40. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell (100 book challenge)

What a clever example if meta-fiction and different narrative voices: Cloud Atlas is creative in both story and structure. I loved the subtle connections between each of the chapters and the interwoven themes discussing subjugation and conflict. This is an amazing book that I know I need to read again to appreciate its full effect.

cloud atlas

I’m not even sure if meta-fiction is the right word, but David Mitchell has structured the book in a very unique way, with chapters written in different formats, with different points of view and from different times through history. They have subtle connections, but are essentially stories in their own right. The structure itself is entertaining and engaging, and the individual stories and characters just add to this appeal.

Mitchell’s talent is certainly in capturing the different voices of the narrators throughout the book. You could pick up any two chapters in Cloud Atlas and think they are written by completely different authors. The characters in this book are from different countries, live in different centuries, are different genders – yet Mitchell managed to make me feel the characters are real and believe that it’s the characters themselves telling me the story. Now that’s talent!

I feel like I’ve given the last ten books from this challenge such raving, positive reviews and I wonder why this is. Have my book choices changed, or have I changed? Maybe a mix of both.

Anyway, you’ll be pleased to know that I’m a quarter through book number 41 and I am not enjoying it at all. Can anyone guess what it is?


In July 2014 I set myself the challenge to finish 100 must-read books before I die. For my ongoing tally click here.


Filed under 100 book challenge

3 responses to “40. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell (100 book challenge)

  1. Pingback: 100 book challenge: my running tally | Jessie Ansons

  2. I haven’t read Cloud Atlas, Jessie, but you’ve definitely tempted me with your review. Sounds intriguing.

  3. Pingback: The Next Ten: my COVID-19 panic buy | Jessie Ansons

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