For some reason, I had a used copy of Cloud Atlas sat on my shelf for nearly 2 years before I picked it up. There was something about it that made me not want to pick it up despite hearing amazing reviews; maybe it was because I thought it would be too ‘literary’ for me with it having been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, maybe it was the length of 529 pages that I’d convinced myself I never had time for, maybe it was the reputation it has for being a slow and confusing, yet brilliant, novel. I finally picked it up during the #CatchUpReadathon and I am so glad that I did.
This novel has a unique style of story-telling. There are six sections, all following different characters in a different tense in a different style, and each one of these are visited twice so there are twelve sections in all.
David Mitchell has a genius way of adapting his writing style and tone for each of the six characters in a way that almost makes it feel like completely different books all together, but they all tie together in some way.
For those of you who are maybe intimidated by this novel, as I’ve heard some people are and I know I was, there is no need to be, mostly because even if you struggle with one section or writing style, each part is under 100 pages so you won’t have long to go until the next part.
The actual story, or rather the range of stories, was eclectic and fascinating, ranging from colonisation adventures to espionage to cloning. There really is something for everyone contained within these pages and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing.
This is definitely a novel that I think you would get a lot out of by reading it more than once and it is definitely something that I will reread at some point in the future.
Overall I would highly recommend this novel and I think it is something that is accessible even if you are used to Young Adult fiction or are intimidated by ‘literary fiction’ because, as I said, there is a wide range of topics discussed and the writing styles are so different from each other.
This is definitely up there with some of my favourites and I can’t wait to see the movie adaptation starring Tom Hanks and Halle Berry.