Sunday 2 February 2014

Book Review: Cloud Atlas; David Mitchell

I have just finished reading this book, and as promised, here is my review for David Mitchell's 'Cloud Atlas'. There will be some minor spoilers here.

SOURCE: Bought
TYPE: Paperback

TITLE: Cloud Atlas
AUTHOR: David Mitchell
PAGES: 529
GENRE: Literary Fiction, Contemporary, Dystopian, Science Fiction

RATING: 4/5 Stars

'Souls cross ages like clouds cross skies...'

Six interlocking lives - one amazing adventure. In a narrative that circles the globe and reaches from the 19th century to a post-apocalyptic future, David Mitchell erases the boundaries of time, genre and language to offer an enthralling vision of humanity's will to power, and where it will lead us.

What I Liked:
  • Mitchell has certainly shown exceptional talent for writing across genres, time periods and styles. Three of his mini-stories are set in the past, and for each, a lot of thought has gone into the social, political and historical context of the time. The final two stories, for me, were the most impressive though, as they allowed Mitchell to fully reveal his talent as a writer. What I liked about these two stories in particular was that Mitchell had put so much thought into these imagined futures, both very different, and how one might fall into the other.
  • I enjoyed every story. Despite the obvious way each one differed, I was gripped by them all. As well as this, I cared about the fates of each lead of the story, which surprised me, as I thought there would be at least one that irritated me to the point of boredom.
What I Disliked:
  • If I had one qualm about the book it would be the way in which the stories were laid out. The best way to describe it would be that each story was found 'inside' the one before, so they were constantly being interrupted. I found that I had forgotten the relevance and importance of particular characters and events and this was particularly the case with the tale that was the first to be started and the last to be finished. It is, for this reason, a book that may require more than one read, perhaps reading the tales individually.
Overall Conclusion:
'Cloud Atlas' is beautifully delivered and a book that I would thoroughly recommend. I feel that dependent on a reader's individual tastes, they will each enjoy different aspects and sections of the book due to its very nature. It is one that is best experienced rather than relying on the experience of others.

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