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Cloud atlas: a novel by David Mitchell, 2004

Cloud atlas: a novel by David Mitchell, 2004
Reviewed in Library Journal: In what must rank among the year's more ambitious novels, Mitchell (Ghostwritten) presents six quasicliffhanger stories in six different time periods. Beginning with a mid-19th-century Pacific voyage, the book then vaults to an early 20th-century composer who cuckolds his mentor, a 1970s reporter pursued by hitmen when she joins forces with a company whistleblower, a put-upon editor trapped inside a home for the aged, a servant clone interrogated about her travels to the outside world, and, finally, a return to the Pacific, only centuries later in a post-civilization world. Got it? Now tie up the cliffhangers in reverse order, going backward in time. The stories have a loose connecting theme of pursuing freedom and justice, and Mitchell has a gift for creating fully realized worlds with a varied cast of characters. However, there are patches of rough sledding; while the clever construction serves to highlight the novel's big ideas, the continual interruptions may distance the average reader. After slogging through five half-stories, the author has the bravery (or foolishness?) to relate the sixth in an invented dialect for a long stretch. The book has received good press in the United Kingdom, but perhaps sensing a smaller audience, the U.S. publisher offers a trade paperback original at a "try me" price. Libraries may wish to do so for their more adventurous readers of literary fiction.—Marc Kloszewski, Indiana Free Lib., PA (Reviewed June 15, 2004) (Library Journal, vol 129, issue 11, p56)
 
Source of the review: NoveList Plus - http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=neh&tg=UI&an=129805&site=novp-live

 

 

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