Monday, 27 May 2013

Cloud Atlas

I recently read Cloud Atlas, the novel by David Mitchell.  I found it an incredible read.  The story starts off in the 19th century, with a trader travelling in the pacific.  He sails for home and is befriended by a doctor on board ship.  Our hero falls sick and gets more ill as time goes along, when suddenly... It's the early 20th century and we're with a con-man/musician, on the run from dodgy characters and trying to make some money from an ailing composer.

And thus the story continues, every time we reach a crisis point in the story, it jumps forward in time to a new, seemingly unrelated story, until we're in the far, distant future, in a world unrecognisable from our own.  And when that story completes, Mitchell brings us back through each world, completing each story in turn until we are back where we started.

It' a brilliant device, and you will have great fun spotting the connections between each story.  And wondering which of the chapters is "real" or "fiction" in the context of the stories which come after.

Probably one of the best novels I've ever read.

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