Cloud Atlas – Is It Really That Good?

I pose the question in the title because…well, I really can’t decide for myself. I hate being wishy-washy about giving a critique, but the truth is, I really can’t decide if it’s that good or if it’s just okay. Or if I hate it. I think one of the biggest problems is that some characters/story lines are much more interesting than others so, I didn’t feel that invested in parts of the book.

SPOILERS AHEAD: The author David Mitchell starts the book off with journal entries and then proceeds to introduce his characters in unique ways – one of which is writing in a dialect, that truthfully takes some extra concentrating to read and comprehend.

I highly recommend not to read this book after a long day. Save it for when you have a rainy Sunday and you’re alert.

There are several themes explored in the book – I won’t mention them here, but the central idea is that we’re all connected in some way through time and history. Now, I’ve already stated that this book requires an alert mind to catch everything so, it is quite possible I missed something. But it doesn’t stop me from feeling  a little let down at the end of the book that the connections weren’t more spelled out – that some of the stories feel unfinished.

Perhaps the movie adaptation will fix this problem. The Wachowski siblings (famous for THE MATRIX movies and RUN LOLA RUN) have partnered with Tom Tykwer (director of RUN LOLA RUN) to write and direct the film version. The book has the story weave through time and the personal points of view of each character. The characters are either writing or testifying to someone so the POV remains in first person. This is always a difficult point of view to adapt well to screen. But because Mitchell has his characters explain their emotions and actions to another person it might avoid the constant problem of adapting first person internal conflict to the screen.

I guess I’ll have to just wait and see. In the meantime, what did you think of the book?