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538 Reviews
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691 of 696 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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68 of 77 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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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard going, but sense of achievement when finished, 11 Sep 2012
This review is from: Cloud Atlas (Paperback)
I read this for my book club, but found it hard going.

The book is made up of 6 short stories that are all loosely linked and written in different styles. The book begins in the 19th Century and then moves through time to the future and back again concluding back in the 19th century.

I found the 1st story "The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing" the hardest going, but once I got past that there were some really enjoyable bits. My highlights were "Half-Lives - The First Luisa Rey Mystery" and "An Orison of Sonmi" during these parts I couldn't put the book down, whereas in other parts it felt like an effort to keep going.

Completing this book gave me sense of achievement as there were times I nearly gave up. Having completed the whole book and realised that the links are not key and that each short story can stand alone, I wish I'd just read the stories I enjoyed and left the rest and then I think I would have found it much more enjoyable.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The film comes out in October, 27 July 2012
By 
Mr. P. J. Lacey "Paulo" (Gillingham, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cloud Atlas (Paperback)
After enjoying the book immensely when I read it a few years ago, I was very happy to see that the film is being released in October. I did think at the time about how good the novel would be on the big screen but also how hard it would be to make. The Wachowski brothers look like they were up to the challenge.

[...]
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14 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Impressive vision but enjoyable? MMMmmmmm, 4 April 2006
This review is from: Cloud Atlas (Paperback)
I read the book following rave reviews from Richard and Judy on Channel 4. The book started well, I was quite entertained by the various plotlines and stories, but unfortunately some were really poor and others were average at best. I really struggled to finish this book, I just didn't feel compelled enough by the characters or even interested enough. The vision of the author is impressive but i felt he was trying too hard to write something that would astound and he seemed to forget about it being enjoyable to read. I would not recommend this book.
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12 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars OVER RATED pretentious RUBBISH-, 26 Dec 2009
This review is from: Cloud Atlas (Paperback)
I have NEVER read such a mind numbing pretentious pile of crap. I regret spending money on this book and wasting hours of my life trying to find an interesting paragraph.

How on Earth does this get such high ratings? come one people! This brings NOTHING to the dinner table...

And more seriously, How does this pretentious rubbish get published?
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5 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't finish it!, 6 Mar 2011
This review is from: Cloud Atlas (Paperback)
Well, it does not often happen but I couldn't finish this book. I really didn't care enough about any of the characters or their story lines to make the effort to keep track of the disjointed literary style.
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15 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A chore to read, 6 July 2005
By 
Mrs. Helen E. Odling (Sheffield, S. Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cloud Atlas (Paperback)
After reading the many positive reviews on this book I was desperate to read it once I had finished my uni exams. I found it, initially, very hard to get into but I persevered with grim determination. I even surfed the net for an online synopsis to confirm my understanding of the story. However, after getting very close to the end, by forcing myself to read it in the hope of being rewarded and enlightened, I have given up. It's dull and boring. The idea is great but the individual stories tiresome and unexciting.
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9 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Plajarism and disappointment, 6 Jun 2005
This review is from: Cloud Atlas (Paperback)
After an inspiring and intruiguing first couple of chapters the novel descends into dodgy sci-fi (rarely done well - Phillip K. Dick, William Gibson and J.G.Ballard being obvious notable exceptions), which is cringeworthy in the same way that all bad sci-fi is - in that the futuristic setting is based mainly around gadgetry and futuristic science in a predictably dystopic setting (previously done better by Orwell and Huxley).
There is some lovely character development within the stories and I like the theme of reincarnation (although it is heavy-handed) and the butterfly structure of the book is very interesting but i felt that the book's futuristic scenarios (making up about 50% of the book) dull and unoriginal.
What irritated me most is that the central chapter "Sloosha's Crossing & Everything After" is a complete plajarisation of one of the best books I've ever read, "Riddley Walker" by Russell Hoban. From the post-apocalyptic slip back to medieval society and technology to the life story of the central character, the whole scenario is more or less lifted from this lesser known and superior book. This made me so frustrated I really struggled to make it through that chapter and consequently lost all respect for the author and felt the integrity of the whole novel suffered. All in all, pretty disappointing.
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8 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars How did it get published?, 20 July 2009
This review is from: Cloud Atlas (Paperback)
There is no story!

I just can't begin to tell you how horrendously boring, confusing, unreadable and ridiculous this book is. I was barely a third of the way through it when I promptly returned it to the library.

Utter rubbish.
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3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I should have listened to the 1-star reviews!, 20 May 2011
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This review is from: Cloud Atlas (Hardcover)
This book is a piece of art. Nice to look at once in a while but incomprehensible, inaccessible and tiresome when looking at it for too long.

The concept is interesting but the actual work is not a good read. I did not find either access nor connection to any of the stories and is was only my curiosity about the link between the stories that made me finish the book, skipping whole pages on my way and skim-reading a lot.

I honestly cannot recommend this book as a good read.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dreamy wonder, 7 Jan 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Cloud Atlas (Hardcover)
I read this book on a relaxing holiday in the sun. I couldn't have asked for more varied worlds, characters and times to explore. A book of beauty, power and imagination - I found myself so frustrated when I was forced to move from one character/time to the next. A frustration which quickly tranformed into intrigue and pleasure as a new world would unfold, one again I did not want to leave. But leave you do (again and again), till the cycle is complete and David Mitchell has thoroughly satisfied with a brilliant read.
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Cloud Atlas
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (Paperback - 2004)
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