Cloud Atlas: by David Mitchell

cloud atlas cover

Wow, is mostly what I have to say about this book. I might bring to your attention that this is the only five out of five kitten stickers I’ve reviewed so far. I wouldn’t even say it’s one of my favorite books I’ve ever read, I’d say it was one of the most talented books I’ve ever read. In my humble career as an author, I’m the chick that just got dumped out the nest and landed, all ugly and wrinkly with crappy feathers; David Mitchell is that bastard soaring Golden Eagle way up there like some gold glitter speck in the sky.

Seriously though this was pretty interesting. It took until the last two pages for me to glean the theme of the book- but that could also be because I accidentally packed it up and put it into storage for three weeks (thanks husband for saving me a library bill) and I’m equally sure I’ve missed some of the theme/themes, I would like a cliff notes on it if you have one send it over thanks. Basically if we as individually allow/overlook/look the other way at the other humans among us who display greed, corruption and a good dose of the quality inherent to us all: selfishness, our race is doomed.

Brace for a run-on sentence, my specialty. This plays out over four time periods from the days of exploration/exploitation in the South Pacific; a deliciously hilarious rake/composer in the early 1930s, an English publisher wrongfully confined in a mental institution to a relentless reporter exposing corporate evils in the 70s, a cold and soulless future in South Korea where human clones known as ‘fabricants’ hide a horrific secret from the world and finally a culmination where everything went kaboom and civilization is dead. Mostly. Each story cuts off mid-way, when we reach the final setting, we count back down the other way learning the fates of all our protagonists.

cloud atlas concept art

Neato concept art

My main gripe was the unwieldy wordiness of the beginning setting and our first protagonist, which nearly had me give up. I’m not really a word snob, I read pretty light stuff; but I also handle a giant deal of historical non-fiction so I ain’t a total noob- but Mitchell’s singular style is to throw you into each scenario floundering, and you figure out somewhere in between what the heck is going on. Seeing as the book ended with that same first not-too-fond-of protagonist I personally didn’t feel it was the best way to sell a reader on something very basic: what on earth type of story is this??

Cloud Atlas is by turns verbose, witty, hysterical, dense, smooth, and very very impressive. Golden Eagle, people. Because it’s my sworn duty to report all, you should know it contains adult content but not in a graphic manner. Its themes of intertwining the past future and present and dabbling in reincarnation I found unnecessary as if some editor said ‘Good God man, make it make sense!’. Over all I am so impressed, but I’m do need to go read some fluff now.

Ps. Excuse my punctuation, it’s like I think, which is sporadic. I’ll learn, maybe.


About Deanne

I was born and raised out on the fringes of the rainy Pacific Northwest on fishing boats and cold beaches with only a dog and kittens for company, and so my love of reading and creating stories started very early. My dad would illustrate my early stories and I would listen to him ramble about European history and warfare, eagerly asking questions about Kings, Queens and our own family history. In my adult life I am wife to a brilliant and hilarious web designer and mother to two wonderfully weird children whom I am trying to pass on to my love of learning about the world. I'm an amateur genealogist, amateur photographer and amateur history major haha. I'm good at doing amateur stuff lol. During the last couple years I finally turned my life-long urge to write into a serious endeavor and finished my first novel called (for now) The Stone and the Stars, about a dying dystopian society, and one girl trying to escape it before it collapses. While I finish cleaning up the edges on my novel for the umpteenth time, and before I send it out into the world, I've lately begun a novel about utopia, this time on Earth. I'm finally living up to the nerdy book-worm title my family 'lovingly' pinned on me from the time I was small, and finally doing that one thing I feel like I was born to do. Cliche and silly? Yes!
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