Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (review by Ravi B. ’14)

Cloud AtlasCloud Atlas by David Mitchell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell creates a universe in which multiple characters from various past and future settings fight against repression. The book follows an unconventional narrative construct with six story lines, beginning with an American notary in the 19th century and ending with a child in a post-apocalyptic future. The stories are initially told in chronological order, but each, except for the last, is interrupted at a critical moment. Following the last story, the book continues in reverse chronological order. I found Mitchell’s technique gave me a greater sense of closure and empathy for the characters as I finished the book. Although the book is especially challenging to start because each ending of a chapter feels somewhat intrusive, completing the novel was rewarding. Additionally, one of the stories is a hilarious relief from the rest of the novel. Someone who enjoys sci-fi fantasy and dystopian novels will find this to be refreshing change of pace. – Ravi B. ‘14

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