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Cloud Atlas (Digital Audiobook)

A Novel

By David Mitchell, Various (Narrator)

Publication Date: November 15, 2004

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (8/17/2004)
Hardcover (11/20/2012)
Paperback (6/1/2011)

Fall '12 Reading Group List

“This is perhaps the most ambitious, complex, and brilliant novel I have ever read. Mitchell takes six completely different storylines, written in six distinct genre styles -- from pulp mystery novel to pidgin English-laden sci-fi -- set in six completely different time periods ranging from the 1800s South Pacific to far into a post-apocalyptic future, and chops them up and blends them to form one seamless, intricate, awe-inspiring saga of humanity. When your copy seemingly ends mid-sentence on page 39, please trust me and keep reading!”
— Seth Marko, UCSD Bookstore, La Jolla, CA
View the List

Description

By the New York Times bestselling author of The Bone Clocks | Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize

A postmodern visionary and one of the leading voices in twenty-first-century fiction, David Mitchell combines flat-out adventure, a Nabokovian love of puzzles, a keen eye for character, and a taste for mind-bending, philosophical and scientific speculation in the tradition of Umberto Eco, Haruki Murakami, and Philip K. Dick. The result is brilliantly original fiction as profound as it is playful. In this groundbreaking novel, an influential favorite among a new generation of writers, Mitchell explores with daring artistry fundamental questions of reality and identity.

Cloud Atlas begins in 1850 with Adam Ewing, an American notary voyaging from the Chatham Isles to his home in California. Along the way, Ewing is befriended by a physician, Dr. Goose, who begins to treat him for a rare species of brain parasite. . . . Abruptly, the action jumps to Belgium in 1931, where Robert Frobisher, a disinherited bisexual composer, contrives his way into the household of an infirm maestro who has a beguiling wife and a nubile daughter. . . . From there we jump to the West Coast in the 1970s and a troubled reporter named Luisa Rey, who stumbles upon a web of corporate greed and murder that threatens to claim her life. . . . And onward, with dazzling virtuosity, to an inglorious present-day England; to a Korean superstate of the near future where neocapitalism has run amok; and, finally, to a postapocalyptic Iron Age Hawaii in the last days of history.

But the story doesn’t end even there. The narrative then boomerangs back through centuries and space, returning by the same route, in reverse, to its starting point. Along the way, Mitchell reveals how his disparate characters connect, how their fates intertwine, and how their souls drift across time like clouds across the sky.

As wild as a videogame, as mysterious as a Zen koan, Cloud Atlas is an unforgettable tour de force that, like its incomparable author, has transcended its cult classic status to become a worldwide phenomenon.

List of Readers:
The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing, read by Scott Brick
Letters From Zedelghem, read by Richard Matthews
Half-Lives: The First Luisa Rey Mystery, read by Cassandra Campbell
The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish, read by John Lee
An Orison of Sonmi~451, read by Kim Mai Guest
Sloosha’s Crossin’ an’ Ev’rythin’ After, read by Kirby Heyborne


About the Author

David Mitchell is the award-winning and bestselling author of The Bone Clocks, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, Black Swan Green, Cloud Atlas, Number9Dream, and Ghostwritten. Twice shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Mitchell was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time in 2007. With KA Yoshida, Mitchell translated from the Japanese the internationally bestselling memoir The Reason I Jump. He lives in Ireland with his wife and two children.


From the Hardcover edition.