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618 Reviews
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754 of 759 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpectedly enjoyable
I was expecting to hate this book. I forced myself to try it because people had gone on about it so much, but I really didn't like the descriptions I'd heard: 500-plus pages, visions of a dystopian future, a fractured timescale with six loosely-linked narratives each nested within the previous one, and so on and so on. It just reeked to me of a self-regarding author...
Published on 28 April 2010 by Sid Nuncius

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72 of 82 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Probably a bit of a Marmite book.
I received this book from somebody as part of the World Book Night 2011 project so I thought I'd give it a go.

I have just finished Cloud Atlas after taking it with me on holiday. To be honest I did not enjoy most of it. Indeed after 2 chapters I very nearly gave up on the book.

The novel is essentially six short stories with a tenuous and at best...
Published on 22 April 2011 by D. Ho


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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hmmmmm, 7 Mar. 2006
This review is from: Cloud Atlas (Paperback)
Five multiple interconnected stories written in different styles dependent on their period, from 18th century traveller to post-apocalyptic survivors. Bloody frustrating to read at times and exciting at others, but ultimately more impressive than fun.
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17 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Mitchell Needs an Atlas, 25 July 2011
This review is from: Cloud Atlas (Paperback)
Genius. Enthralling. Unputdownable.

These are not words I would choose to describe the intensely painful read that was Cloud Atlas. Recommended to me by a good friend as "the book of the century, no, of all time" I peeled open the crisp new pages with salivating anticipation. Aware that I had to power through the enigmatic opening, I reached page 150 wondering when it was going to get interesting.

Six separate stories transcending time, genre and form linked tenuously and, in my opinion, weakly, each alluding pathetically, meaninglessly to the works' title; irritating characters and elusive plot lines, this book had me gritting my teeth throughout and begging for the end, which I had to skim read.

While I found the experimentation with language vaguely enticing, Mitchell was trying to push every literary boundary without great success. For God's sake, if you're going to be original choose one arena; form, content, genre but please oh please don't attempt to squash all these elements into an ill fitting 'Russian Doll' type novel. Yuck.

Now I have to break the news to my friend that I doubt the longevity of our friendship. Thanks David Mitchell.
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6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars clever but so what?, 24 April 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Cloud Atlas (Paperback)
I took this book on holiday and enjoyed the majority of it but the middle section was a bit dense. It was enjoyable, but if he was trying to say something revelatory about the nature of slavery, then I'm afraid it escaped me. The literary devices were clever but became tiresome. It was clever but uninvolving and I put it down thnking I was unsure what all the fuss was about.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 29 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Cloud Atlas (Paperback)
Amazing
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 12 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Cloud Atlas (Kindle Edition)
love it
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5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, 23 Oct. 2014
This review is from: Cloud Atlas (Paperback)
Love it
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8 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars But for the pivotal chapter, quite brilliant, 6 Jun. 2004
By 
This review is from: Cloud Atlas (Hardcover)
Midway through Cloud Atlas, I was convinced that I was reading a modern masterpiece. The structure is similar to Mitchell's previous two books, being several narratives from different periods of time, apparently with no connection, but linked by symbols and key phrases.
I regard David Mitchell as the most brilliant novelist of his generation, and I have no doubt this will win prizes for its incredible depth. My regret is that the pivotal chapter, set in the distant future but in mediaeval conditions, let the novel down. Whereas each of the other chapters were engrossing and highly readable, this was more an exercise in creative writing; its broken syntax and spelling were turgid and headache-inducing. I regret I finally gave up before the later chapters returned to the themes of the earlier chapters.
Cloud Atlas is a wonderfully creative book with exceptional depth. Even with the failings of the central chapter (central in terms of the structure of the book, which is like a crescendo), it is a quite brilliant.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy made fantastic, 28 May 2013
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D. Reeves - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cloud Atlas (Kindle Edition)
Hard to describe without spoiling it, but one of the best books I have read in a long time. The film is good - the book better!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Such wasted effort, 11 Oct. 2012
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This review is from: Cloud Atlas (Paperback)
This novel starts from a grand and ambitious idea, but fails to realise it due to some, in my opinion, terrible decisions by the writer. Too much geographical scope, without a need for it, and too much striving to be original in form, as much as originality is missing in sub-plots. But the real reason I'm giving this book two starts is the chapter called "Sloosha's Crossin' an' Ev'rythin' After" - utterly unreadable and pretentious, with the opinable author's conclusion that in the future apostrophes will rule the world of literature. Neologysm and inventend dialectal experessions dominate dozens of pages, which makes it a torture for the reader to trduge through.
Despite all its faults, it could have been a very enjoyable read were it not for that unreadable section.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A difficult book to read, 9 Oct. 2012
By 
F. Mcmahon (Cambridge, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cloud Atlas (Paperback)
I found this an extrememly difficult book to read. The way the writer plays with spellings actually makes reading difficult. The first chapter is annoying with its over use of the symbol'&' when the word 'and' should be used, but this is something I can overcome. Chapter 6 - Saloosha crossing - has spellings and constructions so far removed from regular English that I just about gave up on it's rather tedious storyline.
I found the connections interesting in so far as they went, but believed them to be connections based on heredity rather than re-incarnation - why else labour the point about all the protaganists having a comet shaped birthmark. More interesting to me was the possibility was that the stories were all fictions telescoped into one grand fiction, was any one of the stories supposed to be the truth? I'm also not sure that anything is gained by splitting each narrative in half and sanwiching it around the other narratives - except that you do not have to read all of the first rather turgid narrative at one go.
I felt that the writer was either trying to show how clever he was; or demonstrating that he could really only sustain one story for about seventy pages, whilst desiring to write a 500 page novel, and had no idea what genre of story he really wanted to write. The links between the stories are very thin - simply refering to a character or event in a sentence or two, and some repetition of names.
It is a work of fiction for a determined reader, but not one that I could really reccommend as a great read.
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Cloud Atlas
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (Paperback - 2004)
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