Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
(Movie Tie-in Edition): A Novel

77%

12 Critic Reviews

Author David Mitchell writes exquisite pastiches, and Cloud Atlas is in the form of six distinct and enthralling novellas set in six different eras with six different literary styles.
-NPR

Synopsis

By the New York Times bestselling author of The Bone Clocks | Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize | Includes a new Afterword by David Mitchell

A postmodern visionary and one of the leading voices in twenty-first-century fiction, David Mitchell combines flat-out adventure, a Nabokovian love of puzzles, a keen eye for character, and a taste for mind-bending, philosophical and scientific speculation in the tradition of Umberto Eco, Haruki Murakami, and Philip K. Dick. The result is brilliantly original fiction as profound as it is playful. In this groundbreaking novel, an influential favorite among a new generation of writers, Mitchell explores with daring artistry fundamental questions of reality and identity.

Cloud Atlas begins in 1850 with Adam Ewing, an American notary voyaging from the Chatham Isles to his home in California. Along the way, Ewing is befriended by a physician, Dr. Goose, who begins to treat him for a rare species of brain parasite. . . . Abruptly, the action jumps to Belgium in 1931, where Robert Frobisher, a disinherited bisexual composer, contrives his way into the household of an infirm maestro who has a beguiling wife and a nubile daughter. . . . From there we jump to the West Coast in the 1970s and a troubled reporter named Luisa Rey, who stumbles upon a web of corporate greed and murder that threatens to claim her life. . . . And onward, with dazzling virtuosity, to an inglorious present-day England; to a Korean superstate of the near future where neocapitalism has run amok; and, finally, to a postapocalyptic Iron Age Hawaii in the last days of history.

But the story doesn’t end even there. The narrative then boomerangs back through centuries and space, returning by the same route, in reverse, to its starting point. Along the way, Mitchell reveals how his disparate characters connect, how their fates intertwine, and how their souls drift across time like clouds across the sky.

As wild as a videogame, as mysterious as a Zen koan, Cloud Atlas is an unforgettable tour de force that, like its incomparable author, has transcended its cult classic status to become a worldwide phenomenon.

Praise for Cloud Atlas
 
“[David] Mitchell is, clearly, a genius. He writes as though at the helm of some perpetual dream machine, can evidently do anything, and his ambition is written in magma across this novel’s every page.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“One of those how-the-holy-hell-did-he-do-it? modern classics that no doubt is—and should be—read by any student of contemporary literature.”—Dave Eggers
 
“Wildly entertaining . . . a head rush, both action-packed and chillingly ruminative.”—People
 
“The novel as series of nested dolls or Chinese boxes, a puzzle-book, and yet—not just dazzling, amusing, or clever but heartbreaking and passionate, too. I’ve never read anything quite like it, and I’m grateful to have lived, for a while, in all its many worlds.”—Michael Chabon
 
Cloud Atlas ought to make [Mitchell] famous on both sides of the Atlantic as a writer whose fearlessness is matched by his talent.”—The Washington Post Book World
 
“Thrilling . . . One of the biggest joys in Cloud Atlas is watching Mitchell sashay from genre to genre without a hitch in his dance step.”—Boston Sunday Globe
 
“Grand and elaborate . . . [Mitchell] creates a world and language at once foreign and strange, yet strikingly familiar and intimate.”—Los Angeles Times


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About David Mitchell

See more books from this Author
David Mitchell is the author of the international bestseller The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, named a best book of the year by Time, The Washington Post, Financial Times, The New Yorker, The Globe and Mail, and The New York Times; Black Swan Green, which was selected as one of the 10 Best Books of the Year by Time; Cloud Atlas, which was a Man Booker Prize finalist; Number9Dream, which was short-listed for the Man Booker as well as the James Tait Black Memorial Prize; and Ghostwritten, awarded the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for best book by a writer under thirty-five and short-listed for the Guardian First Book Award. Hailed as "the novelist who's shown us fiction's future" by The Washington Post, Mitchell was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time in 2007. He lives in Ireland with his wife and two children.
 
Published August 2, 2004 by Hodder & Stoughton General Division. 544 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Other, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
icon11
Peak Rank on Nov 11 2012
icon12
Weeks as Bestseller
Bookmark Counts:
2
Want to Read
2
Have Read
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Cloud Atlas
All: 12 | Positive: 9 | Negative: 3

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by TOM BISSELL on Aug 29 2004

This is a book that might very well move things forward. It is also a book that makes one wonder to what end things are being moved.

Read Full Review of Cloud Atlas (Movie Tie-in Edi... | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by mariakozhuhar on Jan 27 2013

Cloud Atlas manages to successfully combine an emotional love story with a sense of humour in tragedy. Because of this, the plot appears to be even richer and more gripping. This is definitely a book which you should not miss because it's one of the most original creations of our century.

Read Full Review of Cloud Atlas (Movie Tie-in Edi... | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Sam Jordison on Jun 11 2010

It was excruciating to abandon the characters at the various (and invariably brilliant) cliffhangers. They are – whatever Robson may say – coherent, powerful stories, and they add up to an impressive whole.

Read Full Review of Cloud Atlas (Movie Tie-in Edi... | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by AS Byatt on Mar 05 2004

David Mitchell entices his readers on to a rollercoaster, and at first they wonder if they want to get off. Then...they can't bear the journey to end.

Read Full Review of Cloud Atlas (Movie Tie-in Edi... | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Hephzibah Anderson on Feb 28 2004

David Mitchell is a master of fragmentary fictions...This latest is similarly episodic, but it is a novel in the biggest, most exhilarating sense.

Read Full Review of Cloud Atlas (Movie Tie-in Edi... | See more reviews from Guardian

NPR

Excellent
Reviewed by David Edelstein on Oct 26 2012

Author David Mitchell writes exquisite pastiches, and Cloud Atlas is in the form of six distinct and enthralling novellas set in six different eras with six different literary styles.

Read Full Review of Cloud Atlas (Movie Tie-in Edi... | See more reviews from NPR

AV Club

Below average
Reviewed by Andy Battaglia on Aug 23 2004

...a through-line that works wonders, when it works at all. Like its elusive map of souls, however, Cloud Atlas drifts through spotty spells and choppy weather.

Read Full Review of Cloud Atlas (Movie Tie-in Edi... | See more reviews from AV Club

The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Jeff Turrentine on Aug 22 2004

Cloud Atlas ought to make him famous on both sides of the Atlantic as a writer whose fearlessness is matched by his talent.

Read Full Review of Cloud Atlas (Movie Tie-in Edi...

Pajiba

Below average
Reviewed by TylerDFC

The core of Cloud Atlas is solid and the stories are entertaining, but the emotional element was lacking for me.

Read Full Review of Cloud Atlas (Movie Tie-in Edi...

Salon

Excellent
Reviewed by Laura Miller on Sep 02 2004

It is a fine entertainment masquerading as a work of art, and since fine entertainments are nearly as hard to come by, it would be unseemly to complain.

Read Full Review of Cloud Atlas (Movie Tie-in Edi...

Persephone Magazine

Excellent
Reviewed by Sara Habein on Mar 01 2012

Mitchell weaves together so many narrative motifs, and yet they never feel heavy-handed.

Read Full Review of Cloud Atlas (Movie Tie-in Edi...

The Moral Mindfield

Good
Reviewed by Brian Green on Oct 26 2012

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell is a spectacular novel. It is a tour-de-force through six stories, each story with its own genre, creating a multigenre whole unlike any work I’ve read before.

Read Full Review of Cloud Atlas (Movie Tie-in Edi...

Reader Rating for Cloud Atlas
78%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 3201 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review

Reader reviews & activity

User Review

Donald Blakemore 9 Mar 2013

Rated the book as 5 out of 5

User Review

Terri McGinty 23 May 2013

Rated the book as 4.5 out of 5

User Review

Henry Foster 17 Sep 2013

Rated the book as 4.5 out of 5

User Review

Jim Razinha 4 Jun 2013

Rated the book as 1 out of 5

User Review

Ben Gilbert 18 Jun 2016

Rated the book as 4.5 out of 5

Ben Gilbert

Ben Gilbert 18 Jun 2016

Has read the book

Ben Gilbert

Ben Gilbert 18 Jun 2016

Liked the book

604

604 22 Sep 2013

Has read the book

Manolis Liolios

Manolis Liolios 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list

Mélissa Katanda

Mélissa Katanda 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list

×