. Wonderful presentation. The absolute best I have encountered with an audio book. Love hearing all the strange invented words and languages pronounced aloud.
    David Mitchell has written a novel of human experience that will be studied for years to come. I know a lot of people hated this book and found it unreadable, I wish they could have stayed with it. In my opinion, nothing can compare to it. This is the finest book I have experienced in years. There are no words left exciting enough to describe it. Mitchell used them all.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 01-21-06
    John 01-21-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    3
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    "Great start"

    Weak ending.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Phila, PA 12-04-05
    Amazon Customer Phila, PA 12-04-05 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Really Enjoyed It!"

    I really enjoyed this audiobook. I found that all of the readers were very good, a couple of them were excellent, really adding something to the already intesting characters that they are portraying/reading. The story itself is probably not for everybody. A mixture of sci-fi and social commentary, it has multiple storylines. If you enjoy well written, extremely creative books that challenge you to stretch your imagination - I highly reccomend it! If you enjoy a more straightforward traditional yarn this will probably not be for you.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth Herzliya, Israel 11-07-05
    Beth Herzliya, Israel 11-07-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    183
    3
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    "Did not knit together"

    I found this book to be very disjointed and, in truth, rather boring. Supposedly, the stories going forward and back close and knit together. I found the thread to be very thin and superficially imposed. Even worse, were the final pages, where the rather obvious moral of the book unfolded.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tula 11-02-05
    Tula 11-02-05 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
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    "What a mess"

    The most enjoyable thing about Cloud Atlas is the continual wonder it evokes: You wonder how anything this bad could have been published, let alone won a prestigious award. You wonder at the stilted language, the numerous cliches, the deadly silly plots, the unbelievable characters, the painful dialog. It's a veritable celebration of how to write an annoying novel. Of particular note is a subplot involving a journalist who uncovers secrets at a nuclear plant. The characters here were so unidimensional, they make Dick and Jane seem deep and nuanced by comparison. And the plot is full of holes and anything but suspenseful. When an author in the next subplot throws a critic out the window, I couldn't help thinking that the book critics who awarded this drivel an award could only have acted out of fear of the same fate.
    Finally, I could almost forgive the generally histrionic readers on this recording. Surely, overacting may have been the only plausible way to handle prose like this.

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Pockross 10-29-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    Overall
    "slow does not mean profound"

    slow and disjointed, this book left me wishing i'd never been drawn in by the award and the reviews. I found the characters uncompelling and the sense of timing felt like a jim jarmusch movie in slow motion. I felt like the author was thoroughly enjoying his pretentious writing style more than developing characters or a story line. Other people really enjoyed this?

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful

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