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Customer Review

859 of 888 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpectedly enjoyable, 28 April 2010
This review is from: Cloud Atlas (Paperback)
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 determined to show the judging panels of literary prizes how terribly clever he was, and with no interest whatsoever in whether anyone normal would actually be able to read the thing.

Well, I was completely wrong. I thought it was absolutely terrific. Interesting, thoughtful, readable and - most surprisingly of all - page-turningly suspenseful and exciting quite a lot of the time. I thought it had a lot of thoughtful and thought-provoking things to say about exploitation and the abuse of power, and about the possible consequences of both humanity and inhumanity. The different voices are really well done, with the historic and present-day(ish) ones sounding absolutely authentic and the future ones chillingly believable both in the language they use and what they say with it. The stories are involving, occasionally humorous, sometimes sad and sometimes extremely touching. For example, the few paragraphs when a character in a train passes some of the places of his youth and sees them much changed are really affecting, I thought, even though the character himself is thoroughly odious.

I doubt whether many people, if any, will read this review among the hundreds of others here, but if you do I would urge you to try the book. Plainly quite a few other reviewers hated the book and did find it as terrible as I expected to. You may hate it too, but you won't have lost much. On the other hand, you may be surprised to find it as enjoyable and rewarding as I did. It's worth the risk - if you do find it's for you, you'll never forget it.
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Tracked by 6 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Jul 2010 14:49:04 BDT
The last sentence convinced me to try it.
J.G.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jul 2010 16:22:10 BDT
Sid Nuncius says:
Thanks for posting, JG. I do hope your experience matches mine - I'll be very interested to hear what you made of it.
Sid.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Sep 2012 23:46:28 BDT
D. Ledwidge says:
If I had the ability to review in the way that you clearly can then your review is exactly how I would have covered this book. I entered into reading this book with more than a few misgivings but was won over in short space of time as it wormed its way deep into my heart where forever it shall remain. Den

Posted on 14 Feb 2013 15:07:35 GMT
Flubber says:
I came to this book in exactly the same way as this reviewer, and my reaction to it has been the same. I would thoroughly recommend giving it a go.

Posted on 20 Feb 2013 11:26:02 GMT
AnnieVeeBee says:
A really good and useful review, thank you.

Posted on 24 Feb 2013 07:57:37 GMT
ppga1 says:
I read the description of the book which actually put me off it. I read your review which has encouraged me to give it a try, after all I might like it!

Posted on 24 Feb 2013 10:36:15 GMT
As I want to see the movie and "Film Night" recommended reading the book first and the review from Sid Nuncius reflected my first impression of the plot when first read, then I'm going to give this book a try. Mitchmaker

Posted on 24 Feb 2013 20:58:14 GMT
Excellent review- You have convinced me to give t a whirl !

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Feb 2013 06:59:30 GMT
Sid Nuncius says:
Thank you for taking the trouble to post and for your kind words, Mr Arthur, and also Mr Mitcham, ppga1 and AnnieVeeBee. I hope you enjoy it now that I've persuaded you all to try it. Fingers crossed!
Sid.

Posted on 24 Aug 2014 21:39:32 BDT
DEN says:
I haven't read the book or any others of the authors however I have just read your review and have ordered it right now from amazon. I cannot wait for it to arrive. Thanks for great review
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Review Details

Item

Reviewer

Sid Nuncius
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   

Location: London

Top Reviewer Ranking: 23