Cloud Atlas: An Introduction


Cloud Atlas easily became one of my favourite books of all time.

The novel consists of six narratives which fit into one another like a nesting doll:

  • 1.1 The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing (Part 1)
  • 1.2 Letters from Zedelghem (Part 1)
  • 1.3 Half-Lives: The First Luisa Rey Mystery (Part 1)
  • 1.4 The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish (Part 1)
  • 1.5 An Orison of Sonmi~451 (Part 1)
  • 1.6 Sloosha’s Crossin’ an’ Ev’rythin’ After
  • 1.7 An Orison of Sonmi~451 (Part 2)
  • 1.8 The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish (Part 2)
  • 1.9 Half-Lives: The First Luisa Rey Mystery (Part 2)
  • 1.10 Letters from Zedelghem (Part 2)
  • 1.11 The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing (Part 2)

To make matters even more interesting as each story begins it makes reference to the story before it. In Letters from Zedelghem, the main character Frobisher is has been reading Adam Ewing’s diary but the second half is missing. In Half Lives, Luisa Rey reads the letters that Frobisher has written. In The Ghastly Ordeal, Timothy Cavendish makes reference to a pulp thriller novel about Luisa Rey. In An Orision of Somni, Somni watches a film based off of Cavendish’s story and finally in Sloosha’s Crossin’ an’ Ev’rythin’ After, Somni is the deity that people worship.

Each narrative mimics its different style, the hardest to get through being the unbroken story in the middle: Sloosha’s Crossin’ and that is only because the dialect it is written in.

To make matters even more interesting, this novel leaves a lot to interpretation. Do all these stories take place in one timeline or is it something more complicated then that?

I’m interested to see what the Wachowski’s do with this story. For a long time Cloud Atlas was considered unadaptable. But the trailers give me hope.

Cloud Atlas is an all encompassing narrative that asks: What if Souls drifted through life like clouds? Sometimes slow and confusing, this is one of a kind and definitely worth a read.
  • Expansive story
  • Interesting Characters
  • Themes
  • Thoughtful
  • Powerful
  • Sometimes hard to follow
  • Slow at times
Plot - 9
Characters - 8
Setting - 10
Writing Style - 9
Enjoyability - 9
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Alexandra is always looking for the next book she can devour. She has a love hate relationship with teen fiction specifically when it comes to fantasy, post apocalyptic and failed shakespeare adaptations.

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