David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas

I had trouble getting through the first 75 pages or so. Even for someone like me who has experience reading difficult books, the beginning was tough. It was only when I put on my scholar reader’s hat that I made it to rest of the book. It’s a dissertation kind of book. As a scholar, I’m looking for motifs, themes, character development, and symbolism. There are many characters and their stories are all connected through time.

“It’s a wise soul, thinks Luisa, who can distinguish traps from opportunities” (137).

The reincarnation of souls and their connections through time makes the various parts of the narrative flow together. The corruption of souls from good to evil, the redemption of past mistakes, and the unfinished business they have with each other from life to life, glimpses of the future or an alternate reality beyond this one. The memorable Cloud Atlas Sextet brings music and it’s role in expressing human emotions to the forefront.

“Perhaps those deprived of beauty perceive it most instinctively” (212).

“No, what’s selfish is to demand another to endure an intolerable existence, just to spare families, friends, and enemies a bit of soul-searching” (470).

There’s a movie based on this book now. The cover for this book is obviously the promo poster for the motion picture. I have to say the casting wasn’t bad at all. This one of those books that I will advice others to watch the movie first. Then, if you are up for a challenge, read the book. In all likelihood, most people will be better off just watching the movie and skipping the book. Unfortunately, this is not one of those deeply memorable plot lines for me. I forgot much of what happens. But, definitely watch the movie!

Works Cited

Mitchell, David. Cloud Atlas. New York, NY: Random House Publishing Group, 2012. Print.

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