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Freewheeling Andy

David Mitchell - Cloud Atlas

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Same as Eddie, I'd be more than happy to re-read Cloud Atlas, for all kinds of reasons. Particularly as I've now read the other Mitchell books and can play with spotting all the inter-linked references and stories and characters.

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I bought this book recently after reading the recommendations on here. I'm really looking forward to reading it.

 

So, when do September nominations open? Do we even need to bother voting? :thud:

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Cloud Atlas is a book I read some time ago and thoroughly enjoyed. I would be glad to vote for it and join in a discussion. It has some of the best chapters I have read anywhere.

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Would any of you say that it would be better to read his books in order of publication, or whether it would be ok to just read Cloud Atlas first?

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Liz,

I can only say Cloud Atlas is the only Mitchell I have read so far, two others in the tbr stack though. So hopefully order doesn't matter. :thud:

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I have only heard that there are portents or trial runs of some aspects of Cloud Atlas in earlier books, but nothing at all to suggest that they were necessary background for reading Cloud Atlas.

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I have only heard that there are portents or trial runs of some aspects of Cloud Atlas in earlier books, but nothing at all to suggest that they were necessary background for reading Cloud Atlas.

 

I've read Ghostwritten, and there are a lot of similarities with Cloud Atlas, e.g. a series of short stories and various interweaves. I've not read number9dream, so I can't say anything on that one, other than wasn't it shortlisted, or at least longlisted for the Booker?

 

Black Swan Green is totally different; a traditional novel and semi-autobigraphical as I understand it.

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Black Swan Green is . . . semi-autobigraphical as I understand it.

 

 

I hadn't realised that. It reminded me a bit of The Rotter's Club by Jonathan Coe.

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I was happy that the stories had a second part to them, as it was rather frustrating to reach the end of the chapters mid-story the first time round. The author is brilliant - so many different types and styles of writing in one book - which however worked so fantastically. Will definately be reading some more Mitchell.

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I was happy that the stories had a second part to them, as it was rather frustrating to reach the end of the chapters mid-story the first time round. The author is brilliant - so many different types and styles of writing in one book - which however worked so fantastically. Will definately be reading some more Mitchell.

 

 

Yes I liked that once I got used to it - ie. realised that at some point the story would continue - I thought it was a very effective technique.

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I have this book, I have started it twice, really need to get myself moving. x

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The order you read the books doesn't matter at all - indeed, the books are basically independent. It's just fun that characters from one book crop up in other books, so the composer from the music section of Cloud Atlas is referenced in Black Swan Green; and one of the kids in BSG shows up in, I think, Ghostwritten. And there's a dodgy Mongolian who's in both Number9Dream and Ghostwritten. It's a sort of inter-weave of stories but there's no dependency.

 

Black Swan Green is totally different; a traditional novel and semi-autobigraphical as I understand it.

 

Superficially true, definitely. But I think actually it has similarities - in that it still plays with structure. There are 13 chapters, each sort of independent, in each of the 13 months during which the author is 13. And each of the stories still works around similar sorts of themes of redemption. It certainly feels more traditional, but even within traditional narrative Mitchell is doing similar things to Cloud Atlas or Ghostwritten.

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I bought this yeaaars ago and couldn't get into it, but i will try again seen as though it's so highly recommended.

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I have had this on my bookshelf for over a year but have not got round to reading it

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Guest Eliza1

This is a brilliant book. I didn't read anything for two weeks after I finished because I couldn't stop thinking about it. The thing that amazes me is, he had material enough there to write five or six good novels.. but the combination makes one killer novel. It's difficult to read but so worth it

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ive just finished reading david mitchell's lastest book "the thousand autumns of jacob de zoet" and loved it. it wasnt an easy read as i struggled with some of the japanese and dutch names. ive not read anything like this book before; highly original (imo). maybe i should give cloud atlas a go

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I just finished reading Cloud Atlas today. I'm still not too sure what to think about it. On the one hand I have to admire David Mitchell's talent for being so diverse in his writing style. I felt like I was beginning a new book every time I came across another narrator. But on the other hand.. I feel like I'm missing the point of the book. I liked the message in the final paragraph about being a droplet in the ocean - it avoided the danger of sounding too cliched, again thanks to Mitchell's exquisite hand at writing. But.. what was the point of the novel? Can anyone help me here? tongue.png

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My son suggested the film to me first,and I watched it and was gripped.

So naturally I read the book afterwards (and several more by the same

author). I loved both. I know films always get knocked for 'changing things

from the book' but the narrative structure of the film worked well I.M.O and

I was equally pleased to have read/seen both!

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On 2/14/2015 at 1:55 PM, Angury said:

. But.. what was the point of the novel? Can anyone help me here? tongue.png

I woke in the middle of the night some time in 2010 to find the radio on, broadcasting a World Service programme in which David Mitchell was being interviewed, in a bookgroup type format, about Cloud Atlas. 

I would have drifted off to sleep had his answer to one question had not startled me into complete wakefulness.The idea had never crossed my mind, but the stories in Cloud Atlas were all of one 'soul' being reincarnated over and over again!

 

just to add: I loathed this book, I found it unutterably pretentious.

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