Cloud Atlas

by David Mitchell | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0340822783 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Caro1 of Newark On Trent, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on 3/4/2005
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
8 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Caro1 from Newark On Trent, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Friday, March 4, 2005
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.

An amazing book, but will everyone agree?

Journal Entry 2 by Caro1 from Newark On Trent, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Friday, March 4, 2005
Welcome to the Cloud Atlas Bookring.

We now have 7 members :-) Happy Bookring Reading!

Any problems, please PM me.

The list is as follows:

nice-cup-of-tea, Zurich, Switzerland
akg, Didcot, Oxfordshire
Olliebear, Hull
psychjo, Portsmouth
phantomcougar, Silsden, Keighley
daemonwolf, Leeds
DazzyGidds, Nottingham
....then back to me.

Please remember to journal the book BOTH when you have received it (so we all know where it is) and once you have read it (so we all know what you thought of it).

I am really looking forward to hearing your feedback, thanks for participating.


Journal Entry 3 by Caro1 from Newark On Trent, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Monday, March 7, 2005
On its way to nice-cup-of-tea in Zurich, Switzerland.

Journal Entry 4 by nice-cup-of-tea from Zürich, Zürich Switzerland on Thursday, March 10, 2005
I've just received this book today - my first ever bookring! I'm going to Bonn for the weekend tomorrow, so will start reading it on the train!

Journal Entry 5 by nice-cup-of-tea from Zürich, Zürich Switzerland on Monday, March 14, 2005
"A half-read book is a half-finished love affair"
(my favourite quote from book, p.54)

This is an extroadinary book, and I found it a thought-provoking and challenging read. Unusually for me, I found myself having to read carefully, re-read pages and flick back and forwards between chapters. This book is not an easy read, each of the 6 storylines has quite a different style and intially it's difficult to see how the narratives fit together. But stick with it...

Mitchell uses language as a key stylistic device - the language style of each character is an important indicator of who they are, which time they live in and how they see the world. Each character's story leaves you wanting more, wanting to see how their story will be resolved. Without giving too much away, Mitchell opens each story and moves from character to character, then starts 'closing' each story. The structure reminded me of a russian doll, you open each doll to get to the core, unified doll, then you put them all back together. My favourite character /story was that of Robert Frobisher, the young composer, and in fact the title of the book relates to his composition - the "Cloud Atlas Sextet" - thus linking the 6 characters with the six instruments (or voices) of his composition.

A very clever novel, which probably needs to be read several times to get close to all the levels of meaning in it. Two main themes kept recurring - the search for truth in the midst of chaos and uncertainty, and the use and misuse of power. Both relevant to today's world I think!

(hope this helps!)
Adam Ewing
Robert Frobisher
Luisa Rey
Timothy Cavendish

Sent to AKG 15th March 2005

Journal Entry 6 by akg from Didcot, Oxfordshire United Kingdom on Monday, March 21, 2005
I was off sick for most of last week so I'm still playing catch up, so today has been a little hectic so far. However this was a nice treat waiting for me in my post box at 11 (plus a Lindt chocolate - yum).

I'm about half way through another book, but when that is finished this will be next.

Journal Entry 7 by akg from Didcot, Oxfordshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Sorry guys, it has taken me longer to read this than I expected, I will hopefully move it on tomorrow as I've already got Olliebear's address.

This is an intriguing and interesting book. The book is skilfully written in six very different styles, from thriller to sci fi. I found the book very difficult to read for the first two thirds and could easily have given up if it wasn’t for other people saying it was worth persevering. I don’t tend to like books that have a different point of view in each chapter (Jodi Picoult books seem to be the exception) and this book took this to extremes. Each section had a different character often centuries apart and I found it difficult to accept the sudden changes in story; sometimes part way through a sentence. However the second half of the book tied everything together and was ingenious and enjoyable in the different ways it did.

My favourite character was Sonmi ~451 (the fifth character), who is a clone developed to work in a fast food restaurant and having read her section I was much more interested in finishing the book. The book also made me think a lot about the things we do as humans, from slavery to apocalypse. Adam Ewing talks about building a world we want to inherit and how each person’s efforts will add to a large accomplishment. I think this is a great message to take away from the book.

I still don’t know if I enjoyed the book. It was a certainly a struggle, especially for the first part, but I recognise it is an clever and inventive book. I think I will enjoy the book more the second time I read it, but suspect this could be some years in the future.

Journal Entry 8 by akg from Didcot, Oxfordshire United Kingdom on Thursday, April 28, 2005
Posted to Olliebear first class (although that doesn't mean much with Oxfordshire post I'm afraid)

Journal Entry 9 by Olliebear from Hull, East Yorkshire United Kingdom on Friday, April 29, 2005
Plopped happily through my letterbox this morning...managed to escape a vicious attack from my dog...ready to be read once I finish the book I am reading currently. Thanks to Richard and Judy my appetite for this book is already whetted!

Journal Entry 10 by Olliebear from Hull, East Yorkshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Apologies for taking so long to read this book...but I actually have tried and tried to get into this and by about page 270 I simply couldn't go any further. I feel disappointed by this book. It promised to be interesting and gripping and yet I was left feeling nothing. My favourite section was The Orison of Sonmi, as it was the only section that I actually enjoyed reading, but that is saying something.

I generally read in bed at night, and I was finding that I couldn't remember anything that I had read the next day which is not a good sign of a good book. I hated the middle section, which is where I gave up as it just didn't seem to be going anywhere.

I am sorry I didn't like this, and despite forcing myself to read up till pg.270 I did give it my best effort but just couldn't see any point in going any further.

I will pass this on to psychjo next as hellie advised me she has already grabbed a copy of this and has asked to be skipped.

Thanks for sharing Caro1, I wish I had enjoyed it as much as you did. I am glad I tried though!

Journal Entry 11 by psychjo from Portsmouth, Hampshire United Kingdom on Friday, June 10, 2005
This arrived today. I've just started another short bookray book and this will be next. There are mixed journal enties before me, so I am looking forward to reading this with no preconceptions.

Journal Entry 12 by psychjo from Portsmouth, Hampshire United Kingdom on Saturday, June 11, 2005
Thanks Olliebear for the 'Bookthong' - missed it when I first opened the book :-)

Journal Entry 13 by psychjo from Portsmouth, Hampshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, August 9, 2005
At last I have finished this, sorry that it has taken me so long, but at times it was a real struggle.

The first chapter took me about a week to read, just couldn't get into it and wasn't looking to get back to reading it. Then with each chapter things picked up and by the first half of Somni's story and the Zachry chapter I was well into it, then it was all down hill as it were and the second half of each story just flew by.

Difficult to pick a favourite story/character, but guess I enjoyed Adam Ewing's story the least, but the 2nd half did bring a few things together.

I did expect to find out who Old Georgie was that appeared in Zachry's story - maybe I missed it - but maybe that just wasn't one of the bits that linked between chapters. I am sure there are lots of connections that I missed - maybe I'll re-read one day....

Overall I enjoyed this, but am looking forward to something not so challenging to read next.

Will PM phantomcougar and send it on ASAP.

Journal Entry 14 by Ally1665 from Silsden, West Yorkshire United Kingdom on Sunday, August 21, 2005
Arrived safely. Many thanks, Psychjo. Next on my list to be read.

Journal Entry 15 by Ally1665 from Silsden, West Yorkshire United Kingdom on Thursday, November 3, 2005
Well I've tried to get into this. Very stressed at the moment so maybe that's why I'm struggling with it. Will pass it on to Daemonwolf at the next Leeds meetup...lucky me saved on postage there!!!! Thanks for the opportunity to try it Caro1

Journal Entry 16 by rem_DYI-991976 on Wednesday, November 9, 2005
Collected at the Leeds Meet last night. :)

Journal Entry 17 by rem_DYI-991976 on Thursday, December 29, 2005
Read and reviewed on my book journal. Many thanks for the chance to read this book which I had wanted to read since it started receiving rave reviews. I will hang onto the book until 2006 starts to make sure it has a fair chance in the post. :)

Journal Entry 18 by rem_DYI-991976 at book ring in a RABCK, By Mail/Post/Courier -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Released 16 yrs ago (1/7/2006 UTC) at book ring in a RABCK, By Mail/Post/Courier -- Controlled Releases



Posting on Saturday to the next reader. :)

Journal Entry 19 by DazzyGidds from Nottingham, not specified not specified on Monday, January 23, 2006
Thanks to Daemonwolf i am currently listening to RObert Frobisher, giving a detailed account of his highs and lows and the first threading together of Story 1 (Adam Ewing)is apparent. I like the change in style and so far so good.

Robert Frobisher really does have an unique personality. The kind of eccentric we ought to be trying to get to bookcrossing meetings just hear his outlandish views on the world. "Just a minuet if you please". I'm going to andante to town to cappuccino time away!

Next update soon i promise.

THis book will be sent back or handed back to Caro1 as soon as finished.

Journal Entry 20 by DazzyGidds from Nottingham, not specified not specified on Sunday, January 29, 2006
This has to be the best book i've read for a long long time!!
Although the stories are set in different times with different cultures, the underlying themes are the same, enslavement, truth will find a way, the cycle of destruction/rebuilding. Globalism/corporatism/power- we can so we will.

David Mitchell paints a picture of almost inevitability about the way human nature is parasitical for its need to overpower, develop and control the lives of other humans and other sentient beings) yet he does so in such a way that comedy is not lost, the ability to laugh when in dire straits.

The characters Timothy Cavendiwsh and Robert Frobischer in particular were very comic.

In reading this book i remembered other books and films that it reminded me of for instance in the future, 'Logan's run' where everybody only lives to 21, everybody is deceived by Nirvana, similar to the way Fabricants are taught to believe in the Golden ship that sails to paradise "Hawaii" after 12 years of service to Papa Song Corp. It also reminded me of Blade Runner where here again, what is it to be human is raised.

I thought it was great that Luisa Frey feels some stange feeling when she boards the Schooner, posssibly conneting her with Adam Ewing in the past and the "Golden ship" in the future, Its if the events in time are only waiting to be discovered.

The lessons from this book as with other exponents of Globalism is that living harmoniously is more difficult but is the preferred way of avoiding an inevitable collapse.

One of my favourite quotes from the book that made me laugh was "sometimes the fluffy bunny of incredulity zooms around the bend so rapidly that the greyhound of language is left, agog in the starting cage" p170 and p 172, "the cold sank its fangs into my exposed neck and frisked me for uninsulated patches"

One can look at the six stories and see that there are different types of enslavement. With Adam, it is his dependency on his friend the Doctor, With Luisa it is the fight against coporate power and who is to be trusted. Sonmi451, born to work as a tedious server for a mighty COporation, Robert Frobischer, forced to work with another musician or slide back into poverty. Zachary lives on an island where enslavement takes place. WE are also enslaved by our thinking is another theme.

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