The six novellas that comprise Cloud Atlas are forgeries - and they are original. Each adopts the voice of a distinct author. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, but all of the parts are superb.
Then - at least in my case - they can't bear the journey to end. Like Scheherazade, and like serialised Victorian novels and modern soaps, he ends his episodes on cliffhangers and missed heartbeats. But unlike these, he starts his next tale in another place, in another time, in another vocabulary, and expects us to go through it all again.
He reaches a cumulative ending of all of them, and then finishes them all individually, giving a complete narrative pleasure that is rare.
The first tale is about a 19th-century American lawyer, Adam Ewing, crossing the Pacific inmeeting Maoris and missionaries, a seedy English physician and some nasty sailors.
The second is about a young British composer inwho cons a dying genius into taking him on as an amanuensis, and then makes love to his wife and daughter. This narrator, Robert Frobisher, composes the Cloud Atlas Sextet "for overlapping soloists" on piano, clarinet, cello, flute, oboe and violin, "each in its own language of key, scale and colour".
Frobisher's tale is told in a series of letters to his lover, Rufus Sixsmith, who later appears as a nuclear scientist in Reagan's California in the s. This Californian thriller is the tale of Luisa Rey, a journalist who uncovers a corporate nuclear scandal and is at constant risk of assassination.
The fourth voice is Timothy Cavendish, a s London vanity publisher, trapped in an old people's home near Hull.
The fifth is the pre-execution testimony of Sonmi, a cloned slave in some future state, who has acquired intelligence and vision. The sixth, and central one, is the storytelling voice of Zachry, a tribesman after the fall of the civilised world, who is back in the Pacific islands where the linear narrative began.
The novel opens with one ship - the Prophetess - and ends with another ship that contains the survivors of Civ'lise, the Prescients.
Each has a charac ter with a birthmark like a comet, as though they might be different incarnations of the same soul or different forms of the same cloud of molecules, as we all are. They are linked by other artifices - Frobisher finds both parts of Adam Ewing's Pacific diary; Luisa Rey acquires both Frobisher's letters and a rare gramophone record of the Sextet ; Cavendish is sent "The First Luisa Rey Mystery" by its author; Sonmi's dying request is to watch an old half-viewed film of "The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish", to see what happened.
Sonmi herself has become the goddess of the Valley Tribes of Zachry, although the Prescients - who have preserved a hologram of her "orison", or recorded testimony - say she was a "freakbirthed human who died hun'erds o years ago". Cloud Atlas is powerful and elegant because of Mitchell's understanding of the way we respond to those fundamental and primitive stories we tell about good and evil, love and destruction, beginnings and ends.
He isn't afraid to jerk tears or ratchet up suspense - he understands that's what we make stories for. As if Art is the What, not the How! Mitchell is indeed both doing what has been done a hundred thousand times before and doing it differently.
He plays delicious games with other people's voices, ideas and characters. Adam Ewing has his secret sharer and his Billy Budd. Frobisher is an amoral aesthete out of Waugh and Powell, and Vyvyan Ayres, his elderly host and slave-driver, quotes Nietzsche with nasty, decadent charm.
Cavendish is nasty and insinuatingly sympathetic in the way of the Amises and Burgess's Enderby, snarling with wit about disasters of transport and bodily malfunction. Luisa describes an interview she did with Hitchcock who, she says, described his own works as rollercoastersin which she "put it to the great man, the key to fictitious terror is partition or containment: But a film that shows the world is a Bates Motel, well, that'sDavid Mitchell is the award-winning and bestselling author of Slade House, The Bone Clocks, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, Black Swan Green, Cloud Atlas, Number9Dream, and Ghostwritten.
Twice shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Mitchell was named one.
Cloud Atlas is a fantasy film written and directed by The Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer. Adapted from the novel of the same name by David Mitchell, the film has multiple plots set across six different eras, which Mitchell described as "a sort of pointillist mosaic.". 'Transcendent' is likely the best word to describe Cloud Atlas, likely David Mitchell's most famous novel.
In this book, Mitchell covers a wide variety of genre's, styles, and characters, an act that only the best of the best writers can pull torosgazete.coms: K. Aug 17, · As wild as a videogame, as mysterious as a Zen koan, Cloud Atlas is an unforgettable tour de force that, like its incomparable author, has transcended its cult classic status to become a worldwide phenomenon.
Praise for Cloud Atlas “[David] Mitchell is, clearly, a genius/5. Cloud Atlas, the third novel by English novelist David Mitchell, is the author’s bare-knuckled blow to standard conventions and literature itself.
Here you will encounter six stories, linked across time, that, like individual notes of a chord, each resonate together to form 4/5(K).
Oct 26, · Watch video · David Mitchell (novel), Lana Wachowski (written for the screen by) The picture of Halle Berry's character's father originally came from the Korean War National Museum.
All this audacious style and structure makes Cloud Atlas a curiosity to say the least, but the film is lifted to the realm of "Masterpiece" by the all-star ensemble cast. /10(K).