Tuesday, June 16, 2009

David Mitchell: Cloud Atlas

Published by Isis in 2005.
Audiobook, 21h 30m, read by various.

I 'read' this book last month, and I have to say that I have never enjoyed any audiobook more. I picked it up from the library totally on an impulse - I didn't know anything about it other than that it is on the list of 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. The very vague ideas I had formed about it bore no relation to reality, as it turned out. I started listening with a completely blank slate. At first I was very confused, but pretty soon I was enthralled, amazed and deeply impressed.

I'm sure this book is a great read as a regular printed book as well, but it is ideally suited for the audio format as it is comprised of six different stories, each with its own narrator, and in the audiobook these have all been given their own voices. IMO all the readers did a fantastic job, they were all well chosen and they all read their sections superbly. I loved listening to them all and was completely won over by this book.

I won't go into the plot, I don't think, because I don't know where I'd be able to stop. ;-) It's a complicated story, or rather six complicated stories, all of them entangled in each other, and all of them intriguing, well constructed and well written. Each centers on one character who has some connection to the next in line. The book is constructed as a pyramid ... and I'll leave you to find out exactly what I mean by that. ;-) You can read more about the book and its author here. It's pretty fascinating. I am so happy that I read this book.

This book was a completely enthralling read. I could, metaphorically speaking, hardly put it down. I was sad to see it end. I think it may well end up to be my #1 read this year. It's so clever, such an intelligent and complicated construction of stories ... it's original, it's inspired ... it's so well written, the author adapts his language to each character and they are all so believable. The settings are fascinating and the plots engrossing. I was so impressed with this book. I can't believe that I'd never really heard of the author before now. I will so definitely be reading more of his books. He is a brilliant writer. :-)

Don't miss this book. I seriously cannot recommend it enough.

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