Wednesday, January 09, 2013


Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell, Random House Inc, 2004, 509 pp

What can I say? I had a hard time with this book, extremely hard. If it hadn't been made into a movie this year, it would still be on my shelf where it has been for many years and I would still be filled with the anticipation of a great read. But the movie was released, I have read the book, and I feel like a failure because I did not really love it and I can't gush.

All my pride as a reader is gone. After dissing reading group members who whine about too many characters, too much jumping around in time, having to read dialect, I have been defeated by all of the above.

I wonder if I should take a class on Cloud Atlas so I can have it explained or at least be made to write a paper or take an exam, forcing me to find and answer the right questions.

OK, there were some parts I liked, some characters I remember. I can admit, grudgingly, that Mitchell created and mastered all those different voices and styles. I got his message that we are ruining our planet and our fellowmen. 

I can tell you one thing for sure: at a 2.5 hours running time, I will not be seeing Cloud Atlas in a theater. I would have to pee at least once and I would surely need a smoke.

(Cloud Atlas is available in various formats by order from Once Upon A Time Bookstore.)


  1. That's a funny review, Judy. By the way, I have loved every review I've read in this blog even from books I've never heard of; you have a flair with words.
    You may not believe it but I loved the movie; it is visually by far one of the most beautiful movies I've ever seen and that's saying something because I watch lots of movies from all over. That said, I agree with your assessment that the story is convoluted. However, based on my liking of the movie and a friend's recommendation I bought the book but I don't intend to read it anytime soon because my TBR pile is huge and the book is long.

  2. Thank you Carmen! I have heard good things about the movie, so my plan is to see it and maybe try the book again someday.