Tuesday, June 17, 2014

‘Cloud Atlas’ by David Mitchell

Book cover: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. This edition's cover art promotes the movie based upon the book, featuring a montage of actors who portray the book's main characters.
The best way to describe Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell is with the words of one of its narrators describing a musical composition, a “sextet for overlapping soloists.”

“In the first set, each solo is interrupted by its successor: in the second, each interruption is recontinued, in order.”

The novel tells six stories set at various eras of history, ranging from pre-abolition of slavery to a distant future where society has collapsed. Each narrator leaves behind a relic — letters, a composition, a holographic recording — that touches or has an influence upon someone who comes afterward.

With its nested vignettes, this book defies categorization: seafaring adventure, a battle of egos between a composer and protegee, political/environmental thriller, dystopian science fiction.

I chose this book as a prize selection for completing a reading log during adult summer reading last year. For every four titles I read or listened to, I was able to select a book. Watch for information about this year’s summer reading through Jackson County Library Services.

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