A reluctant voyager
crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a
precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded
journalist in Governor Reagan’s California; a vanity publisher fleeing
his gangland creditors; a genetically modified “dinery server” on
death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall
of science and civilisation—the narrators of Cloud Atlas hear each other’s echoes down the corridor of history, and their destinies are changed in ways great and small.
his captivating third novel, David Mitchell erases the boundaries of
language, genre and time to offer a meditation on humanity’s dangerous
will to power, and where it may lead us.
I really loved this book. I think that it came to me at a time in my life when I really needed a novel like this. It's not an easy read and I don't know how readily I can recommend it to just any random person. I think this would especially appeal to readers that enjoy a spiritual and/or revolutionary element to their reading. The most compelling (aka page-turning) components of this book are the areas that involve conspiracies or revolutions. However, my favorite storylines were actually the ones that were more quiet and character-driven.
My favorite character of the book was definitely the charismatic composer Robert Frobisher. His particular story was one that really spoke to me - who can read this book and not love this dashing fellow? Robert's view of the choices he made toward the end of his tale helped me gain a different perspective on some recent difficult family events. Sorry I'm keeping this vague but I don't want to ruin anything for those who haven't yet read Cloud Atlas.
Also, I have to say that the reoccurring theme of reincarnation was really uplifting, even for the sadder storylines. Let me get into things a bit further with my film review...here ya go!
4.5/5 stars (for both film and book)
Despite all of the lukewarm critic reviews, I was pleasantly surprised with the film adaptation of this book. First of all, you can tell that the producers/directors of this film loved and respected this book. The way they broke down all of the storylines into one film was genius. They found parallel threads in each of the stories and interwove them perfectly (I might venture to say, they presented it in a more compelling manner than the book itself).
I convinced four of my non-reader friends to see this movie with me - so obviously, none of them had any previous knowledge of the book. They all really enjoyed the film (some even ventured to say that they loved it!) and understood the main points that the author was making with these intertwining stories. Also, while some of the storylines were tampered with (including my fave Frobisher) I surprisingly approved of the plot alterations.
I was blown away with how well they portrayed the main point of each storyline. In fact, some of the storylines (especially Frobisher) evoked a much more visceral reaction than what I had while reading the book. My favorite movie storylines: Robert Frobisher (more disturbing and moving in the movie...in the book he was just so likeable you almost couldn't take him seriously), Timothy Cavendish (movie version sooooo hilarious), Louisa Rey, and Sonmi 451.
The only problems I had with the
film were some cheesy lines (that never existed in the book) and Old
Georgie in the Zachry plotline...in the movie he was a weird green warty
guy with a top-hat, WTF?!? Otherwise, I thought it was one of the
better film adaptations of a book...especially considering how complex and long this book is.
Overall, if you enjoyed the book, I don't think you'll be disappointed by the movie. If you've never read the book and don't plan to...ignore the stupid leprechaun (aka Old Georgie) and enjoy a really good film adaptation of a very complicated book.