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Showing 1-10 of 1,582 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 2,305 reviews
on January 12, 2015
Genius writing. So much of the story is open to interpretation. I'm torn on a favorite story/character. Sonmi is obviously a stand out, but all of the characters and stories are so gripping. Haven't seen the movie. Look forward to watching the book come to life.

This book came recommended by a friend and so many people told me how the movie sucked so I was apprehensive. I think the issue is a lot of people don't understand the story because so much is left unexplained by the author. It's up to the reader to draw his/her own conclusions, especially with Sloosha's crossing. I loved how the middle of the book is actually the end, and the end of the book is actually the beginning. Brilliant.

I'm going to re-read this after I watch the movie to see if I can pick up any new details in the book.

Happy reading friends!
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on November 13, 2012
Sure, the first chapter drops you right into the middle of...what? It takes awhile to get oriented, and then boom, you are stuck in the next of the 6 stories. Huh? But open your mind, and stop trying to have to know everything, just read and enjoy Mitchell's fine writing and intricate story telling.

As you do, and his language is beautiful, his themes develop, and the cadence of the storytelling becomes a joy.

I loved this novel, one of the very best I have read in awhile, one I found delightfully easy to read. It was not, as some suggest, difficult to read, or finish, or a laborious project to complete. I read it in a week with a busy schedule, because I couldn't wait to see how the stories competed and how Mitchell would finish weaving his tale(s). Brilliant.

But, yes there is a but, the movie, which tells a the "same" story with substantial plot differences, though it is emotionally and thematically the same story, is one of only two novels turned into a movie where I have to say that the movie is better than the novel itself. More Wachowski magic. I know, I know, it hurts to admit, but it is true.

Note to self: Need to read A Canticle for Leibowitz again. Dr Schwartz would be so shocked, and very pleased with himself.
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on January 21, 2015
On the whole I found 'Cloud Atlas' a fascinating display of David Mitchell's skill as a writer and particularly his gift for pastiche. I would have given it five stars, but some of the individual stories were a bit weak (although the styles in which they were written were impeccably executed). Surprisingly, the weakest stories were the two that I would have thought would have been the most straightforward to tell (the elderly publisher trapped in a nursing home and the suspense novel about a reporter caught up in a conspiracy involving a nuclear power plant). But even where some of the individual stories are weak, the subtle thematic connections between the sections is still fascinating and manages to hold the work as a whole together.

By the way, I thought the film was terrible. But I highly recommend the book.
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on May 15, 2015
i loved it but some have a hard time following the plot and all the characters by name because it switches alot (like the hobbit trilogy) from one time and scene and person to another , i.e. it goes forward and backward in time where same character has a different name and different personality and age even in another time and the author tells the story as though all the timelines are happening at the same time. So if you can wrap your mind around that (most quantum science philosophy oriented people can) you can follow and enjoy that kind of narrative. i did read it last year so i hope i am remembering correctly when i say it is narrated in the first person..i know the first section /chapters are and maybe later ones might be in third person if not in first.
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on February 21, 2013
And I can say so with such certainty because a book that causes an emotional, spiritual (among many other adjectives) EXPERIENCE, must be the brilliant work of a brilliant author.

The five (or so) days I spent on this journey, were filled with an array of emotions. Though at times (not many, then it some) the reading became tedious, I never felt like giving up. I had already experienced some of the payoffs in reading such riveting and beautiful parts.

I can say, without a doubt, I have never experienced any reading like this. I'd been on a mission to find literature so beautiful an escape and I knew I'd succeeded about 1/10 of the way in. While the first 15-20 pages were...difficult, the rest was magic. How cheesy and cliche I sound, I know.

I recommend this to readers of all types. The multi-genre aspect will appeal to many and prevent it from ever becoming stale or monotonous. I also recommend reading the book before seeing the movie as I've only heard positive reviews of the film from those who've previously read the book. I haven't seen it yet but I do hear one common theme among viewers who hadn't read the book before watching and that is that it's too complex to understand.

The final thing I'll say about this reading is in regard to many of the hundred or so reviews I read about the book (which nearly deterred me, but thankfully didn't, from purchasing/reading this work.) Many reviewers claim that Mitchell didn't do a great job of connecting each of the six stories together. That while each story is easily good enough to stand alone, they couldn't find a linear connection between them all. First of all, I think Mitchell did so in a perfectly subtle and understated way, but I also think that their connections are, in a lot of ways, left to the interpretation of the reader. This is not an easy task, by any means, but in my opinion, it worked. Finally, does every book we read need to have some clever, profound message? Reading, to me, is about enjoying the journey, savoring each moment as they come. That's not to say I didn't find profound messages, but that's not what it's all about. Take this book for what it's worth; it is a journey, an experience to be savored and used as a beautiful escape, a way to stay in and enjoy the moment. Have zero expectations; simply, enjoy.
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on December 29, 2012
This was another book club book and for once I actually finished the book. My favorite parts were the futuristic sections and especially future Hawaii after `The Fall'. I liked that best because I do a fair amount of reading into the ancient past and what is interesting to me is the cyclical fall of civilization and empires from cycles of plague and cosmic catastrophe that have happened in the past. It is bound to happen again whether in our lifetimes or not. So to read the authors take on how the future unfolded through the eyes and story of an inhabitant of Hawaii was most entertaining. I didn't catch the exact meaning the author was trying to portray with life connections and if I hadn't read about the book because of the movie then I would have been even more in the dark on this aspect. Overall, not bad for fiction and I'll eventually get around to reading another book by the author. Recommended.
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on May 1, 2013
This is easily the best book I've read in years. I wanted to read it before watching the film, and now that I've watched the film I know I made the right decision, as the film (while good in its own right) fails to capture the essence of what makes this such an ingenious work.

The first half of the book sucks you into six different stories of all different genres and time periods from the past to the future, and as you get adjusted to the new narrator, new language, and new characters of each, you have the pleasure of knowing that at some point the last story you read is going to become a part of the story you're reading now.

The sixth section takes place the farthest in the future and sets up your perspective for the whole second half of the book. You now have the pleasure of going back and finishing each story you began earlier, now with an understanding of where it fits into the "grand scheme of things". What began as a series of loosely related tales takes on a more holistic character and everything about the underlying meaning begins to click.

What the film makes explicit through a few key lines of dialog, the book allows the reader to figure out on his or her own, a meaning that will be slightly different for everyone but which resonates on a personal, political, and philosophical level. The questions it provokes about humanity, our institutions, and our place in the universe are of the most profound nature, and it presents them in a way that is not only fun and entertaining but unlike any way you've ever looked at them before.
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on December 18, 2016
This is an incredible book. If you're thinking of reading this book, don't hesitate. It's profound, the characters are vivid, and the overarching storyline is gripping.
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on July 21, 2017
After watching the movie my "curio" was piqued. Lots of items in book that weren't in the movie. I feel this David Mitchell book, "Cloud Atlas", is a masterpiece. Fantastic!
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on May 18, 2014
I had seen the movie before reading Mr. Mitchell's book. Actually have now seen it four times. I left each time at the end wanting to understand more about each character. I loved the idea behind the film and the way it moved through the lives and incarnations of the characters. It was so fascinating I decided to see if the original was possibly a book. I just finished reading his book. I found it much more engrossing than the film. I admit that the actors were who I pictured as I read. I was so curious about the subject of Cloud Atlas that I wanted to know more. Mr. Mitchell's detail was so fascinating. It hit so close to how our world may be being destroyed and how callously we treat fellow humans. I was drawn into each life and lived it with them. Each serious and entertaining. I highly praise the narrative. The book is so much better than the movie. Of course it's much easier to go into more detail in a book. I got what I wanted, more depth and understanding.
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